Half Term Apple Crumble and Safety in the Kitchen

Fay Ripley and the Child Accident Prevention Trust encourage parents and children to cook together

Fay Ripley and the Child Accident Prevention Trust encourage parents and children to cook together

“It’s brilliant to involve children in cooking.  It’s great fun and you can teach them all about food nutrition and safety.  The key thing is to do it when you have enough time” commented Fay. “When you’ve got a spare half an hour, that is the time to get cooking, all put on aprons and make it an event.”

Fay continued “Learning to follow recipes, preparing food and baking dishes helps children to develop skills for the future as well as being a great activity for spending family time together.  It’s also a great way to teach children about safety in the kitchen, whilst they’re having fun.”

Recent hospital data shows that one in ten children’s accidents happen in the kitchen* and nearly 800 children under 12 were admitted to hospital last year with burns or scalds from hot drinks, food, fats and cooking oils**.  So, following the release of Fay’s Family Food, the mum of two is helping the accident prevention charity to support parents to use their time in the kitchen with their children to teach important safety lessons and keep little chefs safe from harm.

Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive of CAPT said: “From around the age of five there are tasks children can start learning to do under supervision in the kitchen. And as children grow and develop life skills, they can get more involved in everyday kitchen tasks.  This helps them build confidence and skills whilst learning about the dangers too.”

Baking together tips from CAPT

•   If using any hot appliances, such as a kettle or oven, make sure children understand how this can be dangerous and keep young children at a distance

•   Show older children how to use an oven glove when taking anything out of the oven and how to put it down safely on a heatproof surface

•   Pick a recipe that is easy to follow and doesn’t have too many ingredients so that you can focus on supervising your child and not reading through the recipe – this also helps to keep it fun

•   Before you get started, allocate tasks to children which are right for their age and ability, for example buttering a cake tin, sifting flour or cracking eggs

•   Supervise and show children how to use kitchen equipment safely, i.e. when grating vegetables or whisking eggs

•   Always supervise children when they are using knives or other potentially hazardous utensils 


Here’s an easy recipe to get you started:

Child Friendly Apple Crumble

All you need is:

50g butter or margarine

100g plain flour

50g oats

25g sugar

2 eating apples

50g sultanas


1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC or gas mark 5

2. Wash and dry yours and your child’s hands, place a big bowl on a steady surface and then encourage your little one to use their fingers to rub the butter or margarine into the flour in the bowl until it looks like breadcrumbs

3. Together you can stir in the oats and sugar and make sure they’re well mixed in

4. Away from your child, cut the apples into quarters and remove the core. Slice thinly and put the knife out of reach of your child

5. Have fun arranging the apple slices in the oven-proof dish, and then add the sultanas in a layer over the top

6. Sprinkle the crumble topping over the apple slices

7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the apple is soft and the crumble is golden.  Keeping your child away from the hot oven, use oven gloves to take out and place on a surface out of the reach of curious hands until the dish has cooled

Ttips and advice for children’s safety in the kitchen

•         Keep young children away from hot appliances like ovens, toasters and kettles

•         When you are cooking, always use the rings at the back of the cooker and turn pan handles towards the back. This way they can’t be grabbed or knocked over by active children of any age

•         Push your kettle to the back of the worktop and choose one with short or curled flex so that it can’t be pulled off the top

•         Keep knives and scissors in a high drawer which is out of reach

•         Keep cleaning products high up and out of sight and reach and, for low cupboards, fit safety catches

•         Use cleaning products which contain a bittering agent to stop children swallowing them

•         Cut up finger food into small pieces as young children can easily choke on food which is difficult to chew or too big

•         Make sure young children sit down to eat as they can choke if they run around while eating

•         Use a five point harness in your child’s high chair and be careful where you place it in case they can reach appliances or drawers 

•         Don’t hold your child and a hot drink at the same time and don’t pass hot things over children’s heads

•         When you are cooking it’s safer to keep young children out of the kitchen if it’s possible, for example by fitting a safety gate across the kitchen doorway

•         Make sure you have a working smoke alarm and check it every week


For children from around the age of five:

•         Teach children simple tasks like buttering and cutting bread with a round-ended knife

•         They are not safe to handle sharper implements like bread knives until they are older, so keep them out of reach

•         Teach children how to use items like scissors but make sure you supervise them and keep the scissors out of reach at other times


From around the age of seven:

•         Teach children how to tackle simple tasks safely, like making a hot drink or simple meal but supervise them when they’re doing this

•         Never allow a child to use a chip pan, even under supervision.  If you use a chip pan yourself don’t leave it unattended or fill it more than one third full

•         Once your child reaches seven you may want to start teaching them how to light matches safely under your supervision - this can make matches less fascinating

•         Show children this age how to use knives and scissors safely under supervision, but don’t let them use sharp knives



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