3 Tips For Creating a Family-Friendly Kitchen

Loretta Jane

How family-friendly is your kitchen? Even if you are the best cook on your block, run a tight operation in the kitchen or don't use it at all because you only order takeout, chances are there are a few ways you could make it a little bit more appealing and safe for your family. These three tips for creating a family-friendly kitchen will turn the kitchen into one of the most communal, and fun, places in your home for everyone.

Embrace Drinking Water

The perils of drinking too much sugar, particularly through beverages such as soda, are well known. To create a family-friendly kitchen, try to embrace drinking water as much as possible with your meals. To help make water more fun for the whole family to drink, there are a few strategies to employ. The first simply involves making sure the water tastes as good as possible. Using a water softener will help the water in your home become higher quality and better tasting. Also, using fun pitchers or cups for water can make the experience of drinking water more enjoyable for children. So many sugary beverages are marketed with kid-appealing strategies, such as bright color schemes and fun shapes and fonts on the packaging. Purchasing or designing your own cups and pitchers with bright colors that will appeal to children is one way to convince them that maybe water is pretty fun to drink after all.

Have Everyone Contribute

Creating roles for everyone in the family to help out while making meals is a fun way to make the kitchen an additional family room. When eating together as a family, plan out future meals you want to make together and let everyone at the table have input. In the physical space of the kitchen, assign stations to different family members where they can carry out different jobs. When everyone plays a role in each meal, from the planning and decision-making to the actual cooking, you can establish healthy eating habits and collaborative time together that benefits the whole family, regardless of age. For children, having stations that they can own and learn specific skills to contribute to the preparation of a meal will form a foundational understanding of project management. For adults, having the whole family contribute in the kitchen can break down traditional norms of who cooks and create an extra family bonding opportunity that is not always an obvious one.

Use Safe Practices

An important aspect of having a family-friendly kitchen is having a safe one, especially when your family includes young children. Keep knives out of reach and stored away. If possible, make sure they have blade protectors on them just in case they are uncovered by a child. Knives aren't the only potential danger in the kitchen, unfortunately. When children are present in the kitchen, be cognizant of any burners or potentially dangerous knobs that could be activated. While tips like keeping knives out of reach of children or turning pot handles away from the front of the stove while they are being used will help you create a safe kitchen for your family, they do not ensure a family-friendly kitchen. Children must be supervised at all times in the kitchen and taught about the basic functions of different items. Safe practices can go beyond where you place potentially dangerous things into a larger lesson on what proper use of the kitchen is and what is allowed for children to help with.

These tips for creating a family-friendly kitchen will transform your kitchen into not only a safe and healthy place for your family, but one that everyone can look forward to spending time in. Your kitchen is not only a physical space, but a space where you make so many decisions as to what kind of lifestyle choices you want to practice. Embracing drinking water over sugary beverages, having all family members contribute to meal preparation, and using safe practices are all ways that you can design a family-friendly kitchen that works.