Microwave ovens: cooking basics for kids of all ages

Kids love to cook, and they like microwave ovens. But children need proper instruction in safe microwave use. Whirlpool Corporation discovered in a study that children under age 17 use microwave ovens regularly in 56 percent of the homes surveyed. So company home economists put together these basics for kids:

Use only microwave-safe utensils.

Food in the center of the oven will cook more slowly. For even cooking, arrange foods in a circle. Stir items that can be stirred. Turn or rotate dishes during cooking.

Use potholders because dishes get hot.

Lift lids and other covers away from face and eyes.

Since food continues cooking after it is removed from the oven, let it stand one or two minutes to finish cooking before serving.

Keep the microwave oven and door gaskets clean.

Never use the microwave oven if the door does not shut properly and completely.

Use waxed paper to cover cooking meats, chicken, fruit, and some vegetable casseroles. Cover with heavy-duty plastic wrap when cooking vegetables or fish in an uncovered dish, allowing steam to escape by poking holes in the plastic. Use a glass cover when cooking foods that spatter, casseroles in sauce, and items that need long cooking times.

In addition to these points, it's especially important for children to know that no metal or foil should ever be placed in a microwave.

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