Nothing draws families together like sharing a meal made by loving hands. So it's only natural for parents to teach their kids how to find their way around the kitchen. In this post, we're sharing some hot tips for teaching your little ones the basics of food preparation safety. We hope this information inspires your children to create culinary masterpieces for their own families someday.
Tip #1: Take Your Time
The kitchen is no place to get in a hurry. Sharp knives, wet floors, hot burners, and heavy appliances can all cause injuries when we're less than careful. So slow down. Move from one station to the next in a careful, controlled manner and teach your family to do the same. Following this tip alone can prevent countless mishaps.
Tip #2: Beware of Bacteria
Improper handling of raw food causes illness in as many as one in four Americans each year, according to an article on the CBS News website. The best way to avoid these problems is to wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling meat. Antibacterial lotions can help as well.
Tip #3: Dress Appropriately
Long sleeves, baggy fabrics, jewelry, and hair that falls in your face all pose kitchen safety risks. So pin your hair back, wear snug but comfortable clothing, and store rings and necklaces somewhere away from the kitchen.
Tip #4: Turn Handles Away From You
Burns account for a large number of kitchen injuries, according to information from Stanford Hospital. One way to avoid this hazard is to turn cookware handles towards the stove and away from where careless hands might hit them. Keep an eye on pots and pans when in use and stand back to prevent burns from grease or boiling water.
Tip #5: Stay Sharp When it Comes to Knives
Cutlery is essential for food preparation. But knives can cause serious injuries when misused. Carry them by their handles, keep them in drawers or blocks when not in use, and wash them in hot, soapy water after food prep is over. Always cut away from your body, not towards it. Keep blades sharp; a dull knife is a dangerous knife.
Tip #6: Keep a Lid on Fire Hazards
Kitchen fires caused more than 11,000 injuries in the U.S. in 2015, according to the National Fire Protection Association. So take every precaution to avoid flame-ups when preparing food. Keep appliance cords away from heat sources, plug appliances into GFCI-approved outlets only, and never place paper items or other combustibles near a hot stove. This topic is so vital to kitchen safety that we're going to look at it in greater detail below.
Take These Steps to Prevent House Fires
Fire is essential to the cooking process. But managing heat sources in your kitchen means following some common sense precautions such as these:
- Never leave food unattended while cooking.
- Turn off burners and other heat sources whenever they're not in use.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen. Make sure it has an ABC rating. This means it can extinguish a wide range of fire types. Practice using the extinguisher and teach your kids to do so as well.
- Check the batteries in your smoke detectors on a regular basis and test the detectors to ensure proper operation.
- Have a home evacuation plan and practice regular fire drills just in case.
Cooking is part of any family's daily life. So use the tips in this post to prepare delicious meals for your loved ones while staying safe in the process.
If you need some inspiration to get started cooking together as a family, join The Chopping Block's next Family Night: Pasta Party hands-on cooking class at Lincoln Square October's Family Night: A Trip to NOLA class is already sold out so grab your spots in November now!