Cooking or baking with children can be a lot fun if done properly. At some point in life, we all need to learn how to prepare food, cook meals correctly and remain safe while doing so and the earlier we learn the better it is for everyone.
From hot elements to the risk of food contamination, there are several safety aspects to consider in the kitchen. Here are a few important safety precautions to keep in mind to avoid any unnecessary accidents.
Never leave food and children alone~ The best safety precaution to take when cooking with your child is to make sure they are never left alone. The general rule of thumb when cooking is to stay in the kitchen while preparing your meal. If you must leave the kitchen, make sure all heat is turned down and take your child with you. Residential fires in the kitchen from grease and oil are known as the most destructive and fast spreading type of fire in the home.
Stove Safety~ Many meals are prepared using either the stove top or the oven itself. Always be sure the oven is clear of any pots and pans that will not be required for your current meal before turning on any elements or burners. Have all pot handles turned away from the edge of the stove to ensure the pots do not get knocked over which can lead to unnecessary burns. Keeping your oven clean from grease and food splatter is an excellent safety precaution, many people are surprised to learn that the residue inside an oven can ignite causing serious fires.
Food Contamination~When cooking different foods, especially meat, there is always a risk of food contamination. Be sure to always thoroughly clean all surfaces, tools and packaging that came into contact with both raw and cooked meat. Always use a new knife and cutting board when preparing multiple items such as meat and vegetables. Be sure to cook your food thoroughly to the proper internal temperature. See our chart for proper food temperatures.
Wash your hands~ One of the most important things to do to remain safe while cooking is to wash your hands! Be sure to always wash hands after cooking or working with any type of meat. When washing your hands be sure to wash for a full 15 seconds. This can be particularly challenging for children as they are always in a rush to move on to the next event. A great trick for kids is to teach them to sing happy birthday in its entirety and is very easy for kids to remember on their own.