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As you become older and start to do more things on your own, cooking may be something that interests you. If this is the case, you'll find that cooking can be fun, relaxing, and rewarding. Once you get the hang of some kitchen basics and learn what kinds of recipes are best, you'll have no problem at all. Let's get cooking!1

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Members of the program are eligible to receive:

  • Free Vitamins & Supplements
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  • Loyalty Rewards

Cooking 101: kitchen basics1

Keep it simple: Pick easy recipes. If you're just starting out, stay away from recipes that have unfamiliar ingredients, hard steps, or take too much time.
Read: Make sure you read the whole recipe and its steps before you start to cook. Do you have all the ingredients? Tools? Appliances? Understand all the directions? There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and realizing you were supposed to marinate or chill something an hour before cooking it.
Time: If you have to get the meal finished by a certain time, figure out when you'll need to start. It's a good idea to allow a little extra time (10 to 15 minutes) when first starting out in the kitchen. Most recipes include the amount of time it takes to prepare a dish and its cook time, so be sure to factor in both when preparing a meal.
Gather: Get all your ingredients out before you start cooking. Some people even like to measure out all their ingredients first. Pull out the tools, measuring cups, spoons, and anything else you'll need while cooking. Everything will be handy and you won't have to run all over the kitchen.
Protection: If you want to keep your clothes clean, wearing an apron while cooking is a great idea. If you have long hair, be sure to put it up in a ponytail, bun, or hairnet. In addition, keep latex gloves handy.
Wash: Before you start to handle food, always wash your hands with warm water and soap. You may need to wash your hands many times while cooking, especially after handling raw meat, chicken, turkey, fish, and egg products.
Help prevent illness: Use different plates, cutting boards, and tools for raw and cooked foods. Never use the same plate for raw chicken or eggs and cooked food. This can lead to food poisoning and that is never fun for anyone.
Allergies: If you're cooking for family and/or friends, ask if anyone has food allergies before you pick a recipe to make. If you're cooking for kids, always ask their parents if they have any allergies or if there is anything they can't eat.

Once you learn the kitchen basics and perfect a few recipes, get creative. The best meals come from the imagination and lots of trial and error! Here are some ideas to get the juices flowing:

  • Try new or different ingredients than what you're used to
  • Learn to jazz up a dish with herbs and spices
  • Test out different colors and textures
  • Focus on one type of food, such as chicken, and learn how to prepare it many ways
  • Try recipes from cultures or ethnicities other than your own
  • Invent your own recipes and try them out with your friends and family

Where can I find recipes?

With the Internet these days, finding just about any recipe you can think of is a piece of cake. Here are some places to look:
  • LIVE2THRIVE®: check out our recipe section for high-calorie, CF-friendly recipes ideas tailored for a CF diet
  • Your family: does someone in your family have a world-famous recipe? Does your grandma make your favorite mashed potatoes just the way you like? Ask for the recipe—she'll probably be flattered you want it!
  • Cookbooks: try libraries, bookstores, or even old family cookbooks (maybe you'll even find some secrets!)
  • TV cooking channels: cooking channels have all sorts of shows you can learn from. In most cases, you can also find these recipes on the Internet
  • Cooking class at school or your friends: talk to your peers in home economics, they may have some great recipes or ideas to share
  • Magazines: there are plenty of magazines that cater to all different kinds of cooking
  • Grocery stores: check out the meat, produce, and fish sections
  • Food packages: many boxes or bags have recipes on or inside them

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Reference: 1. Cooking tips and resources. Kidshealth website. http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/nutrition/whats_cooking.html. Accessed May 1, 2016.
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