I’ve been cooking with my kids since they were barely standing. Regardless of their age and their abilities they have rules to follow if they want to help in the kitchen. We want our cooking experiences to be fun but also safe. Thankfully we’ve been spared from severed fingers from knives, burnt fingers from the oven or boiling water but it happens all too often because safety doesn’t come first. We all know accidents happen, heck I burn myself all the time but kids can be careless so it’s always best to review the safety rules every time your child starts a cooking in the kitchen. I hope these tips help your mini chef stay safe while mixing it up in the kitchen.
COOKING WITH KIDS: Keeping it Safe
CREATING SPACE: When a very young child wants to help in the kitchen it’s always best to have them sit at a table to do food prep rather than standing on a stool or chair at the counter. When a child is young they don’t have the best balance and they could fall and hurt themselves. When my boys were tots we used this great table and chair set from Ikea, perfect size for little ones.
AGE APPROPRIATE UTENSILS: Children have smaller hands than us so it makes sense that the kitchen tools they use are smaller too. Not only will they be more successful but safer too. One of the best things I’ve bought was a child safe knife that I feel comfortable allowing the children to use on their own without me standing over them the whole time because I am afraid they will cut their finger off.
DRESS SMART: Before you start cooking (this goes for parents too) roll up your sleeves, tie back your hair and remove any jewelry or clothing that might get caught on something or even worse caught on fire.
STAY ORGANIZED: Before your child even comes into the kitchen have their space ready to go with their own cutting board, appropriate utensils and whatever food they are working with within reach so they can easily get to it. It’s easy for things to get chaotic when cooking with kids, but if you stay organized and plan out the cooking activity before hand you will avoid some of those situations and your child will feel more successful afterwards.
CHOOSE AGE APPROPRIATE TASKS: For the safety of the child and to make them feel successful in the kitchen you want to make sure that they are doing age appropriate tasks that they can do on their own with your guidance. A toddler is better at washing fruits and veggies, spooning, helping bring things from the refrigerator, and mixing. As the children get older they can start cracking eggs, cutting foods, and using the oven and stove.
WASH HANDS OFTEN: When handling foods especially raw meats, teach the children to wash their hands often. Demonstrate how to properly wash hand with warm soapy water and encourage your child to scrub hands for the duration of the A-B-C song.
BE CAREFUL WITH HOT ITEMS: As your child gets older and their cooking skills increase you may feel more comfortable letting them use the stove and or oven. It’s so important to teach them how to be safe around hot appliances and food items. Make sure they have their own child size oven mitts to use when taking things out of the oven and when holding a hot pot when stirring. If you have a younger child helping make sure you do not leave hot pans on the counter or sitting on a towel or tablecloth that could inadvertently cause a child to pull the food over on themselves.
Remember with organization, lots of patience’s and a little guidance children can have a ton of fun, learn new skills and hopefully find a life long love for cooking in the process. To help your child remember these safety rules you can easily download Kids Kitchen Safety Printable and hang it on your fridge to remind your little one of the rules every time you cook in the kitchen.
I am hosting Mini Chef Mondays along with 11 fabulous bloggers! Read how Mini Chef Mondays started, plus how to link up!
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Be sure to check out each of their Mini Chef posts as well!
- Avocado Deviled Eggs // Courtney’s Sweets
- Easter Bunny Cake // Momma Lew
- Strawberry Pound Cake Parfaits for Easter // Baby Loving Mama
- Chocolate Covered Caramel Cheesecake Bites // We’re Parents
- White Chocolate Covered Grapes // Frugal Novice
- Easy Lamb Chops Recipe for the Oven // Eating Richly Even When You’re Broke
- Bunny Rabbit Pancake // Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps
- Mini Chicken Pot Pies // Step Stool Chef
- No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites // Vegging at the Shore
- Strawberry Pineapple Kale Smoothie // Mom’s Messy Miracles
- Cooking with Kids: Keeping it Safe // O’Boy! Organic
- Peaches and Cream Pie // Can’t Google Everything