At the very least, teach them how to cook.
My brother and I learned how to cook when we were 9-ish, as an act of self preservation (ok maybe more as an act of gustatory satisfaction) because Mom wasn’t exactly the most inspired cook in the world. She had better things to do than to be slipping lemons under a chicken skin or babying a pan of arborio rice along to make a creamy risotto. So, because Bro Scott and I were who we were, we learned.
Anyway, now I am teaching my kids. We’ve started out simple, with all of them, on canned tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs and toast, and all those good things you make in the oven like tater tots and store bought egg roll. Oh and Ramen noodles, too.
Once those are mastered, we start adding seasonings. Chopped herbs in the eggs (how much is too much?), spices in the soup, etc.
Then we move on to chili using Wick Fowler’s premeasured kits, and later, using the spices in the pantry (how much cumin is too much) and a fresh onion (keep it in the fridge and chop it when it’s cold, it won’t gas you as much).
It’s wonderful to have David and #4 to hold up next to each other, where skills are concerned. Being able to see a beginner next to a Skilled Amateur is enlightening. Eli is still on the scrambled eggs and grilled cheese level, and David is concocting soups from scratch, making biscuits and breads from scratch, and totally able to take a taste and say “reckon how rosemary would taste in this?” Will has advanced enough with his cooking that he’s considering Culinary School in the Spring. I completely take credit for this, because I don’t want to take credit for the other stuff (y’know, the “dropping out, going back, illegal yet not as bad as grand larceny stuff”) CJ has learned the fine art of frying, and makes the best fried pickles I’ve ever had (his secret? he bread them with bisquick instead of plain flour, so they puff up a bit).
They will make someone very happy, one day, or at the very least, not have to rely on a restaurant to get a good meal when they want one.