You know I love cooking and I love my family. Cooking with and for my family are the most relaxing things I do. When my sons were little, I made sure that I taught them how to cook basic, age appropriate things so they wouldn't have to rely on fast food runs to feed themselves when they were older.

During the coronavirus pandemic, we are all doing a lot of cooking at home and it's the perfect time to let your beasties help you in the kitchen and learn how to fend for themselves. Fast food is fun and all, but when you're a grown up and paying for that Whataburger run on your own salary, knowing how to cook is a life, and money saver.

You might need to help your monsters out with some of the steps, but as they get older, they can do these things on their own:

1. Toast - Seems like a little thing, but the simple things like toast can be turned into a PB&J sandwich or a baloney sandwich while you're on a Zoom call.

2. Hot dogs - Teaching your beasties to cook a hot dog in the microwave means they can feed themselves lunch and it teaches them how to figure out how long to put things into the microwave. Just remind them to be careful when handling the dish because it might be hot.

3. Spaghetti - This will need some adult supervision, but learning about waiting for the water to boil, how to put the spaghetti in safely and how to test if it's done will mean endless meals that your kids can cook for themselves.

4. Scrambled eggs - Again, teaching about stove safety is really the big lesson here. Don't spray the pan with cooking spray near the stove, how to break an egg without shells, how to control heat so the egg cooks evenly and doesn't burn. These are lessons that will be used in other cooking, as well.

5. Frozen foods - Teaching your kids how to read the box for instructions, how to preheat an oven, how to work safely around the hot oven, again, are the real lessons here. But the bonus of them learning how to throw a pizza in the oven for a quick weekday meal is helpful, too.

These are kids, not chefs. The lessons on how to safely be in the kitchen will lead to them learning how to be able to feed themselves in the future.

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