By: Daniel Sherwin
Learning how to cook and bake is not only fun for kids, but it also helps teach them life lessons that will stick with them for a long time to come, including responsibility and how to follow directions. Having a good time in the kitchen necessitates safety skills, however, so it’s a good idea to think about the easiest ways to teach your child to use utensils, appliances, and other tools. Fire safety is also a major concern while cooking, and it’s never too early to talk about how to keep things safe when using the stove.
Cooking is also a great way to bond with your children or grandchildren, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to talk about making healthy choices and which foods are best for our bodies. By teaching your little ones how to properly prepare a healthy meal, you’ll set them up for a lifetime of good decisions, show them how to be independent, and boost their self-esteem.
Keep reading for the best tips on how to cook and bake with your child safely.
Go Over the Rules
Every kitchen must have rules. From the proper way to use the stove or oven to how to dress before getting started, go over these rules with your kids so they become habits that are easy to stick to. Talk about how important it is to wash our hands before and after handling food, and why we should always tie back long hair and wear aprons to prevent loose clothing from getting too close to the stove. Once everyone is ready to get started, have them sound off a checklist to make sure nothing has been overlooked.
Teach Fire Prevention
Fire prevention is imperative for every member of your family to learn about, especially when cooking. Teach them that it’s unsafe to leave towels, pot holders, and any other fabrics close to the stove, especially if you have a gas range. Go over the importance of cleaning off the top of the stove after each use to remove oil or residue that might cause a grease fire. Don’t forget about the microwave; let your kids know about the dangers of putting metal inside or grabbing a hot bowl or plate without a pot holder. For more great tips on preventing fires, read on here.
Make an Emergency Plan
Having an emergency plan is important, so create one that will be easy for your child to remember and go over it before they start with any kitchen project. Make sure everyone in the family knows where the fire extinguisher is kept and what to do if a fire breaks out. Talk about the correct way to use 911 and other emergency services.
Look for Age-Appropriate Tools and Jobs
All projects that your child does in the kitchen should be age-appropriate, and that includes any tools or utensils. Young children can contribute, but it’s important to look for simple jobs that will both keep them safe and entertained. Check out KidsHealth.org for a few age-appropriate jobs for preschoolers that they’ll love to do.
Teaching your kids about kitchen safety and how to use appliances and tools will benefit them for years to come, and it will help give you peace of mind as well. Working together to create a meal or bake treats during the holidays can provide lasting memories for your little ones and will help boost their confidence, something that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.