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Empowering teen girls with life skill of cooking

Today’s guest is Jill Castle, registered dietitian nutritionist, author, podcaster, speaker and mother of four teenagers. Jill works with families with babies up to young adults. She encourages parents to support and guide their teenagers in learning the life skill of cooking. Teen girls need this life skill to understand how nutrition impacts their learning, memory and moods and also gain confidence in sustaining themselves once they move out of the family home. 

In this episode you will learn:

  • A statistic states only 26% of today’s parents know how to cook
  • Let teens experiment in the kitchen
    • they will burn food
    • they will create weird combinations
    • they will learn
    • and gain confidence
  • Typically begin this skill by cooking or baking sweets
  • Natural progression in learning skill
    • Baking-is a science and you follow recipes
    • Cooking-more flexible and more room for mistakes
    • Assembly of food-create salads, make own dressings, put together sandwiches
  • Parents need to be supportive and there for their teenager daughter if they need guidance
  • Keep communication open
  • Maybe on weekends let teen be part of meal planning or preparing
  • Girls may become concerned about gaining weight during this phase of life
    • There is a healthy balance for each person and it is different for each person
    • Need five cups of fruits/vegetables daily
    • Structure eating vs skipping meals
      • When teens skip meals they get hungrier later in day and can overeat
      • Can reduce learning and retention when hungry
    • Review where alcohol and sweets fit into diet, i.e. alcohol is a calorie source and diminishes the barrier to excess eating when under the influence

What you can do

  • Simple food plans are okay
  • Brainstorm families favorite meals
  • Create meal calendar
  • Have fun with cooking


  • Meal make over mom’s- http://www.mealmakeovermoms.com/
  • Their podcast is called Cooking with the Moms
  • Watch cooking shows or look at cookbooks for inspiration and ideas

If you liked this episode I invite you to subscribe on iTunes to receive the weekly updates. This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and now iHeartRadio. You can also join the Launching Your Daughter Facebook page.

Jill’s Information:

Website: www.jillcastle.com

Podcast: The Nourished Child