S&N Tips and Safety Guidelines for the Family Kitchen

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Kitchen Safety first!

Kitchen safety is our top priority at S&N, and we want it to be yours too. Please review these tips before you begin cooking each recipe, and discuss them carefully with your Future Foodie.

Preparation

  • Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm soapy water at the start of each kitchen session, and after touching raw meat or eggs. Sing “happy birthday” to pass the time.
  • Wear close-toed shoes at all times – knives, pans, or cans hurt when they fall on little toes.
  • Always wash produce prior to using – even organic ingredients.
  • Avoid cross contamination – it’s important to use separate cutting boards and utensils when preparing raw meats and veggies. For example, be sure to use a different spoon to mix eggs and toss the salad. Rule of thumb: “new food, new spoon.”
  • Taste as you go, letting your Future foodie develop his/her palate.

Knife & Utensil Safety

  • With so many sharp gadgets in the kitchen, supervise your Future foodie especially close when he’s chopping, peeling, grating, etc.
  • Make sure to use the proper utensil: plastic picnic knives, butter knives, and serrated dinner knives work well for young Future foodie. Kids’ craft scissors are also a good tool to cut ingredients like herbs, deli meats, cheeses, and veggies.
  • It’s extremely important to teach your Future foodie proper knife techniques from the beginning. We like to use a technique called “spider fingers.” For right-handed chefs, have them hold the knife softly in their right hand. To make “spider fingers,” have them tuck the fingertips of their left hand around the food they’re holding. This protects their fingertips and allows the knuckles to be the guide. Don’t let their fingers become a “squid” (flat fingers and palm) as they could accidentally cut themselves.
  • Have your Future foodie move the knife gently back and forth in a rocking motion as s/he chops the ingredient. Don’t try to chop fast or hard. The knife should do the work!
  • Keep fingers and teeth away from knife blades, zesters, graters and peelers: they are sharp! Never allow your Future foodie to wash a knife or sharp utensil.
  • Tips: When peeling, be sure to watch the placement of the hand holding the food. Especially your thumb! Always have your Future foodie peel away from his/her body, too. Finally, don’t grate the whole ingredient (block of cheese, carrot) – have your Future foodie leave the end for you.
  • Tips: to reduce the mess, whisk and stir carefully with your wrist, not your whole arm.

Heat Safety

  • Always assume the oven and hob are hot, and make that very clear to your young Future foodie with frequent reminders.
  • When opening the oven, say “hot oven opening” so everyone around you knows to be careful.
  • Keep your “elbows up” when stirring at the hob to prevent ”lazy wrist” burns.
  • Turn pot and pan handles to the back of the hob so you don’t bump into them when walking by.
  • Be careful of hot oil that could splatter and burn you.

A few words on patience and flexibility:

Cooking can be a creative and scientific project, but it’s about the process just as much as the delicious product. Use our recipes as a road map — a suggested route to follow — but always be willing to take a detour and substitute ingredients or modify steps. When starting a cooking project with your Future foodie, please approach it with flexibility, care, and patience. While these recipes are intended to be served at mealtime, don’t hurry into cooking together on a chaotic night. When possible, plan your cooking projects in your weekly calendar. And try to ease frustration: use a stool so your Future foodie can see and cook at eye level.

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Just for Laughs

  • Q: When does bread rise?
  • A: When you yeast expect it to!

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