♥ Round up of ‘Tip for Teens’ Contest ♥

by Pritya Books on February 15, 2011

Happy to see the overwhelming responses to our Feb 2011 facebook contest: A tip to tempt teenagers to experiment in the kitchen’. Wit, humour, experience, sensitivity – we can see a sprinkling of all.

We asked our friend SRA to take care of the tough task of choosing the winners! So here is what SRA had to say:
“It was quite interesting to see the range of tips. I never imagined going through the entries for this contest would be such fun. I liked how many parents recognised teenagers’ desire to appear cool and tapped into that insight to get them cooking. And it was heartening to see how many of them mentioned it was important to appreciate the children for their efforts. And finally, the two winners are: Divya Ramachandran (for her suggestion that there can be an FB page, because they think it’s cool!) & Shobha Tallapaka (because she found a way to make the youngsters clean up after themselves!).”

Our hearty congratulations to you, Divya & Shobha. Thank you SRA. And many thanks to all participants. Thank you friends for sharing your tips & thoughts.

Its goodbye for now from our events desk…until the next contest is announced in March:). Happy cooking…happy living.
Jigyasa & Pratibha

Excerpts of tips shared by contestants:
Divya Ramachandran: Teens! Okay, here’s my idea. Have monthly “cook and eat” partys in rotation at each friends place! They need to plan, shop,cook and serve as well! The themes could be popular foods like pizzas, chinese, cakes with ‘rules’ such as “iron rich”, “high protein” etc. And not to forget…they need a Facebook page to post and comment on their recipes, photos, videos etc!

Shobha Tallapaka: …One of my successful experiments is what I call an “all-day-eat-athon”. I invite their friends over, provide them with pantry staples and some exotic (translate to Indian) spices and have them invade my kitchen. I make sure they have enough to whip up a few main dishes and deserts…and they clean up after themselves

Anita BAdani: Today, kids are all about being “in” and “cool”! So the easiest way to lure kids into the kitchens is to make cooking seem easy and cool. This can be done by buying colorful aprons and trendy kitchen gadgets. Make them feel as though they are the Masters of the Kitchen…Don’t interfere, unless asked for advice…

Sabah Fathima: Cooking these days has become a lot more fun & interesting for youngsters because of the various glam cooking shows on TV… – Nigella Lawson, Anjum Anand, Master Chef, Hell’s Kitchen…I personally know a lot of teens who have started experimenting in the kitchen after seeing Akshay Kumar’s Master Chef India …

Vaani Anand: Teenagers are choosy about what they like… So instead of telling them to learn how to make run of the mill stuff, tell them to bake a cake or whip up an exotic dessert. Also, they love to show off their work so ideally do it when you are having guests…

Santosh’s Kitchen Bangar: …Start with something you know they likeI think the best place to start is by teaching them how to cook their own favorites. Advice them only they offer advice give them full independece to do it ‘their’ way…

Kinnari Sharma: It would be a good idea to organize family cooking competion, maybe father daughter/mother son (either combo) vis a vis another family any combo. 1 dish should be prepared by a kid and 1 by the parent independently , and one together with combined effort…

Kirti Negi Bajoria: …I agree with Srividhya Paka, the only reason i can cut vegetables well & make phulkas & parathas is because that was the duty assigned to me as a teenager!

Srivalli Jetti: How about luring the kids to spread out the perfect Dosas in circles? My 9 year old sure wants to make Dosas all the time and I guess that’s a good start…

Srividhya Paka: …As a teenager…I was allowed to cook whatever I wanted when the family had gone out and was even appreciated for my efforts… My mom never taught me any recipe per se, I learnt them on my own just by looking at her cook and helping her…I was allowed to make mistakes and learn from it.

Narayanan Hariharan: One thing that kinds can definitely try their hand out is creating salads right in their kitchen. Instead of spending a bomb at Subway, get your own vegetables, add whatever toppings you choose and have a yummy salad!

Esha Dasgupta: Why not something innovative? Use the left over any item in your fridge, just stir onion, tomato n chilli in oil…something new has been prepared…

Githu Palakkad: First of all, we shud fix a time for cooking in such a way kids are free and in a happy mood. Every art start from a very young age…cooking is also a art and shud be start at young age…

Dhivya Karthik: …My mother had a wonderful plan to lure us (me and my sis) to cook. We both love mimicing ppl, hence she asked us to mimic “certain women” who regularly came on TV shows to cook and whom we used to regularly make fun of… We cooked, talking and swirling the spatulas as if video taping the show. Whilst at it, we managed to actually cook a decent meal…

Mythili Vis: …You can easily amuse kids with analogies of animals/insects. So…tell the kids that we are baking slugs and eating them with slug juice… or something disgusting like that J… pass off (pancakes) as a flattened frog or something. Kids love disgusting stuff like that!

Sanjeeta Krishna Kumar: … I often take my kids to the vegetable market and they love to see the colorful veggies & fruits there… give them the butter knife to experiment with by slicing the banana and other veggies. Many weekends are kept for baking cookies, and they love to use the cutter making various shapes out of the rolled dough…A kid who is at ease in the kitchen is more likely to make better health choices when they grow up.

Sharmi Komal: My 7 yr old sits on the counter top and asks the names of ingredients. My 2 yrs old watches me cut vegetables and make rotis…I make my kids carry plates to the table, serve elders dosas/rotis. This way they slowly gain perfection! We need not wait for them to be teenagers and then know how to boil water.

Shanti Chordia: …do start by doing the dishes by yourself without asking for help and your teen will – 100 % come around you to help you out, my son did put a ipod on me, downloaded my favourite oldie songs for me, and did sudoku with me to help me finish this seemingly ~uninteresting ~ chore, and …to ensure that I did the right job, with the right amount of water wastage as well as did it properly without breakage of glass cutlery!

Smitha Joga: …For youngsters, when neccesity plays a role, start experimenting with easy recipes like simple potato fry… or use any veggie you like, cook daal and do a simple tempering to it. Smell the spices and herbs, use them in various intensities, thats how you will learn! There are tons of easy recipes, and you will soon realize that cooking isn’t rocket science, and it helps to keep your belly full with decent home cooked meals, rather than the greasy cafeteria food…

Ec Crafts: Teenagers enjoy outside food a lot…We can start by asking them to share about the food they cherish outside and then asking their help to get the same taste while cooking at home..Acting ignorant would increase their involvement in the process of cooking. Appreciation and introduction to interesting cookbooks…would also help in inducing them to cook frequently.

Jayasree Satish: …My 7 year old niece during her vacation with me, often insists that we both prepare some dish. She makes it a point to say ‘we’ and will add that she will teach the same to her mom later. I do the basics and make her assemble the dish like spreading sauce and toppings on the pizza base…

Siri Pulipaka: …to start with something small and easy – like a yummy tomato dal + hot rice with a dollop of ghee and pappadams – a full meal in itself. then move on to some north indian flare, like Rajma (with canned beans ofcourse) and chawal…try to be as diverse as possible and keeping it simple at the same time. Hey, that is how learnt it and now, I ♥ ♥ cooking so much that I have a blog for myself. :-)

Niv Mani: …My 5 yr old is extremely flavor Savvy…His favorite pastime in the kitchen is making his own pizza & Grilled cheese, with supervision… I lay out a bunch of herbs & he enjoys crushing a leaf, smelling them & identifying aromas! Ditto with sniffing thru my spice box…catch em young before the teen rebel streak sets in!

BongMom CookBook: The thing that works for my 7 year old is wholesome praise in large quantity :) She is eager to help and is always asking if she can make the “raita” because then she can go about gloating the whole day. I feed her ego at times. You give some, you get some.

Aruna Sateesh: When I asked my son what would lure him to make something in the kitchen, he promptly said – “If it is something that I like, I might be interested in trying…like a pizza”. I guess making it an activity that they can do with one or two close friends might also excite them.

Jigyasa Giri: Teenagers & cooking!! Now thats a challenge! All they do is mess up the kitchen :) . My best bet would be to tell them to stay out of the kitchen…maybe then they’ll be defiant enough to give it a try…lol. Just kiddin kids…I love your youthful spunk. Just enjoy whatever you do & do whatever you do WELL…including cooking.

Jerusha Ratnam Chande: … to get teenagers interested one can teach teach them how to do a few simple but fancy looking tricks with food.. they love showing off anyway… like how to make a leaf in coffee foam… my mom showed me that if put a spring onion cut a few inches above the bulb and drop it into freezing water for a few minutes, the leaves curl back and it becomes a beautiful garnish…it did get a lot of oohs and aahs…

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