The key here is understanding why the kid needs to cook. Sure, staying alive and saving money are good, but they're not really gonna motivate most kids past beans-on-toast.
No, the real motivator to teaching kids to cook is...
"Babes absolutely dig boys who can cook". And vice versa,
"The way to a mans heart is through his stomach".
So while I absolutely agree with all the really sensible stuff already suggested, let me add a couple more. These are specifically "low effort, high return" meals. They're designed to impress (well impress potential mates anyway.)
1) Bread. It's ridiculously simple to make. And is almost impossible to do wrong once you've got the knack of it. People are easily impressed when you make the bread itself. It's the original high-return, low-skill food.
2) Pasta. No, I don't mean boil-up shop pasta. I mean mix flour and egg to make pasta. The real secret here is the little pasta-roller-machine-thingy. (A great off-to-college-gift). Fresh pasta is as different to dry pasta as mud is to chocolate. Again it takes a few practice goes, but once you've got it, it's pretty much fool proof. As a bonus pasta is the perfect "starter" to endless pasta-dish variations. And fresh pasta needs no more than salt, pepper & olive oil.
3) Dessert. Ok, a good meal is good, but a good dessert is how it's remembered. Here I recommend learning something you really like to eat. And it should be chocolate. People who don't like chocolate are, well, not important.
4) a "One Pot" stew. Something cooked long and slow. Not watery, but something deep and rich and gorgeous. It should be pretty "fail safe". Which leads to...
5) Mashed potato. Like pasta, goes with lots of things, is trivial to do, and can be used with all kinds of dishes.
6) Breakfast pancakes & French toast. Anyone can fry bacon, but pancakes & french toast are just as easy, but a little more original. And the ladies can throw fruit on it. While on the subject of breakfast, an ommlette is also easy (and impressive).
7) Cheese fondue. Ok, it's terribly 70's, but they don't know that. Again it's "one pot" - it's not expensive, it's highly social and a lot of fun. Plus it goes well with stale (home made) bread. The basic cheese sauce is a good skill. Just use reasonable cheese and some white wine.
8) Pizza. (It's just the bread with stuff thrown on top.) Did I mention people are easy to impress?
Of course the key is to make food the kid likes. Things that are hard to get wrong, after they get the hang of it. Things that are made to "impress". Of course their access to stoves and ovens will likely affect things, as will access to reasonable ingredients, so variety is good.
One last thing - don't start too late. In our house everyone is expected to cook - and teenagers (from 13) are required to make one family meal every week. My son (14) already cooks bread (almost every day by choice), pizza, curries (indian and thai), as well as burgers and so on. He's allowed to cook anything he wants, so he cooks what he likes. We moderate frequency though, and try and get a new meal in every month or so. By the time he goes to college he'll know everything he needs to know. Yesterday was "Fathers day" here, so the 8 and 10 year old made me a cheese ommlette on toast. And it was delicious.