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Why doesn't my son like helping in the kitchen? Maybe I just assume he didn't. Maybe I just figured cooking wasn't something he would be interested in, because (gasp) he is a boy. His five year old sister is the one that always wants to be with me in the kitchen mixing, chopping, and washing.

When my son was younger I tried to cook with him but he didn't seem interested, and I stopped providing experiences for him in the kitchen. He is almost nine, and I had begun realizing he has no idea what to do in the kitchen. My thoughts fast forwarded 10 years to him in college not even knowing how to cook popcorn in the microwave let along boil an egg.

At that point I decided I needed to increase my efforts in teaching him kitchen skills. As of recent he has learned how to: put dishes into the dishwasher, use the microwave, get his own bowl of cereal in milk, cut up strawberries, read a recipe, and how to make brownies.

It turns out he really enjoyed being in the kitchen with me and did an impressive job making brownies for a 4-H project. His favorite part was cracking the eggs. I look forward to cooking with my son more and realize there are countless benefits to doing so.

6 Benefits of Cooking with Your Son 

  1. It instills self-confidence by learning new skills.
  2. Great bonding experience. Switch it up and have dad and son make a meal together too. 
  3. Uses math skills. Have them do the math on how to double a recipe. 
  4. Creativity. It doesn't always have to be our way, let them be creative.
  5. If they make it they will try it.
  6. Your future daughter-in-law will thank you. 

4-H Purple Ribbon Brownies

1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoon cocoa
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) 

Heat oven to 350° F.

Melt butter in 9x13-inch pan on stove. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, then eggs. Sift and add flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Mix in vanilla extract. Add nuts, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Carrie Miller MS RD

Registered Dietitian from UNL Extension

Carrie Miller is a mother of two and Registered Dietitian with a Master degree in Nutritional Science and Dietetics. Carrie has worked at UNL Extension in Omaha for over 12 years managing the Nutrition Education Program and teaching limited resource audiences. Special interests include feeding children healthy, fun foods, and finding time to get outside and be active. Learn more about Carrie and the other UNL Extension nutrition experts at ...

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