Involving kids in cooking and preparing meals is a great way for them to have fun and to learn about healthy eating.
However, it is important to create a safe and happy environment when preparing food with kids, as well as teach them how to handle food safely and hygienically.
Some rules to consider when preparing food
- Wear a clean apron.
- Wear closed-in shoes to protect your feet, in case of hot spills or breakages.
- Wash your hands before and after handling food.
- Keep food preparation surfaces clean.
- Tie back long hair.
- Store food appropriately.
- Wash vegetables and fruit under cold water before use.
- Do not run around the room where food is being prepared.
- Wipe up food spills immediately.
- Handle knives and other sharp equipment with care.
- When using a knife, always cut away from yourself or downwards on a chopping board to avoid cutting yourself.
- Turn handles of saucepans away from the front of the stove when cooking.
- Use oven mitts when taking hot dishes from the oven or microwave.
- Wash kitchen and eating utensils after use in hot soapy water. Wash the cleanest dishes first, and then the messiest dishes last, so you don’t have to change the dishwater as often.
It’s important to make sure that an adult is supervising children at all times in the kitchen. The adult can help with the more difficult tasks, such as chopping vegetables, using the stove and taking hot food out of the oven or microwave.
Involving young children
Preparing a recipe from scratch can be too tricky for some children, especially younger children. However, they can still help with a number of simple tasks, such as:
- helping you choose what to cook.
- measuring and weighing ingredients.
- stirring food or mixing ingredients.
- washing salad vegetables.
- setting the table.