KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
Making your kitchen a child-friendly space is a recipe for cooking up some fun, writes
Awave of cooking reality TV shows coupled with an increasingly multicultural community means today’s youth are keener than ever to get their little hands messy while helping with dinner or dessert. But some kitchen designs are better equipped to handle an extra set of small hands than others.
Founder of Bake Club Anneka Manning teaches budding chefs of all ages. She knows just what it takes to inspire a mini MasterChef.
“Whatever you choose, however owever you design the space ask yourselff ‘Is this encouraging my child to be with me in the kitchen and too help me cook?’,” she says.
“Because the more you can do that at a very early age, the more confident they’re going to be into their teenage years — and the more dinners they’ll be able to produce for you in thee long term as well.”
Little chefs, grand designs esigns
Try to approach kitchen design from a child’s point of view says Christian Becker, Ikea home furnishing specialist.
“Children enjoy things that match their size or style,” he says.
The layout of your kitchen is key to keeping things moving with a growing family.
“The Metod kitchens are great and really versatile,” Christian says. “You can even consider including a bench top designed for children, creating a great space for them to help out and bring them closer to the action.
“It can also act as a quick place to stash larger items and grocery bags,” he says.
Tyler Sadler, colour and design consultant at GJ Gardner Homes for Sydney North says the kitchen is where the action is.
“From kids doing homework there or cooking for a large party, it’s one of the most important parts of the home, if not the most important,” she says. According to Tyler, homebuyers are now particularly conscious of safety now that little hands are more active in the kitchen. “Induction cooktops are popular, because it’s the most kid-friendly cooktop as it’s able to cool down quickly,” she says. Interior designer, television presenter and Granite Transformations brand ambassador, Shaynna Bl Blaze says it’s worth consid considering which kitchen surfaces best suit the rough and tumble of m many small hands. While marble looks amazing, it can be prone to chipping or staining unless it is sealed, while laminate products are both tough and easy to maintain. Engineered stone be benchtops and granite can offer the b best of both worlds. “The main thing is looking at the fl flexibleibl ways you can arrange your kitchen so that your children can still feel engaged,” Shaynna says.
Drawer them in
Dedicating a drawer or shelf in the kitchen helps a child learn about different utensils and teaches them to get organised. A personal space for each child is a great idea too to avoid little wars breaking out before baking.
“It’s good sometimes to give them ownership over a certain cupboard or pantry shelf,” Anneka says.
“Little containers can be fantastic to put things in like sauce bottles in one and all my spices in another because you can pull out the whole container, put it on the bench and say ‘there you go, find the cinnamon and the nutmeg, that’s what we need today’.”
Island benches and open shelving in these Metod kitchens from Ikea (pictured top and above) make cooking more accessible for kids.