Kitchen Safety (and Cookies!) with Kids
Teaching kids how to cook and bake can be a lot of fun. It’s exciting to see how much they enjoy it, and it’s rewarding for them since they get to eat what they make. Best of all, with vegan cooking and baking, you can snack on most of the ingredients because you don’t have to worry about potentially dangerous undercooked foods (so long, raw eggs).
Of course, along with the fun and tasty parts of cooking with kids come safety and responsibility. Once you learn how to cook, the safety part becomes second nature—but you need to remember that for your kids, it’s their first time. That’s why it’s important to include safety education alongside the cooking and baking lessons. Here are a few tips to keep your home safe and smelling delicious.
General kitchen safety is something we all know and do, but children don’t know the first thing about it until we teach them. From showing them how to use a knife to opening and closing the oven safely to protecting their hands, there are many things to consider. Going through the basic rules in the kitchen is a great place to begin. Here are a few to get you started:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Don’t leave the kitchen unattended while cooking.
- Don’t leave flammable objects on the stovetop—even when it’s off.
- Always use a potholder or towel to carry hot items.
- Allow kitchen appliances to cool off before storing them.
In Case of Emergency
Even after you go through all of the safety rules with your child, sometimes accidents happen. So, along with general kitchen safety, you should also explain kitchen emergencies like fire. Many kitchen fires involve oil or grease, and putting water on them can be very dangerous. In case there is a fire of any kind, kids should be prepared to use a fire extinguisher. If you don’t have one already, get one soon—you never know when you might need it! Keep it in the kitchen, easily accessible and not covered up by anything. Show your child where it is and tell them how and when to use it. In addition to the fire extinguisher, you should make sure your smoke detectors are in functioning order. Even if you don’t see a fire, the smoke detector will alert you that something is happening.
Now that we’ve gotten through all of the responsible stuff, it’s time to get cooking.
Try starting with something simple you know kids love, like cookies. Let’s face it, you probably want to eat them too! Help your kids read through the instructions and show them which measuring cups and spoons to use for each ingredient. Try demonstrating how to do it, but actually have them put the ingredients in the bowl for mixing. They’ll feel more responsible for making the cookies if they get to perform the steps. Help them mix it together if they’re not quite strong enough, or assist with showing them how to use the mixer. Once all of the ingredients are mixed and ready to be baked, go ahead and let them have a taste of the dough. It’s the best part!
Even though there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with cooking in the kitchen, there can be a lot of fun too, especially if your kid is helping you. You have a chance to teach them some lasting life skills and build happy memories together in the kitchen. With a good foundation of information about kitchen safety and how to handle emergencies, you and your kid will be cooking tasty meals together in no time at all.