As they grow up, every child wants to feel like they can do things for themselves.
From picking out their own clothes to trying to dictate their bedtime, children get an independent streak. This may extend to the kitchen, with the kids insisting on making their own meals.
We know what your first inclination is as a parent: keep your children as far away as possible from the hot stove, oven, and toaster. Right?
Actually, a toaster oven is a fantastic appliance for kids to test their cooking chops. As long as they are under adult supervision, you’re helping your child grow by teaching them how to use a toaster oven.
Here are several of our best reasons you may want your to children to get acquainted with their toaster oven.
You Probably Already Have a Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens are a pretty common household appliance. Chances are, you already have one in your kitchen. As an adult in the household, you may use it regularly.
A toaster oven is a lot less intimidating than an oven. It cooks almost the same way, yet it’s smaller. Kids can learn how food cooks when it’s heated at certain temperatures with a toaster oven.
When you teach your child how to use a toaster oven, you’ll eventually have to trust them to use it on their own. Therefore, it’s best to make sure you’re sure of how your toaster oven works before you let your kids use it.
If Not, They’re Cheap to Get
Since toaster ovens are so common, they’re generally inexpensive. You can even buy one with cool features and cooking settings for relatively cheap.
If you don’t already have a toaster oven in your home, by all means, get one. These are a lot safer and smarter to use with kids than an Easy-Bake Oven. Unlike those relics from the 1990s, a toaster isn’t a toy.
That means kids won’t outgrow its use within a couple of years as they would a toy. Instead, when you teach your child how to use a toaster oven, you’re instilling in them a lifelong love of cooking. What’s better than that?
The Settings Are Easy to Learn
When cooking in an oven or on a stovetop, you often have to keep track of the cooking time yourself. With a microwave, it’s very easy to overcook foods.
A toaster oven is a great in-between. Like a microwave, you can set a certain amount of time for your food to cook. Also, like a stovetop oven, you can see your food as its cooking.
Kids will love watching their food go from uncooked to cooked.
Besides the handy timer, the rest of the settings on a toaster oven are pretty simple to figure out. Kids can learn the difference between broiling and cooking. Their toaster oven may even come with both a broiling rack and a baking pan.
Most toaster ovens include small pictures and descriptions on the various knobs. These let you set the cooking time. You can also set the doneness, like if you want to lightly toast or darken your food.
Parents who are concerned about their children hurting or burning themselves should get a toaster oven that has temperature adjusted settings. Also, look for a toaster oven with an auto-off setting that cools down the oven when not in use.
There Are So Many Yummy Options
What do you use a toaster oven for? Toast is the first thing that comes to mind.
When you teach your child how to use a toaster oven, you’ll see there are so many other foods that can be cooked with this appliance.
Here are several dishes you can try with your children today:
- S’mores: To get the marshmallows at the right sticky, melty, toasted consistency, put them in a toaster oven. Run the oven for about two minutes. Then assemble the s’mores.
- Cheeseburgers: You should try making burgers in a toaster oven. Toast the buns separately. Then turn up the heat when cooking the burger patties.
- Quesadillas: Assemble your quesadillas and cut them so they’ll fit in the toaster oven. Then cook for a few minutes or until golden brown.
- Mac and cheese: This kids’ classic requires just a few minutes in the toaster oven if you like your pasta firm. If you want it crispy, simply add more time.
- Mini pizzas: You can assemble your pizzas on French bread or halved bagels. Regardless, this yummy treat only needs to cook for about five minutes.
- Grilled cheese: Again, for space reasons, cut the sandwich in half before cooking. Leave the grilled cheese in the toaster oven until the bread is golden brown and crispy.
Our Favorite Reason for Teaching Kids How to Use a Toaster? It Instills Long-Term Life Skills
As you can see, your kids are learning to make more than just little cakes when you teach them how to use a toaster oven. They’re cooking full meals they can eat for lunch, dinner, or a mid-afternoon snack.
If you spend the time working with your child and showing them how a toaster oven works, they’re going to feel confident. Sure, they may burn their food once or twice, but that’s how they learn what works and what doesn’t in the kitchen. The more they cook in the toaster oven, the more sure of themselves and their skills they’ll be. They’ll want to experiment and move on to bigger and more ornate meals.
By the time your child is going away to college or living on their own, you’ll be sure they can feed themselves. Your child will probably have moved on from the toaster oven to the stovetop or the oven at that point. Still, they’ll never forget the skills they learned when you taught them how to use a toaster oven.
Are you thinking of buying a toaster oven for your child? Visit our homepage for our top ranked toaster ovens. Or, you can click on reviews to read all the reviews and buying guides on the latest toasters on the market.