The holidays are a time for traditions and for many families and friends that involves food and cooking.
It also means getting the youngest in our families involved in those traditions. Let’s face it though, little ones and the kitchen can be a recipe for disaster! Here is our holiday cooking guide with tips to make kitchen time safer while building great memories and celebrating traditions.
Top 5 Tips for Holiday Cooking:
- Make sure to wash all surfaces (that includes hands) before you start and throughout the prep and cooking process.
- Set clear boundaries about what they cannot touch. Think knives and sharp objects as well as the oven, stove top and other hot surfaces. Of course, keep in mind the child’s age and your ability to supervise when expanding these boundaries.
- Don’t assume a child knows how to use a kitchen appliance or tool. They may have seen you use a zester or the stand mixer but doing it themselves is a different story. Walk through the “how to use” with them and make sure they feel comfortable.
- Clothing matters, and not just an apron. Loose sleeves and slippery socks should be avoided.
- Keep distractions out of the kitchen. Pets and little brothers and sisters should be in a different space so that you can focus on the little chef (not only for safety but also for connecting with them).
BONUS Advice – start with something small; a make and bake pizza or cookies. You don’t want this time to be stressful with the family meal depending on a child’s first experience cooking in the kitchen. That’s pressure that no one wants to have. This time should be fun, meaningful, and one that they look forward to continuing with future generations.