7 Ways To Family Proof Your Countertops For The Holidays

Every year around the same time, mums around the world begin to lose sleep at night; at the mere thought of “Christmas dinners”. Extended family begins to call, confirming their arrival. Every inch of the house must be decorated and cleaned somewhere between spit-shine and polish. Ten screaming children will soon be running in circles around every room. It can be enough to make the most even-tempered person go bonkers.

Whilst holiday hosting can be the most stressful time of the year for some, it doesn’t have to be that way. Your kitchen can become the family hub, reducing your own work load and building a peaceful communal atmosphere where everyone can participate. Give in to organized chaos and be the gracious host or hostess you were meant to be with the confidence that you can offer everyone a safe and welcoming environment.

The most important aspects of family-centered cooking are organization, safety, countertop care, and fun. Your kitchen will become the central focus point in all your holiday gatherings, so why not keep your countertops organized, kids entertained, and still deliver amazing tasting food?

Here are 7 ways to make your kitchen a family entertaining space for the holidays courtesy of the great designers at Caesarstone:

  1. Designate a space just for the kiddos: Older kids can help with meal preparation while smaller ones can play fun games related to cooking and the holidays – it keeps idle hands working and eliminates screaming circle-running.
  1. Designate a place for food prep: Prep stations work best on the counter space nearest to the sink, having a spacious island in the center of your kitchen can make a world of difference for holiday meal time prep season.
  1. Make cooking a family event: If everyone has an age- and skills-appropriate job (from prep, to setup, to clean up), everything will run more effortlessly and time spent in meal prep will be reduced exponentially. Have fun charting everyone’s progress and don’t rule out contests for the cutthroat competitors in the family.
  1. Clean with eco-friendly products (vinegar works wonders on dirt, bacteria and build up):The dirtiest items found in a household are typically found in the kitchen. The items we use every day to clean are the very things that can make us sick. Avoid standard kitchen-born illnesses by cleaning every product that will come into contact with the food such as food preparation stations, including  your countertop surface.
  1. Baby proof your kitchen: Standard baby and toddler proofing standards apply! Keep hot food items closer to the center of the table or towards the inside of the countertop surface. And most importantly, keep sharp objects away from children.
  1. Have plenty of cutting boards: If you are an avid cooker, you may already own one or two, but having extra can save you and your countertop surface. Extra hands in the kitchen is always great, but you need to be able to provide those helpers with cutting boards to keep your surfaces unscathed.
  1. Create distractions for those little ones! Set up a colouring station in your living room with plenty of paper and crayons to go around and don’t forget to get the washable crayons or use water colors.

The most beautiful family memories are often centered around food. The dinner table is the perfect place for connecting with those who are most important to you. The kitchen is slowly becoming the most important room in the house as society turns toward healthier lifestyles where everyone can collaborate all the way from preparation to clean up. Start this holiday season off right for a more peaceful, happier you!