Safety in the Kitchen

What woman wouldn'’t love having a sous chef to help her in the kitchen? Well, if you have grandchildren, you may have a sous chef in the making. These tips for teaching kids to cook may help you to help yourself by allowing them to take over some of the kitchen duties.

Tips for Teaching Kids to Cook - Safety in the Kitchen

  • Before teaching your grandchildren anything about working in a kitchen, teach them about cleanliness above all else. Basic safety rules like washing your hands before you begin, not licking your fingers while preparing food, and keeping raw and cooked foods separate will go a long way toward keeping family members healthy. Teaching them to cook foods to the proper temperature is also important for the safety of the family.

  • Read the entire recipe before you start so you’ll be sure that you understand the directions and know which utensils and ingredients you’ll need. Gather everything together. If you can, measure out the ingredients ahead of time. This will make the actual preparation go smoother. Follow the directions exactly to get the best results from your efforts.

  • Explain to them what each appliance is, how it works, and what it’s used for. If you have hand appliances, explain those as well. You don’t have to give them the theories behind electricity, but you do want them to know how to handle each appliance in a safe manner.Always use hot pads to remove items from the stove, microwave, or oven. Don’t lick hot spoons or handle food while it is still hot. Doing so could result in a serious burn. Teach your grandchild the proper way to remove hot items, what to do if they do burn themselves, and where the first aid is kept in the kitchen.
  • Sharp knives work better than dull ones, so keep your kitchen knives sharp. Teach your grandchild the proper way to hold a knife, how to slice food without cutting themselves, and how to care for and store knives. Never put knives into soapy water; that way no one gets cut.

  • Don’t throw water onto a kitchen fire. It could make matters worse. Teach your grandchild to call an adult immediately to see if they can extinguish the fire. If it gets out of control, make sure everyone leaves the house, go to your nearest neighbors, and call 911.

  • As much as you’re tempted, don’t taste food that hasn’t been cooked. While your parents may have been able to eat raw cookie dough, it isn’t recommended today. If you must taste food that is cooking, use a clean spoon and allow it to cool first. Refrain from using the same spoon to taste and cook; by doing so you’ll be less likely to contaminate the food.

  • Instead of leaving dishes until you’re finished, clean while you cook. Put ingredients away when you’re done with them. Run a sink of hot, soapy water and place dishes and utensils (except sharp knives) in the sink until you can get to them to wash them. Wipe up any spills you may have made. Turn off and unplug any hand appliances.

Allow your grandchildren to watch you cook from an early age, and then begin allowing them to help. When you feel confident that they understand the safety rules for your kitchen and can handle things on their own, let them do just that. You may be surprised to find that you have a little chef in the making.

Kid-Friendly Recipes

› Safety in the Kitchen