Baking With Kids Can Be Rewarding, But it Must Be Safe
Teaching a child to bake can be awesome for both the teacher and student. Kids love to mimic their parents, and a child who routinely sees their parent cooking and/or baking may ask to join in. If not, encourage them to. Learning their way around the kitchen will provide them the seeds for a lifelong skill, and who knows, maybe even a potential career. Helping a child get an early-start means practicing safety in the kitchen first and foremost.
What They Should, and Shouldn’t Handle
When we make food, we require the use of utensils and tools that are more or less safe. Knives, beaters, and mixers are the baking utensils that pose the greatest threat to children. If you decide that your child is capable of handling a knife, give them a fairly dull one, and instruct them to cut slowly, also informing them of the danger that knives pose. The same rules apply to beaters. Instruct them to keep their non-beating hand a good distance away from the item they are hammering in order to avoid any crushed digits.
As far as mixers, it’s probably best to let the parent handle that themselves. If a child inadvertently gets their hand caught in an active mixer, the result could be a trip to the emergency room.
Other Safety Precautions
Both adults and children should equip their clothing before heading into the kitchen. This means rolling up sleeves and putting on an apron to prevent stains and mitigate the potential danger of hot spills. And of course, having oven mitts and hot pads on-hand, literally, will prevent burns from grabbing onto a hot pot handle or touching another hand-burning surface.
Check your smoke alarms, stove-top ventilation system, and other safety devices to ensure they are functioning properly. Also, clean countertops of grease left over from previous meal prep.
Johnny’s Kitchen suggests that the handles of pots and pans on the stove top should be turned inward, so that either the adult or child who passes by does not catch them, resulting in a potentially serious burn. Stand to the side when opening the door to the oven, and never leave a child unattended for long, especially when appliances such as ovens, stoves, and toasters are being used.
Lastly, teach your child how to use a fire extinguisher. You never know when something could go wrong, and when it does, they should be aware of how to put out a fire should you be unavailable. The National Fire Protection Association adds some more helpful tips related to children and fire safety, which very-much pertains to cooking and baking safety.
We all love cupcakes, but somebody has to bake them, right? Why not train your child early, so that in your old age they can not only bake you cupcakes, but whip up other top-shelf cuisine. Involving your child in your baking routine can not only be a great bonding experience, it may open their eyes and who knows, maybe one day win them a Michelin Star.
Via~ Daniel is a single dad raising two children. At DadSolo.com, he aims to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.