OMG! I’m In College And I Never Learned to Cook!College is supposed to be a place of higher learning that prepares young people for the challenges of taking on a greater role as an adult in a civilized society. While there is no doubt the value of the degrees earned in those hallowed halls, one mom has a striking complaint about it all.“How can you consider yourself educated and sophisticated if you don’t know how to cook a decent meal?” asked Hollis Ledbetter, author of OMG! I’m In College and I Never Learned to Cook (www.omgcookbooks.com). “Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for higher education for the purposes of being able to earn a living and contribute to the world around them, but I’ve never seen a college course titled ‘How to buy groceries, cook dinner and do your own laundry!’”
Mom Offers Simple Tips to Help Students Prepare Their Own Meals and Eat Healthy
Ledbetter, a mother of four children (one still in college, the others all have families of their own), sensed the irony of colleges teaching students to become engineers, lawyers and doctors who – without mom’s help – are still likely to burn down the kitchen while trying to boil water.“Parents and kids need to know a few key things before the adventure of higher education begins,” she added. “Kids need to learn how to cook and parents need to know how to teach them. Taking a semester of home economics in high school does not equate to knowing how to safely defrost a chicken, carve it, prepare it and cook it so that it actually tastes like something other than shoe leather. It’s one part art and one part science, and they aren’t going to learn either from any class at school.”
Her tips for parents include:
- Just Teach the Basics – You don’t have
to teach your children how to make eggs benedict and how to mix the
hollandaise sauce from scratch. Boiling water, broiling meats, making pasta
that doesn’t stick to the pot like bathroom caulk – these are the basics.
Everything else, they should learn on their own.
- Don’t Coddle Them – You’ll save money and they’ll eat better if you encourage them to buy groceries, instead of eating fast food or PopTarts all the time. Hold the line on the food budget you give them and they’ll hold the line on a good diet.
- Definition of Cooking – Microwaving a
Hot Pocket is not cooking. Cooking involves taking actual vegetables, fruits
and meats, and preparing them – either by cooking or mixing – to form a snack
or a meal. If all you can do is make pre-packaged macaroni and cheese, and
nuke a burrito, that’s not cooking.
- Safety – There is a reason why some
foods are refrigerated and why some are not. Learn the difference between the
two. I guarantee you don’t want to learn the hard way, when you try to put
mayonnaise that was left out all night on a turkey sandwich and wind up in the
- Healthy Foods – Here's a good reason to eat homemade healthy foods. If you buy groceries instead of eating out all of the time, you'll not only eat better, but you will save tons of money – money that could be spent on that new smart phone, laptop or tablet you've been dreaming about. Overall, in a nine-month period, it is easy for a single person to save between $1,000 and $2,400 simply by NOT eating out.