4 Oven Safety Tips for Kids – Cooking with Kids, Part 2

By Ebony Porter, February 21, 2017, Family

Welcome to Cooking with Kids from Bounce Energy! Think of the kitchen as a science lab or a living classroom. It contains so many elements that can provide hands-on learning opportunities for your kids – measuring, learning temperature, time, chemistry, fermentation, and more. Join us as we show you how to introduce your kids to the best room in the house!

In our first installment of Cooking with Kids, we covered the basic kitchen safety rules that apply across the board for most appliances and methods when it comes to preparing food.

As we continue, we will focus on one specific aspect of the kitchen that requires even more care and caution, keeping everyone safe, as they take this step into the beautiful life long journey of cooking.

4 Oven Safety Tips - Cooking with Kids, Part 2 | Bounce Energy Blog

This week we turn to the oven. If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the oven is the heart of the kitchen. Here, lumps of meat become succulent roasts, goopy batter becomes a dozen plump muffins, and a sticky ball of dough becomes an all time kid favorite, pizza. Let’s take a look at what to know when it comes to introducing your child to the oven.

Introduction to the Oven

4 Oven Safety Tips - Cooking with Kids, Part 2 | Bounce Energy Blog

Supervise your kids when using the oven

Our recommendation would be to wait until your child is at least 8 years of age to really tackle the oven as a whole. But this doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to bring them into the joy of baking, and preparing foods to cook in the oven.

Very young children, as young as 2 years of age, can stir a bowl of batter, roll out balls to make dough rolls, and help dump ingredients into the bowl prior to stirring. An introduction at this early age invites the child to embrace cooking, not to fear it.

For older children, start with a simple lesson of turning on the oven. Our gas range oven has a touch screen that I swipe to get it preheating. I loved showing my 8 year old daughter how to turn it on, where to press bake, and how to set the oven to the temperature we want. She stood there and counted the degrees as it went up and up. Having your child check the recipe before you begin preparing lets them know what temperature is needed, and this is the first thing to do.

Explain to your children that an oven is a method of cooking that includes a variety of ways to cook food. It can bake, roast, broil or dehydrate. We will cover the stove top and its uses at a later date.

Also, show your kids how to turn the oven light on! This was always exciting for me as a child. I’d sit in front of the oven window and watch my muffins puff up. It was real magic, before my eyes.

Lastly, be sure that the oven racks are on the right row for what you’re cooking. If you are broiling, you’ll want the rack up high. If you’re baking, you’ll want it in the middle. Lots of recipes say where to place the rack, so have your child get the right rack placement, before preheating the oven.

What to Bake, Roast or Broil?

4 Oven Safety Tips - Cooking with Kids, Part 2 | Bounce Energy Blog

Start with something easy like muffins or baked apples.

If you’re focusing on the oven, then sit down together and make a list of what you might cook that week!

A pasta bake is an easy option, and what kids don’t love pasta? This is a great dish that will reheat easily, and can be sent to school cold. A batch of muffins is an easy starter, or slices of apple dehydrated as a school snack. We will cover how to make pizza a little later down the article!

Oven Safety Tips

  1. The first and most important rule with ovens is to never touch the oven racks with bare hands. Have plenty of heat proof pot holders around, and show your kids how to use them.
  2. Depending on how old your oven is, it’s also important to teach them not to touch the oven door. Some of the older models transfer heat all the way through.
  3. Another safety tip, especially for very young children, is to stand very far back when mom or dad opens the oven door. For those older children, go slow, and make sure those pot holders are on their hands on before opening up the oven and pulling out the rack to check on your cooking progress.
  4. When making muffins, cakes, or bread, be sure to pull out the tins once they are cooked, and let the tins cool completely before you pull out the goods. By properly greasing the pans prior to baking, they should easily pop out of the pans once entirely cooled. Place the baked items on a cooling rack before devouring!

Let’s Make Pizza

4 Oven Safety Tips - Cooking with Kids, Part 2 | Bounce Energy Blog

We’ve shown you how to be cautious, now here is a way to put these tips into motion! This is an easy recipe, and makes two pizza crusts. If you only make one, then wrap the other half in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

1) Grab a large bowl, a package of active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons), flour, olive oil and salt.

2) Pour yeast into the bowl, and add 1 1/3 cups of warm water. Allow the yeast to fully dissolve in the water.

3) Measure 3 1/2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/2 tablespoon of salt.

4) Start by mixing ingredients with a large fork and once combined, then use your hands. Knead dough for approximately 5 minutes. Pour 1 tablespoon of oil over the dough, and then cover with two dish towels. Place in a warm location, draft free, for at least 1 hour.

5) Once doubled in size, preheat the oven to 425° F.

6) Oil a flat pan or pizza tray, and dust with corn meal. Split your dough in half and spread out. This is a great activity for the little ones!

7) Top your pizza with whatever you wish…. tomato sauce, basil, fresh mozzarella or pepperoni. Then place into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Put your timer on for 10 minutes, and check to see if the cheese is bubbling. Gently remove from the oven once cooked, and allow to cool for 5-6 minutes.

Happy baking!

Stay tuned for our next installment of Cooking with Kids!

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