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Top 7 Kitchen Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids


Hi Friends!  It’s Toria with the Step Stool Chef!  The Step Stool Chef focuses on building kid leadership & confidence through cooking.  My job is to make cooking with your kids… easy for you and empowering for them.

I have been cooking with my little chef since he was a toddler and I have learned that starting with clear safety guardrails makes the experience more enjoyable for us both.  While I often have to remind him of some of the rules we set, he loves the moments when the tables are turned and he has to remind me!  Setting clear safety guardrails is actually very empowering for kids because it gives them clear direction and builds self-discipline. In fact, it’s a great idea to establish the rules together.  If kids are involved in helping to establish kitchen rules, they are more likely to remember and comply to the rules.

While cooking is fun, being safe is the most important ingredient to any successful dish.  Here are a few Kitchen Safety Rules for Kids to get you started:

Top 7 Kitchen Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids. www.superhealthykids.com

 1. Always ask an adult’s permission before cooking in the kitchen

This may seem obvious at first, but as your kids get more comfortable and independent in the kitchen they will may forget to ask at times.  I often hear my little chef rummaging around in the kitchen because he wants to surprise the family with one of his dishes.  But as sweet as that sounds, I have to remind him that an adult has to be present to make sure that he stays safe even if he is doing all the work.

2.  Wash Your Hands

Little hands often carry big germs.  Clean hands are so important to food safety and should be the first step before touching any food or appliance. Just remind your little one what they have been touching and ask them if they want it in their food.  This always gets an “eeewwww” in my home.

Top 7 Kitchen Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids. www.superhealthykids.com

3.  Clean As You Go

Cleaning spills and messes as you go will prevent slips and falls.  Plus it makes it easier to have a clean kitchen at the end. Like we always say at the The Step Stool Chef “Remember Your ABCs: Always Be Cleaning”

4.  Use a Potholder or Towel to Carry and Hold Hot Items

Trying to handle hot plates, pots or appliances can cause burns or you to drop food on the floor.  Try getting a colorful towel or potholder that is just for them so they will be excited to use it.

5. Practice Good Knife Safety Tips 

I taught my kids how to use a knife at a pretty early age.  First, we started with plastic to-go knives at the toddler age then at the preschool and kindergarten years we upgraded to more kid friendly plastic knives.  Now my 8 year old has graduated to kitchen and chef knives.  I believe that teaching your kids the proper way to use a knife is more safe than teaching them to avoid it all together.

Top 7 Kitchen Safety Tips to Teach Your Kids. www.superhealthykids.com

6. Ask Before You Lick

My kids like to lick EVERYTHING… plates, spoons, their fingers (even the countertops… don’t judge me). To make sure they don’t consume raw ingredients that can make them sick, let your kids know that they have to ask before they can lick.

7. Listen, Listen, Listen

This really should be rules number 1, 2 AND 3.  Cooking with your kids is a great way to build listening skills and practice following directions.  My kids get so excited to get started that that we often talk about “Listening Before You Act”.   This is a great way to make sure they don’t harm themselves in moments of excitement because they touched something that may be hot, sharp or slippery .

Toria and her 8-year-old son are co-founders of The Step Stool Chef, dedicated to celebrating and inspiring kid independence in the kitchen.  Love the idea of cooking with your kids? Click here to download their FREE e-book, “Top 10 Tips to Make Cooking with Kids Easier”.

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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I’m a big believer in kids in the kitchen. If you give kids the responsibility they will (more often than not) rise to the challenge. My five year old uses a medium size sharp knife very successfully and loves helping prepare pr even creating his own dinners for the family (I still put things in and out of the hot oven or stove top for him). We love cooking together!

I think Kitchen rules for children lay the groundwork for safe practices & when your children helping with mealtime, be sure they are familiar with these basic kitchen rules.Thanks for sharing helping post.

Kitchen safety is very important especially when you’re teaching a young child to cook or participate in food preparation. I seriously laughed when you said your kids licked the counter. I think a big issue a lot of parents have is when they’re baking 9 out of 10 times they’ll let the child like the cake batter of the spoon or spatula. As delicious as it is, its loaded with raw egg.

This was extremely helpful- as a preschool chef- I’m working from home and doing some lesson planning for the kiddos when I get back. This was great! Thank you for sharing!

These tips for safety in the kitchen are great and very practical. Cooking can be so much fun! Appreciate the list.

Safety is key, especially when cooking with kids. Teaching kids the skills they need to stay safe and have fun in the kitchen is something that will reward them (and their parents) for years to come!

If you go to the bottom of that article, you will see that they actually got their information from our post and credited Super Healthy Kids.