Meals You Should Know How to Make!

Meals You Should Know How to Make!

by Marianne Stephens

What meals should you know how to make if you are a kid and only require an adult in the kitchen a little bit? You may have had some lessons from friends and family, or even taken some kind of a cooking class for kids. I’m assuming a very basic level here – if you have not touched an oven, please learn that somewhere else, because not all ovens or stoves are the same. I’m focusing on meals that are simple for a new cook, someone brand new to the idea of cooking for yourself.

It’s a good idea to learn cooking as early as you are comfortable working with the pots, pans, utensils, and of course, the stove or oven.  You should have a parent or other adult close to you when you’re using the stove in particular, because it’s quite easy to hurt yourself if you go too fast or do something wrong.  Slow and steady works best. There is no rush to cooking, even if it seems like it. Mistakes happen all the time, and mistakes help you learn what not to do next time.

Cooking your own food is often healthier than just buying fast food.  When you cook at home, you know exactly what’s going into it.  So, if you have a food allergy, you’ll be able to make sure what you’re allergic to doesn’t go into what you’re making.

Start with simple things.  There are two basic items where ingredients can be purchased in bulk because they’re cheap. They are macaroni and cheese and instant ramen (or any other noodles). These items can be made at home. Preparing either of them is just a three-step process that involves what’s in the box, a handy pan that will fit the items needed, and boiling water. Not much else is needed. Simple and easy to make. Following the instructions on the bag of the pasta is step number one. Once you do it a few times, you can then start to alter recipes and add in new things to your dish.

Soup is fantastic and flexible – you don’t have to stick with the same flavour all the time – you can switch it up a bit, from chicken noodle to beef stew to tomato soup. (It can also help you when you’re feeling particularly sick or in extremely cold weather to help warm you up.) There’s also rice, simple to cook and cheap as well, and you can also add other ingredients: from protein (like meat) to just plain vegetables.  It’s up to you; whatever you’re in the mood for.  Instant rice can be cooked in the microwave, but no matter what kind it is, it’s a great opportunity to experiment with different flavours and ingredients.

Salad is super healthy as well, and can be made with one essential ingredient: lettuce. It doesn’t have to be a specific kind of lettuce, but with salad, you can add anything! You can add your favourite meat, chicken, pork, beef or bacon. Nothing is against the rules here: you can use what is on hand, and what might sound a little weird, but actually tastes delicious. Nuts, raisins, strange toppings such as potato chips, or even different fruits such as mango, blueberries, or other fruit can be added. You can also get some ideas from the internet, or course. Or, ask you parent or guardian what their favorite salad is!

Finally, there’s the all-time classic: grilled cheese sandwiches. All you need is a frying pan, butter, a slice of cheese, and two pieces of bread. How you do it can vary according to your favourite method, since there are several versions, and the perfect grilled cheese sandwich is done the way you want it. You can add other things to it as well – but it requires some experiment and research (or trial and error, if you like).

The basic method is:  butter on the outside, cheese on the inside, and fry them until ready. Flip a few times over back and forth so both sides get equal grilling time!

Those meals are easy to make and not complicated– a small pan is about all you need. But then comes the biggest question; what happens after you have enjoyed your meal? The clean-up happens! Health and safety standards exist for a very good reason, to ensure that there are not many germs (if any) are not left on your dishes afterwards. Using a dishwasher can depend on the instructions, so consult your parents or guardians – they will help you understand how to load and start the dishwasher. But if you’re doing it the old-fashioned way through the sink, it follows a two-sink process. It may seem weird, but it’s all about disinfecting the dishes.

The first sink is soapy and hot, ensuring that the germs are being killed. Soak the dish in question, one at a time (they can all be in the sink, just wash them one at a time) and scrub it with a sponge, making sure to scrub all of it – top, sides and bottom; and then soak it in the second sink, which will be clear and colder than the first sink. You can use the same sponge and do a quick clean, then hang them a on a dish rack for drying with a dish towel.

Safety Tip: If you are using an electric frying pan, you can’t let the plug get wet.

And that’s how easy it is to make a meal and clean your dishes afterwards. It’s important to stay healthy so that you can continue to enjoy the things you like- hanging with your friends, or playing sports. Being sick means that you shouldn’t cook, or you might pass it on to your friends.

Of course, the best part of all of this was that you got to cook your favourite meal, instead of having other people do it. There is a certain pride that comes with cooking your own food. And, if you grow it, it gets even better!

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