Get the entire family involved with grilling this summer. Mom can do it, dad can do it, and your kiddos would love to join in on the fun. But here's the kicker. How do we safely involve the kids? The outside of the grill is hot, the inside contains flame, and if you have a pellet grill there's a cord attached. As a parent it sounds like a nightmare. Here's a couple of tricks on how to get your kids interested in grilling and how to do it safely.
START WITH SAFETY
Before we get into tasks for our busy little bodies, we must first go over grill safety. For really little ones these rules will need to be voiced often so the information sinks in. Be stern about safety. Explain the fire hazard, the hot to touch / burn possibilities. Set up a maximum distance they need to remain away from the grill unless accompanied by an adult. Bring your fire hydrant out and keep that close. Explaining that it is not a toy but used for emergencies will further your statements.
DIVERT THEIR ATTENTION
In order to pique their interest and not scare them straight let's divert their attention—get them involved in age appropriate activities. For your littles it may mean just being outside while mommy or daddy is grilling. Not necessarily helping with the process but getting comfortable with the notion of the grill. For toddlers you can try and get them age appropriate grilling or kitchen toys. If their listening and motor skills are advanced, ask them to season your meal before it goes on the grill. They can help with small, yet safe prep tasks. As your kids grow it's great to continue to give them safety reminders each and every time you use the grill. They should always be supervised, but holding the cutting board while you transfer meat or even flipping the burgers will get them interested young.
OLDER CHILD / ADVANCED ACTIVITIES
Now it gets really fun! Again, remind your child, no matter their age, the dangers of the grill before use. As they reach their teens, they can help with food making. Start small with simple recipes like burgers, hot dogs, and personal pizzas. Once they've master that move on to some more advanced recipes from our site. We have hundreds to choose from.
Kids this age want to be in control and thrive during this coming of age time. Ask their opinion on pellet flavors, seasoning, and menu planning for the week.
Grab your camera and set the scene with an at-home cooking show starring THEM!