Getting a Teen to Cook

Written on October 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm , by

 

 

Wouldn’t it be great to come home from work and discover that the kids had cooked a wonderful dinner and all I had to do was gush praise and eat? (And maybe do some dishes.) They have a bit more time in the afternoons several days a week than I do. But they prefer to spend their free time playing video games. And when I get home, I have to throw dinner together and pull them away from games. I’m trying to make things more equitable. But I’m not having a lot of luck.

But what if the video game they were playing encouraged them to cook their favorite foods—and taught them how? I recently met with the folks behind GirlsGoGames.com, a casual gaming site that offers free games just for girls, and that’s exactly what they told me the idea is behind their game Sarah’s Cooking Class.

My daughter already enjoys the quick, casual games at GirlsGoGames.com. So I asked her if she had played Sarah’s Cooking Class. Being a teenager, she rolled her eyes and told me that sounded “lame.” But then she realized that I was actually suggesting she take a few minutes to play video games. So she quickly changed her tune and volunteered to play it and let me know what she thought.

“That was fun,” she told me 20 minutes later. “Can I make sushi for dinner?” California rolls are one of her favorite foods. So, naturally, she had played that recipe. And while playing, she had learned what ingredients she needed to make her favorite meal, how to prep the sushi rice, how to cut the ingredients, and some technique for rolling and serving the rolls.

She gave me a list of ingredients. (The game provides a recipe.) And we are planning to make them together tonight. My hope is that, once she has the ingredients in house and we’ve been through it once or twice together, she will be willing to do it by herself when I’m too busy.

I know what you are thinking. But I can hope, can’t I?

Christina Tynan-Wood writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle, and is the author of “How to Be a Geek Goddess.” You can find her at GeekGirlfriends.com, as well as here on Momster.com. Follow her on Twitter: @xtinatynanwood.