Keeping the Kitchen Safe for Kids, Five Quick Tips

By: magwmr
Cooking with your child can be a fun learning experience. Children that help their parents in the kitchen are often more inclined to try new foods, and an interest in cooking is very beneficial in the teen years. Teaching the basics to your child at a young age will help instill a life long enjoyment of cooking, as well as the ability to cook for themselves and others in the future. Before you begin cooking with your child, it is important to set some rules in place to make sure that your child remains safe, and the atmosphere stays fun.
Supervise Your Child Carefully. Most young children love to help in the kitchen. Sharing meal preparation duties can be a fun way to spend quality time with your child. While cooking with you child can and should be fun, it is important to remember that cooking is not a game. While you should allow your child to help, it is important to supervise them carefully. It only takes a moment for you child to pull a hot pot over or fall off a chair she has decided to use as a stool. In addition to supervising your child carefully, you should also supervise the food. When a child is helping it is easy to get distracted. Do not leave the room with your child leaving the food unattended. Cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires in the United States.

Maintain Order in the Kitchen.

When there is a child in the kitchen, it easy for things to get chaotic. It is important to maintain order. If your child is upset, stop cooking, turn the fires off and leave the room to deal with the situation. Do not hold your child while you cook. Make sure that there is a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Do not talk on the phone or answer the door when you and your child are cooking. When you finish using a knife, wipe it off and put it away, do not leave it in the sink or on the counter.

Keep Hot Items Out of Reach. The kitchen is full of hot items, whether they are on the stove, in the microwave or sitting on the counter. Because children are smaller than we are, a splash from a hot pan that would barely register with us, getting our shirt damp, could seriously burn a child's face or arms. When you are cooking, use the back burners if at all possible. Turn the pan handles toward the back of the stove. Do not let your child remove dishes from the microwave by himself, or remove the covering from a pot or bowl which is likely to release steam. As the meal is prepared do not leave the hot pans on the counter or sitting on a towel or tablecloth that could inadvertently cause your child to pull the food over on himself.

Keep Loose Items Contained. Loose items are a hazard, no matter what they are. If your child has long hair, contain it in an elastic band before you begin the meal preparation. If you are using small appliances, only bring out the ones that you plan to use for the meal. After you are finished, unplug them, wrap the cord around the base and put them away.

Choose Age Appropriate Tasks. It is important to choose age appropriate tasks for your child. While each child is different, and you know your child best, there are some things that an older child can do safely that a younger child should not attempt. While some chores are better suited for older children for safety sake, others are to prevent unnecessary mess.

Even very young children can bring items from the refrigerator, wash fruits and vegetables and mix dry ingredients. As a child gets older, around the time they start kindergarten, they can learn to crack eggs, help frost cupcakes and brownies and begin to learn how to measure ingredients. Once a child reaches middle school, they are ready to chop vegetables and use blenders and other small appliances.

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