If you have kids who are anxious to get into the kitchen with you and participate as you cook meals for yourself and your family, you might be nervous about having them in this potentially dangerous room of the house with you. But with the right boundaries and knowledge, even the smallest of children can safely be in the kitchen and learn to cook with their parents.
To help you see how this can be done, here are three safety tips to teach your kids about working in the kitchen.
As A Sous Chef, Always Listen To The Chef
When your children are young, they are going to be the sous chef to you being the chef. In this role, it’s vital that they learn what their responsibilities are.
One of the most important rules of a sous chef is to follow the lead of the chef. Try to teach your children that when you tell them to do or not do something while in the kitchen, it’s critical that they listen the first time and do just what you say when you say it. While asking questions can be fine, your children need to learn that if you tell them not to touch something or to move from where they are, that, for their safety, they need to do that thing as soon as it’s spoken. Otherwise, they could get hurt.
Teach Proper Food Safety
With the right rules in place for your child listening to you when in the kitchen together, you then need to teach your child about how to keep the food that you’re preparing together safe for consumption.
The first thing you should teach is about proper hand hygiene in the kitchen. You should then teach them about not licking their fingers while cooking, that anything dropped onto the vinyl flooring needs to be thrown away, and that foods like raw meats shouldn’t be touched to items that won’t be cooked. Learning all of these rules can take time, but they are vital for keeping the food and your family safe from food-related illness.
Take Care Around Things That Could Hurt Them
The kitchen contains all kinds of tools that could potentially hurt your children. But in order for them to feel like they are contributing and helping you with cooking and baking, they’ll need to learn how to stay safe around these items.
When using something that’s sharp, have your child first learn how to use this utensil with a less sharp version, like a plastic version. Additionally, when handling things that are hot, make sure your child uses hot pads that fit them well so that they can have the grip necessary to keep themselves safe.
If your child wants to be in the kitchen with you, consider using the tips mentioned above to help them learn how to do this safely.