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Best Cookbooks for Teenage Boys

Updated on June 4, 2016

Even Teenage Boys Can Cook

My teenage son likes to cook. However, until recently, he was a afraid to try. Then, one of his friends loaned him a small, pocket-sized cookbook, written just for men, with a strong emphasis on bacon.

I've noticed my son needs a bit more guidance in the kitchen, compared to his slightly older sister. Their tastes also differ. My son leans toward heavier, more manly foods, as well as any recipe that incorporates bacon.

Cooking is a skill he needs to learn. Eventually, he'll be out of the house. Living on his own, he'll need to find his way around the kitchen. Otherwise, it could mean take-out meals every night.

Cooking is very easy, provided you can follow a cookbook. In fact, measuring out ingredients should be much easier than his high school calculus course. So I know he can do it.

Having him know how to cook also eases my workload. Occasionally, he'll make dinner for the family. This frees me up to do other things. His high-calorie selections would not be my first choice, but I try not to complain. I'm also holding out hope that someday he won't rebel against my desire for organic food, which doesn't contain genetically modified ingredients. At least he agrees to using bacon not cured with potentially cancer-causing nitrates.

Morguefile photo top by SDRandCo

Teenagers can learn to cook.
Teenagers can learn to cook.

Anything Goes Well With Bacon

My son's interest in cooking was sparked when he borrowed his friend's cookbook, mentioned above. This spurred him to become adventurous. He even made his first family dinner, pasta carbonara, which features bacon. He's on the skinny side, and he wants to gain weight, so I think this is why he likes to eat calorie-rich dishes.

My son, along with all of his friends, are crazy about bacon. When they descend upon our house, they head for the kitchen. Teenage boys are always looking for something to eat. Since I don't tend to keep chips and soda around, grabbing a snack invariably means cooking. They like to use bacon with nearly everything they consume.

One time, while they were at someone else's house, they made huge hamburger sandwiches, with bacon on top. Other times, they'll cook a frozen pizza, and then top it with precooked bacon. They did the same with a dozen maple-glazed donuts that they ordered out. Although this doesn't sound very appetizing, they claimed it was a delicious combination.

Doughnuts, however, are not health food, especially if they also contain genetically modified ingredients. Most of the processed food we eat in American is loaded with GMOs. I'm hoping that as my son matures, he'll realize he needs to avoid genetically modified foods. I wish organic maple-glazed doughnuts were available.

In case you haven't noticed, teenage boys like bacon a lot. Some young men are even wearing bacon-scented cologne.

Morguefile photo above by ronnieb

Teenage boys love bacon.
Teenage boys love bacon.

Compromising on Food Choices

Because I'm an advocate of healthy eating, I try to put organic meals on the table. Most of the time I'm successful. But I also need to be realistic. It took me until I was middle aged to recognize the value of organic foods, as well as snacks made without genetically modified ingredients. My son is still young, and, at his age, considers himself and his friends invincible. He also wants to eat what everyone else is eating, including fast food, chips and ice cream.

Eventually, I think he and I will see eye to eye on food. But, until then, I know I need to compromise and allow him to experiment in the kitchen. In my heart, I believe he knows I'm right. But, at this age, he desperately wants to assert his independence.

My son also likes to do his own food shopping. But we have a deal. If he buys junk food, or an item with genetically modified ingredients, I don't reimburse him. If he makes a healthier choice, then I will. Fortunately, he likes naturally cured bacon, from pigs which aren't given hormones or antibiotics (Our grocery store doesn't sell organic bacon) because he realizes it tastes better than bacon with added sodium nitrate.

Morguefile photo above by earl53

A Recipe for "The Bacon Bomb"

Cleaning Up Afterwards

I haven't stressed cleaning up the kitchen perhaps as much as I should have. That's because I want him to have fun in the kitchen. Your children are usually only under your roof for a few short years. Then they leave. I want his teenage years to be filled with happy memories of cooking in my kitchen, with his friends, without me hovering over him with a sponge, ready to mop up his mistakes. Nor do I want to create tension in our house, because he hasn't put the kitchen back in working order, according to my specifications.

When my children were little, a much older mother shared some advice. She told me they'll always remember the times you yell, and this will stand out in their minds. I've tried to take that to heart. Although I don't have a perfect track record of keeping my composure, but at least I've tried.

Does Your Teenage Son Cook for Himself?

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I like your approach! Both of my boys cooked for themselves to some extent, but especially #2 son who was (still is) very healthful-food conscious. Try buying your son a George Foreman grill and keeping boneless chicken breasts (or even thighs) on hand (you should be able to find organic). Even topped with bacon, grilled chicken makes a wonderful meal.