Teaching Your Transfer to Cook

A leafy green salad is on a plate. It is topped with cranberries, grilled chicken, carrots, cheese and a light dressing.

An admissions ambassador within the Office of Admissions, sophomore Grace Coulthurst – a dual major in public relations and advertising – serves as a campus tour guide for incoming freshmen and transfers, as well as their parents. Today she shares insight and advice for parents on teaching your incoming transfer student to cook, before they go off to school. 

For many transfer students, the thought of finally leaving home and moving into their own apartment is so exciting. They picture all the independence they never had and no parents to interfere on their daily lives. But what happens to the students who don’t know how to cook? They probably really miss living at home. Fortunately, there are some preventative steps you as a parent can take in order to avoid this problem.

Simplicity is Key

If your student is anything like other students then a few things apply; they don’t have time to waste and they definitely don’t have money to waste. Because of this, it is important to teach easy, budget-friendly meals to your student. Eggs, pasta, and tacos are go-to favorites among college students. They’re quick, low-cost, and require minimal skill to achieve great taste.

On a plate are two soft shell tacos. They are topped with cheese and diced tomatoes. There is guacamole and sour cream on the side.

Slow Cookers Are Your Friend

Sometimes, slow cookers seem intimidating. For someone who has never really cooked before they are even scarier. However, slow cookers are one of the most useful and versatile pieces of equipment in a kitchen. They are perfect for college students. Your student is able to dump a bunch of ingredients into the pot, put it on low, go to class, and come back to a home cooked meal. Try sitting down with your student and searching for a few slow cooker recipes they would like.

Brand Names Aren’t Everything

Most students are on a budget in college. Because of that, it is important to remind your student that buying store-brand products is often the best option. Store brands have a negative connotation that go with them, but most of the time, store brands are just as good as brand names. The best generic products to buy are usually rice, pasta, and spices and seasonings.

Include Their Favorites

Homesickness effects so many college students. When students do go home, they look forward to their favorite meals being on the table. In order to help with the possibility of being homesick, teach your student how to make one or two favorite recipes you make. This will allow them to adjust better to their new environment while still having that piece of home with them.

On a plate are small cheese raviolis. They are topped with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese.

Going to college is a huge step for any student. So many uncertainties lie ahead. Help your student eliminate one of these uncertainties by getting them ready to cook their own food!

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Story and photography by:
Grace Coulthurst, sophomore dual-major in public relations and advertising; Admissions Ambassador tour guide