Trying to teach our kids how to fry an egg may already have our eyes rolling with all the mess and instructions we probably have to repeat a few times. Nonetheless, we all know the importance of learning how to cook. Even if it is somehow dangerous, they will need this for the rest of their lives. Having said that, it is only crucial to teach them this skill while they’re still young (but not too young). The thing is we don’t need to wait until they learn how to drive a car before we introduce them to the kitchen. Young kids love the idea of helping us with the kitchen so it isn’t that difficult to get them involved with cooking.
However, the truth is our kids can’t be too safe when in the kitchen. Stanford Children’s Health exposed that “home cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and related injuries.” They also revealed that “scald burns suffered by children, especially those aging between 6 months and 2 years, are mostly caused by hot liquids or foods being cooked in a kitchen, or other areas where food is being prepared.”
All those being said, it’s really significant to teach our children about running a safe kitchen when learning how to prepare food and cook dishes. May it for cooking simple scrambled eggs or learning a little complex recipe of a favorite Italian food in Singapore, the following are some top tips for children’s safety in the kitchen:
You have to teach your kids to always wash their hands before and after handling food, particularly for raw meat and eggs. Warn them about the germ contamination that can make them sick if they happen to touch their mouth while preparing raw food.
Be sure to always remind your children to thoroughly wash the board and the knives used to prepare the meat when done.
Fruits and Vegetables:
All sorts of fruits and vegetables should be washed before eating, even those with a rind such as oranges or melon. Tell your kids that harmful microorganisms could be lurking on the rind, which means a knife can pick them up when slicing into the fruit.
Kids generally seek a comfortable way of cutting and may end up cutting themselves instead. For their safety, teach them how to properly hold a knife and use it. Most importantly, tell them to cut away from the knife.
Lids and Covers
Teach your kids to open the lid of a pot or pan on the kitchen stove away from them, not towards them. So they would be aware of how heat travels, with your supervision, have them place a hand high on the steam to feel how hot it is. Have them imagine how much hotter the steam would be closer to their skin.
Make sure also that they won’t walk away from food being cooked on the stove top. Else, the food may boil over, create a mess, burn a younger sibling, or even start a fire.
Teach your children to never leave cooking utensils in a pot or pan while cooking. Metal utensils will become too hot to touch while the plastic ones may melt in the hot food.
When it comes to baking, teach them to ensure that the oven is empty before preheating it. Remind them, too, to use a couple of oven mitts to remove a hot baked dish from the oven.
Show your child where the fire extinguisher is kept in the kitchen and how to use it. If you don’t have one yet, then, for safety sake, get one. Tell them what Plan B is, for some reason, the extinguisher doesn’t work. This usually entails leaving the home at once and calling the fire department.
Test your kitchen smoke detector in front of your kids and let them know what the noise sounds like and means. From time to time, check if the detector is working so that all fire hazards are detected quickly enough to get an appropriate response.
These food and kitchen safety tips to teach are essential rules to implement when your children are embarking on becoming junior food chefs. As you patiently and properly teach them all these, they will get to adopt your rules as habits to keep for a lifetime.
Author’s Bio: Angelo Castelda works as a contributor to a news magazine in Singapore. He has a refined interest in food and beverages and loves to seek varieties of food experiences around the world.