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Meal Prep and Recipes for College Students

Aug 16, 2022 | Family Life, Meal Time | 0 comments

How old are your kids? Are they cooking already? I know we’ve talked about having your kids cook more often, but now the deadline for your child to move out of the house is coming up fast! So let’s get these kids ready to cook for themselves!

During their high school years, I encourage my kids to find easy recipes they want to cook for their meals on their cooking day. (Each person in the family is assigned a day of the week where they are in charge of the meals. Dinner is usually where we focus more effort and I spend more time in the kitchen helping them learn new skills and try new recipes. It has been fun watching my kids build upon their cooking skills as they grow.

klailea cooks dessert

Cooking abilities for kids by age

Are your kids ready to cook? If so that is great! If not here are some tips on what they should know by what age. This information is so handy to have available if you are unsure what you can expect from your child. If you want more information review the amazing cooking skills by age guide where I got my information.

Ages 3 and under – washing, stirring, mashing, sprinkling, spooning. Think of all the basic motor skills. That’s what they are practicing.

Ages 3-5 Rolling, kneading, spreading, cutting (soft ingredients ie. butter with a strong plastic knife), tearing, sieving, cutting dough, shaping.

Ages 5-7 cutting using a small knife and scissors, grating, measuring, rubbing in, greasing a pan, peeling an orange, setting table, serving food for meals, and use a microwave. (Teach them how to hold the knife properly)

Beginner recipes to try with adult supervision; microwaveable oatmeal & mac & cheese, PB & J, overnight oats,

Ages 8-11 Children are able to plan meals, follow the basic recipes, find ingredients, use a peeler, whisk using an electric whisk, using the oven, make salads, open cans & stir items on the stove or flip pancakes with supervision.

Recipes for kids to try with adult supervision;  cook rice in a rice cooker, pancakes on the stove, muffins, pasta on the stove, crepes, german pancakes in the oven, ramen on the stove, french toast, grilled cheese sandwiches.

Ages 12+ By this age kids are are ready to make more complicated recipes and learn to improvise when they are missing an ingredient.

12 of our favorite recipes for high school and college students

Use these favorite recipes of ours to help get your kids ready to cook for themselves. Let your kids practice while they are home and have help from you. Then when they go off to college they know how to cook at least the basics. It has really paid off watching Klailea become more independent in college. I feel confident in their cooking abilities because she got a lot of practice at home.

rykel cooking

We took our favorite family recipes & used the baking calculator to DOWNSIZE our recipes, try it

Download our free printable’s here, ready to print in 3×5 size!

Recipes for 2-4 servings college PDF

Kids can cook ages and abilities

shoyu chicken

scottish shortbread

pasta salad healthy

bread sticks gma

Please share your favorite recipes in the comments. I would love to know what you cooked in college, or what your teens cook at home!

If you want more college help for your teens I am doing a series of related post to check them out.

Life skills every young adult need to know before leaving home

Preparing your high schooler for college

Helping your teen and young adult children get ready for school



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rach and jase cut

Rachel is a vlogger and stay-at-home mom! When she's not filming fun videos for the "Ohana Adventure" and the "Rach Bennett" channels, she is sharing amazing lifestyle, travel, parenting, and homeschool tips here on the blog.

Jase is an entrepreneur, surfer, skater, fisherman, and the best dad ever! When he’s not creating silly Reels (@jasebennett), you can find him sharing adventures on the blog & great entrepreneurial tips on his podcast: The Decode.


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