When you become a mom, the kitchen will likely become your arch nemesis. In no time, you’ll spend more time here than in any other room. Worse, you rarely do so by choice. Choosing what to feed your kids, and your partner, is never easy. Not to mention that, once you’ve decided on a menu, you have to slave away getting it ready.
In truth, there’s not much you can do about these hours in the kitchen. While us women have managed to break free of being shackled to the stove, there’s no getting around the fact that we all need to eat. And, more often than not, that job will still fall to you.
But, you don’t have to go it alone. And, no; we aren’t talking about your partner joining you. We have to be realistic, after all. But, your kids are sure to jump at the chance of helping with meal prep. This is especially the case if they love baking sessions. For kids, cooking is still a privilege. It’s a unique kind of magic, and a fun activity they most often love to get behind. So, why not let your kids serve as sous chefs, and take some of the pressure off your shoulders? You never know; you may even enjoy the process when you have some little helpers to hand.
Of course, it should go without saying that the kitchen isn’t always well suited to kids. But, you can change that by considering the following.
When your kids are young, there’s no way they can reach the heights of your kitchen counter. So, think about accessibility. It may be worth installing a smaller table from which they can prepare their delicacies. That way, you won’t have to worry about them balancing on precarious stools and losing their footing. Let’s be honest; once the cooking fun begins, most kids are prone to get over-excited. So, set them up on their own. Keep the table within your view, so that you can see what’s going on there, even if you’re by the kitchen counter. Taking your eye off proceedings for even one second could be dangerous.
Safe alternatives for dangerous equipment
It should go without saying that you can’t leave your kids to mess around with dangerous equipment. Instead, stock up on some safe alternatives. The good news is, there are a multitude of kid-friendly kitchen accessories on offer. As knives are probably the most high-risk option here, it’s worth heading to sites like nourishingjoy.com, where you can find a list of safe alternatives which will still cut food. Think, too, about kid-safe whisks and such. Hand whisks are probably the best bet here. Young children could do real damage with an electric alternative, and would struggle to support the weight anyway. There are also smaller electrical options designed for youngsters.
Think, too, about the crockery you let your kids use. Breakages often happen when they’re in the kitchen. So, it’s worth stocking up on plastic plates and bowls for them to use during preparation. This way, a droppage will be nothing worse than an unpleasant clatter. You won’t have to worry about stray bits of china, or the risk your kids will cut themselves on it.
It’s also worth thinking about the cleaning process. Children can be messy cooks. Why shouldn’t they be? They’ve not yet had to clean up after themselves! But, if you spend an hour wiping everything down after they’ve helped you, there’s little point. You may as well just do it all yourself in the first place, right? Of course. This is why it’s worth thinking about easy to clean alternatives. If your kids are using a separate table to get the job done, opt for plastic instead of wood. This is more hygienic for a preparation surface anyway, as there are no grains for bacteria to take root in. But, it also ensures you can simple spray and wipe clean when the time comes. If they’re using your kitchen sides, it’s still worth thinking about easy clean options. Again, plastic kitchen counters would do the trick here. Or, you could go a little more up-market with a granite option like those found at worldstonegroup.com. Again, cleaning such surfaces means nothing more than wiping them down at the end of a cooking session.
Of course, you don’t need us to tell you that it isn’t only your sides which stand to get mucky. Food also often ends up on the floor, and can become a real pain if you stand on it. That said, no one likes getting on their hands and knees with a dustpan and brush. The good news is, there are alternative options. Irrelevant of which floor you have, you could invest in a dust buster, which will collect the worst of it. Those with wooden or laminate floors could also invest in options with cotton fibre. These are specially targeted for collecting dust and dirt. Or, you could just settle for a long-handled dustpan and brush. At least it would save you bending down!
Entertainment to keep them happy
Let’s not forget that kids don’t always have the best attention spans. Even keen chefs will lose patience if you aren’t careful. This is especially the case if they join you on a regular basis. So, it’s worth thinking about entertainment which will keep them happy. You may be tempted just to let them bring their laptops along, but that may not be the best idea. Food or spillages on the keyboard could soon spell the end of that. Instead, think about alternative entertainment. You could provide some fun in the kitchen which they don’t have elsewhere to keep things interesting. Why not invest in a radio, and play some of the kid friendly stations, like those mentioned on www.ranker.com? This could be a bit more interesting than the television they’re used to. Plus, it would ensure they’re not too distracted from the task at hand!