Thanksgiving Kitchen Safety Tips for the Whole Family

Author: Cara Murez

HealthDay reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The whole family — even the youngest members — can take part in Thanksgiving meal prep by following some safety tips.

A leading national pediatric organization offers some vacation tips for families with young children.

“There’s a lot of excitement and joy around meal prep this time of year, but it can also be stressful,” said Dr. Dina DiMaggio, a fellow at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Think about how to involve children in the process and consider appointing an adult to accompany the youngest when the kitchen is at capacity. By planning ahead, families can help ensure the day runs smoothly for everyone,” she said in an academy press release.

Here are some useful tips:

  • Start by showing kids how to be safe while cooking by teaching them to hold kitchen tools safely, DiMaggio suggests. You can do this with special child-safe knives.
  • Show them how oven mitts can protect their hands from heat, as well as how to safely turn appliances on and off. Tell them about the importance of keeping flammable items away from open flames.
  • However, always supervise children while cooking to make sure they follow the rules.
  • Follow food safety guidelines, including washing raw vegetables and fruits and cooking food thoroughly. Make sure little ones also wash their hands thoroughly after touching raw food. Be a role model for good behavior by washing your hands often.
  • Make sure the food doesn’t contain raw eggs or other ingredients that need to be cooked before offering your little helper a taste. Wash the spoon before it goes back into the food.
  • Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods in the refrigerator to prevent the spread of bacteria, suggests the AAP. Always thaw meat in the refrigerator, never on the work surface.
  • Protect everyone from burns by keeping hot food and liquids away from the edges of counters and tables. Keep small children out of microwave ovens. Turn the pot handles towards the side or back of the stove.
  • Find your child before walking with the hot liquid, to make sure you don’t trip and hurt both of you. Don’t drink hot liquids while your baby is on your lap, the AAP recommends.
  • Foods that require refrigeration should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Clean up immediately after meals to avoid accidents where the child could find a choking hazard or come into contact with alcohol or tobacco.

More information

Foodsafety.gov offers other Thanksgiving safety tips.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, press release, November 15, 2022