Keeping children safe is one of the most important tasks for any parent – therefore, it’s vital that they practice safety and caution in every situation. This is especially true for the kitchen, where be preparing food for your kids to consume. With the dangers of poor food preparation, cleaning and risk of toxins, it can be easy to add danger to the meal. What steps do you need to take in order to build a healthier, safer environment in your kitchen? The following tips are great ways to prepare you and your kitchen for the daunting task of creating meals for your children:
- Clean Thoroughly
Before you start handling food, it’s vital that your kitchen is as clean as possible. When keeping children in mind, it’s best if you avoid commercial cleaners that contain a great deal of chemical-based solutions. Even the smallest lapse can create an environment in which food can be easily contaminated with harmful toxins. In general, you’ll want to use cleaning products that are labeled as eco-friendly, or even everyday soap and water.
- Choosing the Right Foods
Do you know exactly where your food is coming from, and whether they’re grown organically? Unfortunately, many produce in the supermarket are grown with pesticides and other chemicals or are even genetically modified. In order to make safer food choices for your children, consider buying your food from local farmers markets or from certified organic sources. While buying organic may be more expensive than the alternative, the long-term benefits for your children are priceless.
- Proper Preparation
Young children are prone to choking hazards and other dangers while consumption; therefore, you’ll want to make sure that you cut and prepare food that children can easily eat. One major tip is to avoid foods that can get caught in a child’s windpipe, such as fish with bones, grapes, hard candy or nuts. However, you can avoid this problem by offering soft or finely chopped alternatives. Another tip is to avoid scalding hot or cold foods, as this can harm the child or upset their stomach.
- Store Properly
Storing food properly is another critical aspect of food safety, one that is often neglected. When placing food in the refrigerator, make sure they are firmly covered with plastic in order to avoid contamination. In addition, make sure that you store each food item in the proper temperature and environment, to prevent spoiling and rot. Another safety tip to keep in mind is the containers in which you store foods. Instead of plastics, which can be prone to toxins, opt for safer materials such as stainless steel, glass or bamboo.
- Wash Frequently
One of the quickest ways to spread germs from kitchen to dinner table is to fail to wash your hands. Practice washing your hands with warm soap and water for at least a minute, as this will build habits as well as set an example for your children. In addition, make sure to wash your hands and utensils while preparing different types of foods, such as meat and vegetables. A knife or cutting board that has been used to prepare meat should be washed before reuse, lest you wish to risk the chances of cross-contamination and potential food poisoning.