Keeping the Kitchen Safe for Holiday Cooking

washing hands in kitchen sink

Quality time comes in many forms, and over the holidays, the kitchen is the perfect place for families to bond. Everyone can get together to make meals that they’re truly excited to eat and share. Whether your child is just learning to roll out dough or trying out knives for the first time, they need to know about kitchen safety. Here are tips for keeping your kitchen safe this holiday season. 

Always Wash Your Hands

Make sure everyone in the family washes their hands before going into the kitchen. Children love to touch everything, and adults bring their cell phones just about everywhere. It’s good practice to wash hands before eating, but it’s just as important to do so before cooking and preparing food. Holiday dinners tend to include several different dishes, and each one needs to be free of germs and bacteria. 

mother supervising child

Supervise Children

When your child helps out in the kitchen, show them what to do. Then, watch to make sure they’re doing it correctly — and safely. The last thing you want is to have a preventable emergency over the holidays. As your child gets older, you may start trusting them to deal with more hot appliances and knives. These can even be tricky for adults, so it’s important to make sure children form safe kitchen habits.

Clean While You Cook

When multiple people are in the kitchen, leaving spills for later is a recipe for disaster. Clean dishes, spills and utensils as you go, rather than planning to do it all at the end. The more you get in the habit of cleaning while you cook, the less work you’ll have later on. This is also a good habit to teach children, who may have an even more difficult time motivating themselves to clean after an hour or so of cooking and preparing food. 

fire in gas stove

Limit Fire and Burn Hazards 

Grease fires occur regularly in kitchens, but oil isn’t the only fire hazard. A child may have to be reminded that metal of any kind — including foil and silverware — can’t go in the microwave. If you store pots and pans in the oven, your child may not realize it and attempt to preheat it, making the oven unusable until the items cool down. Always use potholders or oven mitts when handling hot pots, pans or baking trays. Your oven may also have a pilot light that goes out. If this is the case, safely light it yourself rather than leaving it up to your child. When you’re done using gas appliances, make sure they’re fully turned off. 

Talk About Safety

Children may not see the kitchen as a dangerous place, especially if they’ve never been around when an accident happened. You need to let them know why it’s important that they wash their hands. Talk about the potential dangers of taking shortcuts with knives, touching hot pans and leaving spills on the floor. The more you talk about safety, the more prepared your child will be to help you with Thanksgiving dinner.

The holidays are a great time for children to learn about cooking and kitchen safety. Our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando is more than a place to learn; it’s a community. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.