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A Recipe for Learning: Family Safety, Nutrition & Cooking

The kitchen, with all of its hot surfaces and pleasing aromas, can be both a highly fascinating as well as a highly dangerous place to be, particularly for small children. This certainly does not mean the kitchen should be off limits. Preschool children have growing minds making it easy for them to learn new concepts. Time spent in the kitchen as a family is a great bonding activity that can be appreciated by both adults and children alike. Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Schools, says kitchen time can be a great way for families to regain some lost, but valuable, family time.

There is no doubt that the kitchen is often the main gathering place of the home. Along with being a great place for learning, families are able to come together and spend some essential quality time. “Children can also develop a sense of responsibility by sharing in daily tasks,” said Dr. Zurn.Take advantage of this time to include your children in daily cooking tasks all the while ensuring a safe environment for them to learn and grow. 

Engaging children, even preschool aged children, can be beneficial in many ways. Simple tasks like mixing batter, or rolling dough will help a child’s hand eye coordination develop. However, skills such as following directions, taking responsibility and learning time management can also be taught to children. Other than basic and complex skills, children can also be taught nutritional concepts. Cooking or baking is an easy way for youngsters to learn the importance of eating healthy.

Parents can make the kitchen both a fun and safe environment by keeping the using the following tips shared by Primrose Schools in mind:

Establish Safety Rules

Children of all ages should always be supervised when working in the kitchen and giving them a set of rules to follow should never be overlooked. Make sure that they are washing their hands thoroughly both before as well as after handling food so that no germs are spread. Ensure that they know what they are allowed to touch and what they are not. This will depend both upon their age and skill-set in the kitchen. When working with your children, always make sure that all pans and pots have their handles facing inward while on the stove as you don't want to run the risk of them being bumped and spilling hot contents. 


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