Healthy Children - August 2018

Cookout Safety Tips

The summer season is here! Many of us get excited about the visits to the water park, tanning on the beach, road trips, long walks, etc. There is also an additional activity which most people part takes in during this season: A Cookout! Below are 3 safety tips that we must keep in mind when planning for your next cookout:

  1. Prepare food with clean hands. Clean hands are one of the most fundamental and effective safety precautions, in reducing diarrhea and respiratory illness, like colds. Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or eat/drink them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods and drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick. The solution is to wash our hands, with soap, to help remove the germs from your hands.
  2. Keep food at its proper temperature. Cold foods should be served cold and hot foods should be served hot! Use ice packs, coolers, and thermometers to keep bacteria from multiplying.
  3. Don’t cross contaminate. Most of our cookouts involve some type of meat item. There are harmful bacteria found in uncooked, raw meat. Remember not to use the same utensils when preparing food, to avoid cross contamination. Additionally, clean surfaces thoroughly, so that bacteria from previously prepared foods aren’t left to contaminate ready-to-eat foods.

Feeding Practices

  • Gently encourage, but don’t force children to try a bite of a new food.
  • Forcing children to clean their plates can lead to overeating and weight problems.
  • Offer healthy foods to children and then let them decide if and how much to eat.
  • Make meal and snack time as stress-free as possible to provide enough time to eat.
  • Try to avoid using food to reward good behavior or make a child feel better about something!