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Cooking Safety

The teen years are the perfect time to start teaching kids how to cook. It is a skill that can last a lifetime with many benefits gained along the way. Not only do kids unknowingly get a math and science lesson, but they also learn about food, nutrition, and even following directions. Plus, it's a fun way to spend family time.

Safety Tips for Kids Cooking

Learning about kitchen skills includes cooking safety, something everyone needs to know in order to avoid disasters. Teaching kids to make safety a high priority in the kitchen should be on the top of your list as you get them cooking.

Cooking Safety Tips

  • Discuss cooking safety initially, as well as when issues arise. Be sure to cover things like proper hand washing, knife handling, turning the pot handles in, using oven mitts, safely opening cans, having a clean work surface, etc. There are many issues to cover, but most can be tackled as they arise.
  • Have a discussion about what to do if there are any problems, such as how to handle a burn, what to do if a fire starts, how to treat a cut, etc. Periodically going over this information and even role playing some of it will help your teen be prepared if something does happen.
  • Set rules and limits for your tween when it comes to cooking. Let her know what she is allowed to cook if she is home alone, and what is off limits. Some things are going to be easier for kids this age to handle than others.
  • Use positive reinforcement to encourage your child to follow cooking safety rules. If washing hands tops the list, set up a behavior chart and reward her for a job well done; try a treat like a cookbook or apron.
  • Always set a good example by following safe cooking guidelines when you are in the kitchen. Believe it or not, your child is paying attention.
  • This is a good opportunity to teach your kids about healthy eating and nutrition.

Cooking is a skill that is often learned slowly as childhood progresses. It is also one with which kids can have a lot of fun, provided they follow some basic cooking safety guidelines. Give your teen a little room for making minor errors, and let her learn from her mistakes. With a little patience and consistency, you will have a young teen that is safely helping the family prepare meals!