First and foremost, it’s important kids learn about being safe in the kitchen. This includes avoiding spreading germs by always washing their hands before getting started and after handling certain foods such as raw meat. Also, storing leftovers properly and how to clean up their cooking area. Other safety points to teach them include how to cook safely at the stove and how to use the microwave properly.
When designing your new kitchen, look for child-friendly materials and designs. Think about flooring that is more forgiving for falls such as cork or linoleum and surfaces that are easy to clean such as marble bench tops. A microwave installed at a lower level instead of up high is also a good idea. Your child can first learn to cook with the microwave, which is safer than the stove or oven.
Invest in some cooking ware designed for kids and small hands. Kids will love having their own utensils and it’s also safer and easier for them to use. Popular items include a kid’s apron with their favourite TV character on it, plastic utensils, fun shaped cookie cutters and moulds and colourful cupcake cups.
Letting your child have an area of the kitchen that is all theirs is another good way to help them feel involved. Building a kids’ area may be too permanent a commitment to incorporate in your kitchen renovations so a small kitchen cart makes a great alternative. They can store all their utensils here and it can easily be put away when not in use. If you don’t have room for a kitchen cart, dedicate a low shelf or drawer entirely to them.
When organising your kitchen, place items that your child will regularly use, such as their favourite ingredients, at their level so they don’t have to climb up to get anything. This could mean on a lower shelf in the fridge or a lower cupboard or drawer.
If you have a high countertop and no bench stools, a step stool designed for kids is a handy addition to the kitchen. Your child can then work alongside you rather than seated at a table.
Start their cooking experience with fun kids’ recipes and then as their skills develop, they can begin helping you make complete meals. As their kitchen experience grows, compile all the recipes you’ve prepared together so they have their very own recipe book. A good way to keep your child excited about cooking is allowing them to choose what to make every now and then. Let them feel like top chef and you can be their kitchen assistant.
For advice on creating a beautiful and child-friendly kitchen that any budding young chef will enjoy spending time in with Mum or Dad, ask the experts at House of Kitchens. Pop by the kitchen showrooms in Sydney or call (02) 9416 3365. for an obligation free quote.