Preparing The Kitchen For Your Children
I’m not sure if it’s the case for you, but whenever holiday season looms, I start racking my brains on how to fill in my son’s days. As a working mom, my holiday rights are numbered and I can’t always take them when I want to.
Some seasons back, I decided to introduce cooking properly to my son. I figured someday he may go off to another city for college and I wouldn’t want him to be stuck with a “happy meal” all the time, just because his money was running low.
But I had to sell off the idea to my son. It had to be “cool” so I explained to him how cooking is both rewarding and fun... and how much the girls would be VERY impressed knowing a guy who can cook well. :)
Today at 12, he can make his own pancakes, cream mushroom soup, chicken cordon bleu and chocolate mousse. Throw in the nasi goreng and sate ayam in between too. Insya Allah when the time comes for him to leave the nest, he will be food knowledgeably equipped.
If you want to take the same route that I did, the holiday season is the great time to start it. But before all the idea sell off, you will need to prepare your kitchen. The kitchen is not the place for slip-ups, as any and all slip-ups are dangerous. So here are a few things for you to remember to make the time you spend cooking even more enjoyable.
Arrange the inside of your cupboards neatly to prevent the occasional can or box falling out and landing on your child’s head or foot. The last thing you would want is for a glass bottle to fall out and shatter on the floor. Always remind your children to wear closed toe shoes in the kitchen. I can tell you more than one chef who has dropped a sharp knife – pointed end first – onto his toe.
Wear short or long tight-fitting sleeves when cooking. This will prevent your child from draping their clothes into the saucepan or catching on fire. Tight fit long sleeves protect their arms from splattering foodor hot oil and water.
Good kitchen knife is a must, which means it is a sharp nice. So you will need to teach your child to hold it with caution. First, practice with a knife that doesn’t have a pointy edge. Second, grip the knife handle close to the blade for greater control. Last, teach your child to hold the food items like a claw, with his/her fingertips rolled under, to avoid serious cuts.
When chopping or slicing, direct the knife away from your body and don’t ever leave the knife out where the younger brother or sister can reach them.
More fires start in the kitchen than any other place in the house. If you have to leave the kitchen while your child is in there, turn off any lit stove top.
Use the timer on your stove to let you know when the food has finished cooking.
Turn frying pan and saucepan handles to the side when they’re sitting on the stove top so they don’t get hot or get tipped off by an elbow accidentally knocking it down. Keep hot saucepans and dishes away from the edge of the kitchen bench or table.
Don’t use a damp cloth to lift hot casserole dishes or oven trays from the oven because the water in the cloth will turn into steam and can scald your child’s hands. Use dry oven mitts or padded pot holders to remove items from a hot oven, from under the grill or from your microwave oven.
Take care when removing the lid of a container after you take it out of the microwave oven. Always lift the cover so the steam from the heated food is released as far away from your child’s face and hands.
Teach your child never to take a bite from or handle with bare hands, food that has just come out of your microwave oven – it can be deceptively hot.
Unplug any electrical appliance – from a toaster to a blender – from the power point before trying to remove any food that may be caught in it.
All of this doesn’t make your kitchen completely fool proof, but it will decrease unwanted accidents.
The kitchen is the nucleus of many quality talks with your child during the holidays and hopefully give way for your child to see it as a warm place that will initiate good eating habits.