It’s no secret I’m a germophobe. That doesn’t mean I bathe my kids in sanitizer, it means I have a healthy respect for germs and I know which ones are important to keep out of my kids’ mouths!
I’m hyper-vigilant about handwashing because I worked in restaurants with strict food handling and food safety rules for more than 15 years! (Thankfully, my husband did too, so he washes his hands 100% of the time before preparing food or eating it. That’s one less person to train!)
When Should Kids Wash Their Hands?
My kids have grown up knowing they need to wash their hands throughout the day, but it’s not hard to teach kids when to wash their hands. There are just 3 situations that warrant handwashing:
- Muddy/sticky/otherwise grimy hands.
- After going to the bathroom.
- Before they eat anything.
10 Kitchen Handwashing Tips for Kids!
You want your kids to help out in the kitchen—cleaning up and preparing food—but you need to lay down the law to avoid contamination and illness. Here are the 10 reasons my kids have to wash their hands in the kitchen:
- Before they touch the refrigerator or freezer handle
- Before they unload the dishwasher
- Before they prepare food
- Before they set the table
- Before they serve food
- After they touch any raw meat or eggs
- After they do the dishes or scrub the kitchen counters
- After they blow their noses or rub their eyes or put their fingers in their mouths or ears
- After they pick up anything from the ground, or out of the sink
- When they return to the kitchen after using the restroom (yes, again), touching a remote, or doing handstands [basically, if they touch ANYTHING outside the kitchen!].
That sounds like a lot of handwashing, but my kids do it automatically because that’s the way it’s always been. What’s the payoff?
- I can count on one hand the times both my kids have barfed in their lives—and two of those times were car sickness. So I’ve only had to clean up vomit 5 times in the 11+ years I’ve had kids. I’d say that my picky handwashing demands have definitely paid off!
- Our family, and anyone we’ve ever served food to, have gotten sick from food prepared in our home exactly ZERO times. You can contaminate food more easily than food can contaminate you! Keeping your food clean and cold are two dead simple ways to stay healthy! (Your fridge must be under 40° and really should be between 32°-36°.)
We use the clear, unscented Method soap in the kitchen and bathrooms because it’s very gentle and my kids have fairly sensitive skin. I add peppermint essential oil to make it smell nice. Everyone has gotten the memo that antibacterial soap is a very bad thing, right?
What I Bought Monday: Clean Kitchen Edition
[Affiliate links in this post are for your convenience and offer free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime. Get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime!]
Remember to use my Amazon hack to get extra free Amazon Video credits! I got $3 in free movie credits with this week’s Amazon order!
- Light blocking curtain rod
- A towel ring to mount under the cabinet so I can save counter space. (Usually, I use a fingertip towel holder like this one.)
- A new paper towel holder because the one we have now has too many dents. First World Problems.
- Vitamin D-3 50,000 units. That’s right, 50,000—not 5,000. I can take one capsule a day instead of 10! I’m using D-3 to regulate mood (read: avoid PMS!), as a natural sunscreen, and to heal my teeth.
How many times a day do you wash your hands?
10 Handwashing Tips for Kids is included in the Healthy Living link party.