FROM ATTIC TO BASEMENT: Kitchen safety tips for children


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May 03, 2023

FROM ATTIC TO BASEMENT: Kitchen safety tips for children

Christine Patrick Many children make their own snacks. Parents should establish

Christine Patrick

Many children make their own snacks. Parents should establish guidelines to follow when children prepare their own lunches and snacks.

Make sure children know how to operate any kitchen equipment they will use to prepare food, especially microwave or conventional ovens, toasters, can openers or other electrical equipment. Discourage children from using fats and oils for frying. The dangers from splattering and the chance of fire are too great. Fires can occur in the microwave oven, too. Make certain children take the time to read and follow instructions on the packages of microwavable foods they prepare. Remind children not to use aluminum foil in the microwave, because sparks and fire may result. You should always cover food properly with microwavable covers, plastic wrap, or waxed paper before cooking to avoid splattering during the heating process. Make sure steam and pressure can escape through loosely placed covers or by poking holes in the plastic wrap.

Here are some other recommendations on safety in the kitchen:

Snack foods should be a part of children's regular dietary pattern and provide nutrients that they need. Try these healthful, no-cook snacks.

Fruit Slices: Spread peanut butter on apple or banana slices.

Veggies with Dip: Cut carrots, celery, cucumbers, or zucchini into sticks or coins. Then dip them into prepared salsa.

Snack Kebobs: Cut raw vegetables and fruit into chunks. Skewer them onto thin pretzel sticks.

(To prevent discoloration, dip cut pieces of fruit in orange juice.)

Salsa Quesadillas: Fill a soft tortilla with cheese and salsa, fold over, and grill.

Banana Pops: Peel a banana and dip it in yogurt. Roll in crushed breakfast cereal and freeze.

Pudding Shakes: Mix ½ cup low-fat or fat free milk with 3 tablespoons of instant pudding mix. Put in a non-breakable, covered container. Make sure the lid is tight. Shake and pour into a cup.

Peanut Butter Balls: Mix peanut butter and bran or cornflakes in a bowl. Shape the mixture into balls with clean hands. Roll balls in crushed graham crackers.

Ice Cream-Wiches: Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt between two oatmeal cookies or frozen waffles.

For more information visit the Home and Garden Information Center webpage at

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.

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Fruit Slices Veggies with Dip Snack Kebobs Salsa Quesadillas Banana Pops Pudding Shakes Peanut Butter Balls Ice Cream-Wiches