Hi! I’m New...: I’m 16 but my dad does not... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating
44,544 members8,169 posts

Hi! I’m New...


I’m 16 but my dad does not allow me to cook my own meals. In other words I can’t cook for myself. My problem is that I live with four boys who absolutely love meat and fats. We rarely have salad, and I’ve grown accustomed to the meals we eat. I’m also trying to go back to being vegetarian but it’s hard when no one in the family supports it. Any suggestions?

22 Replies

I guess you have to establish why your dad won't let you cook your own meals?

My mum worked at a university, she saw far too many students arrive who couldn't boil water. You could ask your dad for a few lessons to help you avoid being one of those people, then hopefully he'll learn to trust you enough in the kitchen to let you do your own meals.

He’s just doesn’t want me working on the stove. He’s a single dad, and he’s worried about my wellbeing.

in reply to PhoenixDragon

The argument back to that, of course, is that he needs to show you how to use a hob safely.

We don't avoid cutting ourselves by avoiding knives, we avoid cutting ourselves by learning to use knives safely.

He doesn’t want me to cook because he has specific plans for the food.

in reply to PhoenixDragon

Then you need to sit down with him whilst he's planning, to have some input.


Hi and welcome to the Healthy Eating group.

Would your dad let you create your own salads/sandwiches?😀👍🌈

Yeah, he lets me make grilled cheese and chop lettuce.

in reply to PhoenixDragon

If you can do a salad with sandwich and put items you can just dump into a bowl, then you can have a few lunches/dinners that are Vegetarian/Vegan. :-)

I know exactly how that feels, I was vegetarian growing up in a family of meat eaters!

Would your Dad consider cooking one vegetarian meal a week? Maybe you can help 😉

Or can you have the same meal minus the meat element? You could have a quorn fillet or veg sausages instead.

What about soups? Make a big pot on the stove with your Dad then if he does not want you heating it on the stove use the microwave to heat when you want it?

I’ll talk to him! Thank you for your consideration

Why aren’t you allowed to cook? You’re old enough, did you in the past burn something? My girls have been cooking and doing their own laundry since the we’re 8. Go us if they want something different they make it themselves. And I thought them How to cook. Do you know how to? Ask if you can take a cooking class? Maybe he’ll trust you then? I took one of my nephews to a cooking class, he was 6. My grandson was 2 when he made pancakes, they taught him in Day Care, Really lol Ask him, maybe it’ll make him feel better that you Now have cooking knowledge. Good luck, let me know how it goes? 😊🥦

My dad is my only mother figure so he worried that if I start to cook than I’ll become independent. (I think...)

I get it, sometimes it hard to let go? But he needs too if that’s what he’s thinking 🤔. Being independent would be the Best thing fo You. So when you are out on your Own, you’ll know how to make it though Life. I’m 65, Life is full of Ups and Downs. I did whatever I could to prepare my kids, I won’t be here Forever. Be patient with him, he’ll come around. You’re Daddy’s little girl Right? I was my daddy’s too. Keep writing if you need too? We’re here for You 🙏

Try sliced beetroot, a sliced tomato, a couple of sliced spring onions, a chopped up single stalk of celery, some nuts , perhaps a couple of walnuts and a spoonful of mayonnaise . Your protein can be as simple as a sliced boiled egg or a small slice of meat or a couple of fish fingers.

If you can get a packet of mixed salad you can keep it in the fridge (watch the sell by dates). A slice of wholemeal bread and butter and an apple will finish it off nicely.

The good part from your dad's point of view is that you can prepare and clear up before you eat. One less job for him. If you shop in Tesco they do small pots of hummus or celery, fruit and nut salad (2 for a pound) which will give you a bit of variety

Do you have access to a garden? Right now is a great time to be planting all sorts of veg, especially lettuce/ string beans/ radishes. Radishes and lettuce can be grown on window cills.

Good luck with your brothers. Tell them young ladies have different nutritional requirements to them and be misleadingly vague. Should be fun .

in reply to Ianc2

Thank you so much! These are really helpful in my transition!!!

That’s a shame I love vegetarian food but my portions are too big I guess you just have to try and say can I not do my own cooking I like vegetarian food hope it goes well

in reply to Darp

Do you know any recipes for vegetarian foods that don’t require the oven or stove.

Have you told him you want to give up meat? Tell him that he's going to have to cook your veggie dishes unless he let's you use the kitchen yourself, surely he realises you need to learn to cook yourself and the sooner you start the better.

Well he knows, but I feel guilty asking for him to make me a separate meal just for me... and he gets sad when I don’t eat his meals.

I know your dad is being protective, ( a tad overprotective), but at your age you should have learned at least the basics of cooking.

How about telling him you are interested in learning to cook and could you help him in the kitchen more than you do at present?

I think it’s because my mom passed when we were young and he’s used to being the cooker of them family. I guess he worries that if I learn how to cook I’ll take over.

In some parts of the Mediterranean there is a tradition that mum has Sunday off cooking in the house and the meal is done by the family. Paella is one of these meals, 'Para Ella' - for her . A simple dish where rice is prepared in a nice big pan and every thing lying around the kitchen is thrown in - a bit like a spaghetti Bolognese. Obviously a lot of families cheat by going out for lunch.

Perhaps you could suggest to your dad that teaching his sons to look after themselves and their future families is a vital skill and perhaps he could teach them to do one meal a week for you all. Should be fun - you know your brothers will thank you for it?

In the meantime the BHF have lots of recipes available on their site and there is a 'Healthy eating' blog as part of the Health Unlimited site.

You may also like...