Getting Your Teen Involved in Holiday Meal Preparation :: 3 Easy Tips to Get Teens in the Kitchen


The holidays are all about celebrating family and tradition. It is the time of year to share memories with those you love while passing down traditions and recipes to the next generation. If you have a teen at home, you know how hard it can be to engage them in family activities, especially in the kitchen. Whether they always have their nose in their phone screen or are just resistant to family activities, convincing a teen to help in the kitchen around the holidays can seem like an insurmountable task. Here are some tips to help you get your teenager off the couch and into the kitchen. 

Give Them Choice

Giving your teens a say when it comes to the holiday dinner menu may be all it takes to show them the joy and connection that comes from spending time with family in the kitchen. Ask your teen to pick a new dish to add to your holiday traditions. If they have trouble choosing, you may want to suggest a trendy TikTok recipe that they have seen lately. No matter what dish they choose, they will feel good knowing that you trusted them to add something to such a special day. This is also a great opportunity to gain an insight into your teen’s interests and create a memory that will last forever for both of you. 

Give Them Responsibility

A few weeks before the holiday, ask your child what their favorite dish is. When they answer, tell them that they are responsible for ensuring that their favorite dish reaches the table when the holiday meal begins. If it truly is their favorite, they will make sure, with a little bit of help, that they help make that dish. They may also feel motivated by not letting other family members down. It is important to make this a positive experience, so make sure that you provide plenty of support and praise to your child when they help you make a delicious holiday dish. 

Involve the Internet

If you have a teen who is always on their phone, it can be difficult to get them to put down their device. Consider instead including their phone in the kitchen. Choose a picture-perfect or extremely interesting dish to make and tell your child that they are responsible for documenting the process of making the dish. Allow them to make TikToks and take tons of pictures throughout the entire process. A crazy yet delicious dish can help get their attention while providing a can’t-miss experience for your child. You will get to create and document all the memories of preparing a holiday meal with your child without them feeling like they are being punished. 


Every teenager is different. Even though it may not feel like it at times, you know your child best. Have a conversation with them to figure out how they can get involved in the kitchen. You may find that they have a special interest or idea that you can help bring to life. Not only will you get an extra hand in the kitchen, but you will create memories that will last forever and traditions that you can revisit for years to come.



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