Getting your kids involved in kitchen activities is a wonderful thing to do. It teaches them how to cook, lets them learn about healthy foods and above all, keeps them entertained in the school holidays!
It’s also an important time to teach them about kitchen safety. Sharp knives, hot cooking surfaces and food contamination might be nasty things to encounter, but with a few simple safety procedures you can avoid major incidents and have a lot of fun.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re cooking with your kids these holidays.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water before you start cooking, and make sure your kids do too
- Use clean chopping boards, and have a different board for meat and vegetables
- Read the whole recipe before you start cooking, and show your kids how to read a recipe
- Get all your ingredients out first and prepare everything you need
- Use a timer so you don’t forget things when you have multiple cooking items on the go at once
- Clean up as you go to maintain hygienic cooking surfaces
- Give everything a good clean with disinfectant spray when you’ve finished
- Kids under the age of 10 generally don’t have the fine motor skills to use a sharp kitchen knife safely
- Keep kids under 5 away from knives completely
- Kids over 5 can use a plastic knife or butter knife for chopping soft things like bananas or sandwiches
- Show your kids how to use the oven and cooktop, as long as they are at an age where they can use it sensibly
- When you have hot pots and pans on the stove, point all the handles to the back, out of the reach of toddlers
- Let your kids help at the stove by sniffing, stirring gently and tasting if it’s not too hot
- Use a dry potholder or oven-mitt to pick up hot pans off the stove and out of the oven
- Switch everything off when you’ve finished and show your kids how to turn appliances off
- Watch your kids all the time when they use appliances. It’s all too tempting to touch the moving blades of a beater!
Never let your children carry a pot of boiling water. They are often heavy, and the steam can suddenly float in their face.
No matter the age of your children or how sensible you think they are, accidents can easily happen. It’s important to always supervise your kids in the kitchen. Teach them the risks and how to avoid disaster, and you’ll be able to have lots of fun in the kitchen these holidays.