The NEW Playroom: The Safety-Focused Kitchen

Photo by Tim Pierce

By Dorit author of Celebrating Our Raw Nature

Children are so at home in nature.  We have more to learn from them than they can learn from us when it comes to a raw, vegan lifestyle.  This article, therefore, is more intended as guidance for supervising adults, rather than children.

Once we teach children vital safety and sanitation measures, we will find that our time in the kitchen will go by as fun play time, filled with laughter and precious moments when we invite children to join us.

We must encourage them to experiment and use their tactile sense of touch.  All knives ought to be put away when they are in the kitchen.  Instead of using knives and juicers, teach them (or better yet, let them teach you!) how to squeeze and twist produce for juicing and tear long-stemmed and leafy vegetables instead of cutting them.  Let them assist you in picking out their own apron or, preferably, design and sew it jointly with them.  Allow children to pick their kitchen workstation, designated just for them and do likewise with the clean up supplies.

Encourage them to have their own area in the kitchen.  Paint or draw their names and all sanitation and safety instructions at their eye level, in their own language, in a drawing, a painting, or a song.

You may need to set up a special stool or table for them, as well as a washing bowl and towel for them to wash their hands

regularly so as not to cross contaminate.  Teaching food safety at a young age includes teaching them how to use a vegetable brush to clean vegetables, how to use running water to wash fruits and vegetables, as well as the importance of clean hands and finger nails.

Photo by Cielo de la Paz

I am a bit concerned that the words “food safety” imply that food is inherently unsafe.  Explain to them that we need to pay close attention to hygiene, particularly in the kitchen.  We do not need to put fear into them, so they see produce as afflicted with germs and potentially harmful to them.

If children are mature and aware enough to use equipment, please make sure that you or another adult is supervising them closely at all times.

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Author: dorit

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