YES! Boys Should Learn to Cook!

Hey Mama!  Should boys learn to cook? If you read that title and automatically questioned my authority as a parent, I get it.  But do you know there are still stigmas around boys learning to cook?

There are so many essential skills that can be taught in the kitchen to ANY child.  If you’ve read about my blog, then you’ll know that I spend a lot of time in my kitchen.  It is the hub of our home.  I love for my kids to join me and learn as much as they can.

Here are 10 reasons why boys AND girls should learn to cook. 

*DISCLOSURE: I only recommend products that I would use myself. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my Disclosure for more information.

white dinner plate with title Following directions

1. Learning to Follow Directions

I had a teacher who would always say “Following instructions will save your life one day.”  I hated it as a 10th grader, but I’ve used that phrase so many times.  And it is so true.  

Now, following the directions of a recipe is usually not life or death.  Sometimes you can tweak and make changes.  But you must learn the basics before you can go free style. 

The age and temperament of your child will determine how you go about teaching them to follow a recipe.  My friend Donna, at Midlife Mamas, lets her daughter follow along with YouTube videos or from a cookbook, like Stir That Shittt Up

And my friend Caroline, at, has developed recipes in an infographic-type style.  Her easy to follow images are a great way to help kids become more independent in the kitchen. Read my review post about our experience with Picturized Recipes

white dinner plate with title Kitchen Safety

2. Learning Safety in the Kitchen

As Mamas, keeping our kids safe is priority.  The kitchen is the perfect learning environment to teach a lot of safety rules.

  •  How to work with sharp objects: They make kid-safe knives, like this 6 piece set of child-friendly blades.  My son loves this set and asks to use it frequently when he’s helping me in the kitchen.  He especially likes the wooden chopper to cut the crusts off of his sandwiches. 

child's hands cutting crust off of a sandwich with a wooden chopper

  • Food Handling Safety: This includes hand-washing, checking internal temperatures (get this thermometer!), and checking for dates on packages.
  • Using your senses to detect trouble: Teach kids to use their sense of smell to see if something is “bad” or to smell smoke. Feel for bad spots on produce.  See mold on bread.
  • Working with hot objects: You may not want your little one to handle extremely hot objects, but who says they can’t have fun with their own pair of oven mitts, like this kid-sized pair. Who doesn’t love sprinkles?

white dinner plate with title Math and Science

3. Doing Kitchen Activities to Teach Math and Science

I’m a science teacher.  I love teaching science concepts through our everyday experiences. Here are just a few science and math concepts that fit naturally in the kitchen. 

  • States of Matter (solid, liquid, gas)
  • Food Safety (bacteria, fermentation)
  • Reading thermometers
  • Measuring everything (add, subtract, multiply, divide)
  • Chemistry of cooking
  • Biology of cooking
  • Making Observations

Get a copy of Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids: 50 STEAM Projects You Can Eat!” and try out all 50 activities.   

white dinner plate with title Quality Time

4. Spending Quality Time Together

Kids crave attention and sometimes life gets busy.  Getting your kids in the kitchen with you can serve many purposes.  One of those is spending quality time together. 

Now, if you are a bit of a control-freak, you’re going to have to loosen up a bit.  Kids will mess up, make mistakes, and make messes.  If you spend this time scolding them or telling them they aren’t doing something right, they probably won’t enjoy this time. 

I know it’s hard to give up some of your control, but kids learn from making mistakes. They learn from making messes.  They need grace and patience just as much as we do. 

Cooking together allows for chances to have conversations about whatever is going on. Sometimes it is easier for kids to open up and talk when they don’t actually have to look at you. 

Kids will remember these moments. Who do you remember cooking with as a child? 

I asked my Bud “what’s your favorite part about cooking in the kitchen with Mama?” He tapped me on the shoulder and said “You are.” Tissue anyone?

white dinner plate with title Other Cultures

5. Connecting Cultures Through Food

You can travel the world through cooking.  Celebrating different cultures can be so much fun. 

Our daughter is learning Russian. I found an awesome cookbook for traditional Russian recipes from

If you are looking for a great place to get books at a discounted price, check out Use my referral link and you’ll get $5 off your first order of $25 (oh, and I’ll get $5 credit, too). Seriously, you can get a ton of books for a small amount of money.

Universal Yums is a subscription box that combines history and traditions with foods from countries all over the world. We loved “traveling” to distance lands through each box.  It comes with snacks from a different country each month, as well as a booklet filled with fun facts. 

You can talk about traditions, geography, history, and of course food, while cooking meals with foreign flavors.

10 Reasons Boys Should Learn to Cook with two cartoon boys with cupcakes and a blue donut background
white dinner plate with title Fun Activities

6. Having Fun

Cooking is fun. Get creative. Make masterpieces, messes, and most of all, memories. 

Download the FREE Cooking with Kids Journal and keep up with all of these happy memories.  You can track recipes you’ve tried, write stories or quotes from the moment, or add photos of the fun.


white dinner plate with title Using tools

7. Learning to Use Tools

Tools come in all shapes and sizes.  A tool is something that makes a task easier.  They don’t always mean wrenches and screwdrivers (although it’s good to learn how to use those too).

  • Knives and other utensils
  • Electronic Appliances
  • Measuring tools

To see all of my favorite kitchen tools, check out my Ultimate List of Kitchen Tools.

white dinner plate with title Helping Others

8. Sharing With Others

Our world is lacking empathy. Any chance we have to teach our kids to think of others, is important to take advantage of. 

  • Is there a family member that doesn’t get around in the kitchen very well? Share some of your meal with them. 
  • Can you bake cookies for a friend or neighbor? 
  • Clean out the pantry and donate extra supplies to the local food bank. 
white dinner plate with title Healthy Choices

9. Learning About Healthy Choices

No, those cookies with two sticks of butter aren’t “healthy.” But, is it OK to have sweet treats every once in a while? Sure!

Working together in the kitchen is a great time to talk about making healthy choices. Your own beliefs and values concerning food will determine the choices you teach your kids to make.

  • Sugar
  • Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Fats
  • Balanced Nutrition
white dinner plate with title Independence and Confidence

10. Teaching Independence and Confidence

Kids feel such a sense of accomplishment and pride when they’ve made something special.  It’s no different in the kitchen.  

Your kids will thank you in the future when they are cooking real meals for themselves and not surviving on fast food and Ramen noodles. 

So, go get your kids and get in the kitchen!  Don’t forget to get your Cooking with Kids Journal so you can keep up with all the fun!

What are your favorite things to cook with your kids?

Tell me! 


  1. Miriam

    Yes! I agree 100% with you- I’ve got 3 children, 2 of which are boys, and I need to make it a point of getting them in the kitchen more rather than only when dinner is served or for clean up- I think cooking teaches everyone great skills, and I’d love to know that my sons know how to fend for themselves when they are ready to go out to college on their own. I follow a vegetarian way of eating, they don’t, but I do like to get them to help with salad prepping even if it’s with their tiny hands!

  2. Lifebetweenthedishes

    Yes!! Get them all in there! 🙂

  3. Jenny

    Absolutely! My daughters love helping in the kitchen. I may have to convince my sons to help soon too.


Hi! I'm Misty, the imperfect Mama behind Life Between the Dishes.  My goal is for you to find tools, tips, and resources here to help you maintain sanity through daily mom life!

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