Especially with the holiday weekend, keeping an eye on your kids can be challenging while preparing food for guests or holiday celebrations. Let the kids join in and they’ll love spending time with you and helping you prepare.
There are some kitchen basics you’ll want to cover to keep them, and your food safe.
Wash Your Hands
Little hands mean big germs! Make sure your child washes their hands thoroughly before touching any food, or appliance. They should also be taught to wash their hands immediately after touching things like raw meat that often have bacteria present before they are cooked.
Clean Up During Prep
Teach them to clean up their prepping area after each task you assign them. This will help prevent cross-contamination when you move them onto a new task and prevent slips and falls. Not to mention, your kitchen will be in much better shape at the end of your family cooking time.
If they are old enough to carry hot items, teach them how to use a pot holder and make sure they know to never touch any of the hot dishes unless they are wearing protective hand gear. If they are not old enough, make them aware of which items are hot as you prepare them and keep them out of reach.
Sharp Kitchen Items
Kids can be a big help if you let them. It’s ok to let them handle a knife to help you chop, slice, and dice. Just ensure you teach them the proper way to use them, how to carry them, and where to put them when they have finished their task.
Start with plastic to-go knives and let them practice. You can use play-dough or soft fruits to let them get used to using them before handing them a sharp knife. Kids as young as 7 or 8 are old enough to use kitchen knives if they are taught how to use them safely.
Ask Before Licking
Aside from helping, kids LOVE to lick the spoons. Even if they are not so hot on the idea of helping in the kitchen, they’ll often do it just to squeeze in a tasty treat now and then. Be sure they know to always ask you before grabbing a spoonful of anything you are making before they lick the spoon!
This will guarantee they are not inadvertently putting raw foods in their mouth that can make them sick – and that they are not spreading germs before they are done with the task the utensil requires!