7 Steps For Making Your Kitchen Kid-Friendly

by Gennefer Gross

 

Some people say the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s also the artery that pumps life and energy through the entire house. Granted, that’s not as cute of a saying to knit on a pillow, but it’s true. When you have people over, it’s where everyone congregates, laughs, and nibbles on snacks. It’s where holidays are spent making memories filled with Saturday morning pancake breakfasts and family dinners. And if you have kids, it’s the main hub where you’re literally providing sustenance and joy 24/7.

Because the kitchen keeps the household running, it’s important to make it suitable for the entire family. Here are some tips to  make your kitchen as kid-friendly as possible.

Keep It Cozy

Credit: HGTV/Roger Davies

Unless you’re an A-list celeb whose kitchen will grace the pages of some home decor magazine, you want to steer clear of sterile, minimalist designs that feel cold and unapproachable. You should also avoid breakable fixtures or see-through cabinetry, especially with kids in the house. (No thank you, cleaning daily fingerprint smudges!) Instead, opt for stools around a center island where everyone can gather, and your kids can sit and do homework as you cook. Another great option is comfy booth-style seating, where you can sink in, and spend quality time together, even after the food is gone. Is there anything better than what’s basically a couch in the kitchen?

Make It Accessible

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You know the things your kids are seeking out most when they careen into the kitchen at warp speed, so be sure to keep those items on lower cabinet shelves, where they won’t have to climb up on countertops or stand on chairs to reach. Think mini bags of chips, cookies, or crackers they can just grab and go. You can even designate a shelf just for them, which will make them feel special, and ensure they’re always grabbing parent-approved bites. Baskets full of healthy snacks and fruits or pre-prepared options, such as carrot sticks or cubed cheese in the fridge will also keep them from trying their hand at cutting it themselves, or whipping up something more complicated (and potentially dangerous) like wielding a steak knife to make a PB&J. And consider keeping easily accessible plastic silverware and plates around to avoid mishaps and more dishes to wash!

Put Adult Stuff Under Wraps 

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After a long day of school or camp, cooking, baths and bedtime stories, moms all need the occasional glass of wine to unwind, but adult beverages can be tempting for kids of any age, due to those sleek shaped bottles and cool labels. So take that lure of ‘Mommy Juice’ away by keeping your alcohol in a separate wine fridge. (This works for Dad’s beer, too!) Even better, get one with a digital combination lock, so there’s no way into it whatsoever.

Free Your Surfaces From Fuss

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When it comes to kitchen surfaces, durability and wipeability are the law of the land in kidified households. So instead of highly polished, shiny slabs of granite or marble that will be frothed with fingerprints in under an hour, go for textured options, such as engineered stone like quartz or soapstone. Quartz is non-porous and resistant to stains and scratches, while soapstone is bacteria-resistant and unaffected by heat. This is helpful particularly when you grab something out of the oven, and forget to put down a trivet, because you’re so busy you barely remember your name. Whichever countertop option you choose, be sure to get curved corners instead of sharp edges to keep accidents at bay. It also adds some nice visual interest to the room.

If you’re trying to keep your countertops clear of excessive utensils and cooking devices, but you’re scarce on storage space, the Thermomix® is a great investment for you, as it performs the function of more than 12 kitchen appliances in one. Its compact design takes up only slightly more surface area than an A4-sized sheet of paper. Additionally, it provides onscreen recipe instructions and a guided cooking function to help you prepare and cook food quickly and efficiently, while juggling your other parental duties.

Save Slipping For The Sitcoms 

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Because you don’t live in a sitcom where falls are only funny to a studio audience, opt for textured flooring made of vinyl, laminate or slip-resistant stone tile with a tumbled, honed, hammered or flamed finish that can withstand spills, and keep your loved ones upright. You might also want to add some slip-proof area rugs that grip the floor and infuse warmth and style to the room. Just because you’re going for functional doesn’t mean you can’t have flair. Pro-tip: choose rugs that can be tossed in the washer in case there are any incidents of the liquid variety. (There will be.)

Embrace Technology

Let’s face it, your kids (and you) are always on the computer so Wi-Fight it? Haha. Hashtag: #MomJokes. Seriously, though, setting up a computer corner apart from your cooking work areas is perfect for perusing recipes, paying bills, catching up on work, or posting your funny Mom puns on Facebook, all while keeping an eye on dinner. Kids can also complete their homework under your supervision. You could even make it a full-blown media center with a bulletin or chalkboard for family messages, an activities calendar to manage schedules, and bins to sort mail, coupons or paperwork. And with charging stations for phones and laptops, your family will never be far from home base.

Don’t Skimp On Safety 

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Above all else, keep potentially hazardous items out of reach. These include knives and seemingly innocent-looking things like peelers and cheese graters that are comprised of sharp, tiny claws. Put them in high cabinets or latched drawers. Unplug heat appliances, such as toasters or coffee makers when not in use. Use back burners during cooking, and put latch covers on dials so kids can’t turn the stove on. Whenever possible, buy products with child-resistant caps, and switch from things like ammonia and chlorine bleach to safer, non-chlorine versions like vinegar and mineral oil, which are are free of harsh chemicals.

Once you’ve got the heart of your kitchen beating in steady rhythm, sit back and let yours slow down a bit. You’ve earned it.

Want to see first-hand how Thermomix® can enhance your cooking experience, and save you time and space in the kitchen? Book a Thermomix® Cooking Experience today!