Cooking with care
It’s never too soon to teach safe food-handling skills.
- Washing hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds (sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice) is the first rule before touching food. Hands should also be thoroughly washed after touching any raw fish, meats, poultry, or eggs.
- Begin teaching about cross-contamination. For instance, the spoon he uses to help stir an uncooked food can’t be used to stir a prepared food.
- Avoid burns by teaching him not to touch hot pots or the food that’s in them.
Precaution pays off
Thinking ahead about storing certain items safely will help keep accidents from happening:
- Store toxic items, such as cleaning products, in a high cabinet out of reach. If they are under the sink, ensure the doors automatically lock when closed through safety locks.
- Keep sharp tools, such as knives and scissors, separate from other utensils and in a locked drawer.
- Unplug appliances when not in use and don’t let cords dangle.
- Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward, so your child cannot reach up and grab one.
- Make sure the knobs on your stove are child-resistant, or put knob covers on.
- Remove small magnets from the fridge door to avoid them going into your child’s mouth.
Kiddo in the kitchen
Here are a few ideas to get your child excited to help prepare meals and eat them.
- Kids can help pick out foods at the store for cooking.
- They can help unpack groceries into refrigerator or pantry.
- Kids can help wash or rinse foods before preparation.
- If the food is very soft they can use a butter knife to try to slice.
- They can rip lettuce/spinach leaves.