Learning to cook can seem like a daunting task, but it does not have to be! 

When we watch people cook it often seems as if it comes naturally. However, the truth is that good cooks had to spend years practicing and learning recipes. Everyone has to start somewhere! 

You already know more than you think. For instance, you know to wash your hands before you eat or handle food, to prevent germs from spreading. You also probably know that to wash dishes you need warm water and some dish soap. 

Being able to cook comes down to a few basic skills:

  1. Safely handling food to prevent injury, contamination or illness
  2. Practice with basic cooking skills 
  3. Knowledge of healthy diet choices, and what types of foods you like

You will not be able to learn all the skills you need in this learning module, as a lot of skills require actual practice. To get the most out of this lesson, take what you learn and try to apply it. Even simple skills, like making microwave Mac N’ Cheese, are useful skills to have for when you are living on your own!


Basic Cooking Skills


Basic Cooking Skills

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Basic Knife Skills

Simmer vs. Boil

How to Cook Eggs Perfect Everytime

Easy Meals on a Budget

5 Meals You Can Make in the Microwave

5 Meals You Can Make in a Microwave- EDITED

Print Here! 

Five Meals for $10 or Less

5 Meals for $10 or Less EDITED

Print Here!

Make Your Own Recipe Book

Recipe Card

Print Here!


To start, take a look at your current heating habits by completing the Check Your Habits Worksheet!

Click Here to print!

Once you have completed the worksheet, read this page from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease to learn the importance of nutrition!

The Food, Exercise and Sleep Connection

Myths from Health Class

What Happens When You Exercise Regularly?

Living the Total Body Diet Lifestyle

12 Total Body Wellness Rules to Live By

Eat Right with MyPlate

Smart Snacking

Click on the pictures above to read each handout!

Learn How to Grocery Shop!

Grocery shopping and eating out can be expensive if you don’t pay attention to what you are spending. Use the following worksheet to practice buying a weeks worth of food on a tight budget.

Think about your neighborhood. 

Do you know where the nearest grocery store is? How about where your favorite restaurant is? 

Take five minutes and use a Mapps App to find: 

One grocery store 

Two of your favorite restaurants (sit-down or fast-food) 

Three new restaurants you want to try

Social Media

Social media accounts, such as the ones provided, are great ways to get inspiration for healthy lifestyle choices!

Hover Box Element

In each episode Kevin Hart takes his celebrity friends with him to try new ways of exercising. This YouTube series is as entertaining as it is motivating to find new, fun ways to stay active and healthy, from yoga to sumo wrestling!

The Tampa Metropolitan YMCA,  or a YMCA near you, offers many opportunities for teenagers, from fitness classes and sports leagues to summer camp jobs. Check out your local YMCA’s Facebook page or website to keep learn about membership deals, class schedules an other wellness opportunities!

Find social media accounts that focus on healthy eating and fitness, such as this one! With as often as we use social media these days, finding accounts to follow that inspire you is an important step to initiate and stay engaged in healthy lifestyle choices.


Budget Jenga

Practice those shopping on a budget skills through playing Jenga! Pull a piece to find what food you will be buying and at what price. Keep the pieces you need to make your meal and fit your budget, or place the pieces you don’t want back on top of the tower. First-person to buy their meal within their price range before the tower falls, wins!

Nutritional Guess Who

Play Guess Who, but instead of who you will be guessing what! Use your new nutrition-based vocabulary to question your partner on what food item they are!

Please take a moment to review the site and content materials, so that we can better tailor them to you!