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Kid-Friendly BBQing - Fun Grilling Ideas & Safety Tips for the Whole Family!
Grilling is the quintessential summertime family activity. Just mentioning a BBQ conjures up visions of grassy parks, coolers with sodas, and a fiery range covered with delicious cooked meats and veggies.
It's important to be aware of the inherent risks that come with barbequing, especially when children are involved.
Children are inherently interested in cooking and food. The process is mysterious to them, so take the opportunity to educate them about safe barbequing. Energetic and growing youngsters are inclined to be eager to eat aromatic delicacies grilling on the BBQ.
Kids are the most vulnerable to being injured by a barbeque. Not all accidents can be avoided, but this guide will provide suggestions to keep your little ones safe so accidents are at least less likely. You'll also get some fun grilling ideas that you can do with your children.
Give Them a Grill Tutorial
Embrace children's natural curiosity about cooking! While still turned off, show them the BBQ and explain how it works. A short tutorial will go a long way in curbing curiosity once the actual cooking has begun. Show them:
- Stop Drop and Roll: Show kids the standard procedure if their clothing was to catch on fire. Stopping, dropping to the ground, and rolling is the tried and true technique, and could save their life one day should fire get out of control.
- Heating: Demonstrate how to turn on a gas barbeque and how to adjust the flame. Let kids help arrange charcoal briquettes in a charcoal BBQ, like building with blocks.
- Food Prep: Food must undergo a fair amount of prep before it can be grilled away on the barbeque. Show your children the steps, marinating meat, skewering kabobs, wrapping potatoes or corn in aluminum foil. Showing children these steps involves them in barbequing and enhances their knowledge about cooking.
Avoiding Sharp Edges
Surprisingly, a large portion of barbeque related injuries come from being cut or scratched by the BBQ itself. Tissue wounds are the second most common injury for children, after burns. Barbeques are bulky machines mostly made of metal. Also, spatulas, metal brushes, skewers, tongs, and other barbequing tools are sharp and can cause scrapes. Be aware of jagged edges, pointy protrusions, and anything that a child-size person could bump their head on. It might even be worth it to "baby-proof" any part of the BBQ grill that seems particularly sharp with a piece of masking tape. Place metal grilling tools out of reach, preferably on a solid surface.
Safety Zone with Chalk
To be completely safe, kids shouldn't be anywhere near the barbeque once it's turned on. Beforehand, why not have your kids draw a border on the pavement with chalk around the BBQ area? They can draw in a safety zone, which no one should enter while the adults are grilling. Making it into a creative game will make the experience fun!
Fun Kid Friendly Foods
Think of barbequing as a way to expand your children's culinary horizons and enhance their palette. Instilling kids with a sense that they can make tasty, healthy food at home will go a long way for their health. Those who prepare their own foods avoid the pitfalls of fast-food and takeout: excess fat and calories, low nutritional value, and expensive prices.
Some BBQ grilling ideas ideal for kids:
- Stoplight Shish-kabobs: After soaking wooden skewers in water, layer green, red, and yellow colored veggie pieces. Suggested vegetables: Tomatoes, bell peppers for red; Squash, pineapple, or bell peppers for yellow; Zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, or bell peppers for green.
- Pineapple Rings: Grilling fruit enhances the flavor and caramelizes its natural sugars. Have your kids use a small round cookie cutter to make rings in the center of sliced pineapple. Brush with a little sugar water and they're good to go on the grill.
- Sliders: Smaller versions of classic hamburgers are perfect for pint-sized appetites. Small slider patties are easy for little hands to form and they cook through quickly.