It’s heartwarming to see kids take an interest in baking—their eyes light up and a big grin graces their face.
Spending time together in the kitchen is also a great way to bond with kids while teaching them useful skills and encouraging creativity.
But with all the excitement comes a need for a few safety rules. After all, the kitchen is home to some sharp objects and hot surfaces.
So how can you establish kitchen safety for kids?
How to Keep Your Child Safe in the Kitchen
To keep your child safe while baking or cooking together, lay out some simple rules.
Kitchen Safety Rules
- Get Permission
First and foremost, teach your child that they should always ask permission from an adult before baking. Kids often develop their own independence as they grow more confident in the kitchen. Coupled with their excitement, they may tend to start fiddling around unsupervised.
Perhaps they want to surprise you with a treat. While the sentiment is sweet, it’s safer for them to have a kitchen chaperone. Plus, you can always act surprised later!
- Always Wash Your Hands
Hand washing is an incredibly important task beyond the kitchen. Teaching kids good handwashing practices at home will help them get into a habit of taking those practices with them elsewhere. Washing our hands is one of the key ways to fight against germs and sickness.
It’s also important for food safety. If they’re resistant at first, remind them that they probably won’t want all the icky germs on their hands in their food.
- Carry Hot Items with Care
Adults make it look easy to carry around hot items in the kitchen. But children lack some of the strength and coordination to do the same without incident. When handling hot plates, pots, or appliances, have them use a towel or potholder to prevent any burns.
Bonus: Let them pick out their own fun, colorful towel to make it extra special.
- Practice Knife Safety
Many of us teach our kids to stay away from knives altogether. However, good kitchen safety for kids (ideally 6 years of age or older) involves teaching them the proper, careful way to handle knives.
Start by having them handle kid-friendly plastic picnic knives. As they learn how to use it, they can graduate to ones from the knife block. Teach them to carry knives with the point facing downward and to always pass them off to others handle-first.
Teaching kids how to handle knives safely also helps prevent any accidents should they try to handle one with no knowledge at all.
- Ask First, Lick Later
We’ve all been there—licking the spoon is hard to resist. It’s also one of the most memorable parts of the baking process. However, it’s best to teach kids to ask before licking the spoon to avoid consuming any raw ingredients that could make them sick. That’s no fun for anyone!
4 Kitchen Safety Tips
- Clean As You Go
Make everyone’s lives easier by cleaning as you go. Not only does it cut down on mess, but it helps prevent any slips or falls.
- Prevent Cutting Board Slippage
One easy way to make cutting techniques safer is to place a damp paper towel underneath the cutting board. This will help prevent it from sliding around so there are no accidental cuts.
- Wear Appropriate Attire
Encourage kids to wear short sleeves and close-toed shoes, and steer clear of long jewelry or accessories when in the kitchen. That’ll help avoid any dangerous wardrobe malfunctions. You may also want to encourage kids with long hair to tie it back before beginning a recipe.
- Know What to Do in an Emergency
Kitchen safety for kids is designed to prevent emergencies. However, it’s always good to establish a plan just in case. Go over how to put out a fire and what to do when dialing 911. It might seem scary, but it’s important to teach them how to react and how to ask for help in an emergency.
If you’ve got a chef-in-the-making at home, check out our ready-to-bake kits.
Each one includes pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions.
Or consider signing up for a subscription, and let your little one pick from our delicious globally-inspired recipes each month.