Holiday Kitchen Safety – Cooking with Kids

By Ebony Porter, November 30, 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!

The holidays signal to us more time in the kitchen, and more home-baked goodies to emerge from our ovens. Pies, casseroles, cookies and cakes are baked as gifts, taken to parties, or made for hosting our own seasonal celebration.

But don’t shoo your child out of the kitchen during this busy time!

This is an excellent opportunity to engage your child in all things kitchen, and bring them into the fold of a season that is as much about food as it is about celebration, glitz, and merriment.

Take these safety tips into consideration this holiday season when your children join you in the fun!

Holiday Kitchen Safety - Cooking with Kids | Bounce Energy Blog

Remember Safety Basics

Go back to the basics, and remember to ask your child to wash their hands before they start baking, prepping food, and cooking alongside you.

Also, be sure they have an apron to keep their clothes clean, and remember to roll up long sleeves to prevent catching their cuffs on fire. Kids with long hair need to pull back their hair, too.

Always remember to wash your hands after handling raw meat, and be sure not to cross-contaminate a knife used to cut up raw meat with a vegetable or other chopped item.

Oven Safety

When using the stove top, be sure and follow all the basic kitchen safety rules such as turning pot handles inward. Always use a pot holder to open the oven and pull out the rack to check on cookies.

You also want to warn them to let others around the oven know when they’re going to open up the door and let that blast of heat out.

If you have a gas stove, be sure an adult is with the child before turning any burners on. Gas leaks happen, and we want to make sure the flame is on as opposed to gas just leaking.

Basting the Birds

If your child is 10 years of age or older, then it’s time to teach them about basting the bird! Show them how to slowly pull the rack out of the oven, carefully, as not to splatter the juice everywhere.

If you use a brush baster, then show them how you absorb juices with your brush, and brush all over the turkey as though they are painting it.

If you use a bulb baster, then show them how to properly suck up the juices, and gently squeeze them back over the bird. Seems like a simple process, but unless you’ve shown them how to do it safely, it could be a dangerous situation.

Holiday Kitchen Safety - Cooking with Kids | Bounce Energy Blog

Carving the Meat

We recommend letting a grown up be the one to sharpen knives and teach this skill to your child when they are much, much older. However, you could introduce the concept of carving the meat to your child now, and watch as they gain more confidence with this important task over the years!

First things first: use a large fork or pair of tongs to secure the bird with your non-dominant hand. Then show them how to carve the meat along the grain. Always cut away from yourself.

If your family uses an electric knife, then teach them how to secure the blades, and how to carve away from the body, also.

Grab an additional platter to serve the meat on, and show them how to present it nicely. Start with one layer, and then line slices of meat up on top of that layer so as to make a stacked, layered effect.

Cutting Vegetables and Other Food Prep

As a friendly reminder harkening back to working with knives, be sure to remind your child to cut veggies, fruits and other foods on a flat, firm, clean surface, preferably a cutting board. Also be sure to hold the knife with a firm grip, and saw back and forth as opposed to just pushing into the blade. Serrated knives are best to start with if just learning.

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