Because they are young and do not know much, kids are absolutely fearless. Who else but kids can fearlessly pick up food after playing with dirt. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior, if left unchecked, could lead to a number of serious health problems. This is why it is important to teach your kids all about food safety.
Preventing Food Poisoning
Children can accidentally get food poisoning by eating spoiled food. Protect your kids from food poisoning by teaching them to read the expiration date on food packages and bottles before consuming the food. If there is no expiration date, teach your kids to smell food before eating, and to make sure that there are not odd or unusual smells emanating from the food. Dairy products in particular, give off strong odors when spoiled. Molds grow on fruits, vegetables, and breads when they have grown stale, so teach your kids to check for molds on these food products. Also teach your kids to refrigerate foods that they are not able to finish. Explain to them that they should put foods that they will not finish for longer than a few days to prevent spoilage.
One way kids contract or spread an illness is through the food and drink they consume. This is why it is important to teach kids about healthy practices with regards to food. Teach your kids about proper food preparation. Instill the practice of checking for blood in meat. Blood in meat means it was not thoroughly cooked to eliminate disease-causing bacteria and food-borne illnesses. Kids should learn to check it the food was prepared in a sanitary environment. Encourage them to ask where food came from and how it was prepared before eating. Also, kids should learn to always wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them to get rid of dirt and germs that can cause an illness. Lastly, teach your kids teach not to sure food and drinks with friends and family members to prevent the spread of diseases such as flu, coughs, and colds.
Cleaning Up After Eating
It is also important to teach kids the importance of cleaning up after eating. Pots and pans should be washed immediately after cooking to prevent them from attracting flies. Similarly, dishes, plates and other food containers should be washed immediately after use to prevent them from attracting bugs. Make sure food packages, wrappers and bottles are disposed of immediately so as not to attract insects, or worse, mice. Teach your kids the importance of cleaning the kitchen to prevent mold formation and bacteria build up. Lastly, teach them to ask a grown up to cleanse kitchen counters using hot water, especially if there is blood or other food byproducts.
The importance of proper hand washing could not be stressed enough. A number of contagious diseases can be spread simply by touching hands. Prevent your child from contracting an illness by teaching them to wash their hands properly and regularly, especially before eating. Proper hand washing prevents germs in their hands from getting to their mouths. Teach your kids to wash their hands using soap and warm water for 1 minute and then drying them using a clean cloth or paper towel.
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