Our mission goes beyond delicious cupcakes. At Flavor, we also value the input of parents and patrons in our community. One particularly important idea is that of getting your kids in the kitchen – and keeping them safe in the process. We’re happy to share this wonderful article from a valued supporter of our business about those very ideals, and we hope it helps other parents get involved. Thank you, Daniel!
by guest writer Daniel Sherwin
This is Why You Need to Teach Kitchen Safety to Your Kids
When parents tell their children to stay away from something, they either go near the object secretly, or they begin to fear the object and avoid it completely. It is far better for parents to teach their children to respect potentially dangerous items and to explain how to use them safely. In the case of a kitchen, parents need to confront the dangers head-on with their kids and teach them basic cooking skills and kitchen safety rules so they can learn to use utensils, small appliances, and other tools safely rather than view the kitchen as a dangerous room to avoid.
- Cooking is a Lifelong Skill Kids Can Learn Early
Kids who learn to cook safely gain a lifelong skill that carries them through adulthood. When a kid can bake or operate a toaster, microwave, toaster oven, or range, he has a much better chance of opting for healthier food items than a kid who has not been taught to safely use them and so chooses to eat a bag of cookies instead.
Kids who cook safely gain more independence and pride because they know how to satisfy a basic need. They also will be more self-sufficient when they become teenagers and go on to college if you start teaching them basic cooking skills and kitchen safety rules early.
Cooking is not the only skill you can teach kids early. When you involve younger kids in cooking, they develop more open minds to different types of foods. You won’t be left with a kid who eats only peanut butter and jelly or macaroni and cheese with fluorescent orange powder mix. Rather, your child will learn how to pick out foods, throw together a dish, and eat the food that they’ve worked to create with you. You’ll be helping your child develop a palate that will help him enjoy more exotic foods and cultures as he grows older.
- Kitchen Safety Skills Protect People and Houses
It’s easy to say that you don’t want to involve your kid in cooking and baking because of the sharp knives and tools and hot oven and stove. But, teaching your children kitchen safety is a better way of protecting your loved ones and your home because your child will know and practice the safety rules every day. The more you involved your child in the kitchen, the better safety habits he will develop. (For more information on basic kitchen safety rules for kids, check out this top 10 list from Snackworks.)
For example, he will know not to leave the stove unattended while in use. He will know to check the oven before turning it on and to set a timer when cooking to avoid a house fire. He will know to keep oven mitts and kitchen towels at least three feet from any heat source. He’ll also know not to put water on a kitchen grease fire and not to pour water into hot oil. And, he will know where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it, because you will teach him all of these kitchen safety rules to protect him, your house, and the rest of your family.
Avoiding the kitchen and neglecting to teach your kids about basic kitchen safety is far more dangerous because your kids won’t have the experience or practice to know how to stay safe should they venture into the kitchen on their own.
- Kids May Not Be Aware of the Dangers the Kitchen Poses
As kids get older, they grow bolder and take more risks. Parents who present the risks of the kitchen to kids in a way that helps them recognize and respect appliances and tools help them remain aware of the potential dangers of the kitchen. For example, knives are a very real threat to kids, and especially to older kids who think they know how to use them and don’t take the necessary precautions with them.
Beginning with toddlers and preschoolers, parents should ease kids into using knives safely. Start with kid-friendly knives made of plastic and then move onto kitchen knives made of nylon. You then can move onto stainless steel knives with blunt tips or safe cutting knives like those for carving pumpkins. Eventually, you can graduate your kids to junior chef knives and teach them to care for them properly.
There are plenty of reasons to hesitate in teaching your kids about cooking, but there are far more reasons to teach them kitchen safety and get them comfortable with appliances and tools. Keep in mind that cooking is a lifelong skill they can learn early, kitchen safety skills protect people and houses, and kids may not be aware of the dangers kitchens pose.