WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO ALLOW KIDS TO USE REAL KNIFES?
Knives must be used under adult supervision, but don’t let YOUR fear drive your child out of the kitchen!
- Using real utensils builds confidence.
- It also helps with independence.
- It allows children to feel trusted and gives them a sense of responsibility.
- Using real knives helps develop fine motor skills.
- And it makes the child feel a sense of belonging.
- Plus, they get to learn how to make REAL food, real way.
- And it’s an invaluable skill they can carry with them to adulthood.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING A KNIFE FOR YOUR CHILD
- Buy stainless steel or silver. Wood and plastic will breed bacteria. Real silver is an ideal option as it is a natural disinfectant, but stainless steel is cheaper.
- Look for knives where the blade goes all the way through the handle. (If it stops at the handle, there is a greater risk of it breaking in half. Furthermore, bacteria will accumulate at the joints.)
- Make sure it’s small enough for your child to hold.
- Make sure it’s not too sharp but still cuts food.
- Model how to cut over and over again.
- Teach your child how to hold the knife safely.
- Teach them where the knife should be placed on the table.
- Show your child how fun cutting and cooking can be.
- Start early – as soon as they show interest.
- Allow your child to experiment cutting foods with different textures. Let them make their own stacks this way – your toddlers will love that. Here are some examples: strawberries and apple, tomato and cucumber, avocado and celery. Have them cut bananas and dip the pieces in coconut shreds or coconut flour. YUM! :p
- Be brave and have fun together! 🙂
KNIVES DESIGNED FOR CHILDREN
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- Joie Fruit And Vegetable Wavy Chopper Knife Stainless Steel Blade – I used to work as a knife saleswoman so, naturally, since Adèle could hold cutlery, I always gave her a real knife to hold. She was eating by herself using a spoon from 9 months so by the time she was a bit over one, Adèle started learning how to cut. The first knife she used was a small stainless steel one for eating. It cut food but not the skin. However, for cooking I got her a Joie Fruit And Vegetable Wavy Chopper Knife Stainless Steel Blade (Colors may vary). Not only is it fun because it makes waves, it also offers a different way of cutting things (pushing down with both hands/arms). For some kids this is much easier than the conventional back and forth sawing motion. It also allows them to utilize upper body muscles.
- Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set – These are nylon (plastic), but they are less expensive than comparable stainless steel children’s knives.
- StarPack Nylon Kitchen Knife Set (3 Piece) – If you want your child to test out a knife, you can purchase these RISK FREE. They come in three different sizes and are a good value for the price.
- Kai Little Chef Club Children’s Stainless Steel Knife – A real, sharp, stainless steel knife. This is not a “safe” knife and it really does cut.
- Maple Wood Food Chopper – An eco-friendly, safe, wooden knife that even babies can use. In general, however, wood is not hygienic as food particles get inside the pores and mold can also form over time. Therefore, these knives have to be well taken care of and will not last as long as the stainless steel ones.
- Because Adèle loves cooking and keeps on saying that she is a “baby chef,” when we traveled to Paris a few months ago I bought her an OPINEL LE PETIT CHEF KNIFE AND FINGERS GUARD set plus Opinel Le Petit Chef Children’s Peeler with Finger Guard as well. Both the knife and the peeler have rings which help position the fingers so that the hand does not slip so easily onto the blade. All three items can be found as a complete set (Opinel Le Petit Chef Set – Guard, Knife and Peeler) as well and are designed to help your child learn how to cook safely. If your children already have knives but you are still worried about their fingers, you can get Opinel Le Petit Chef Childs Knife Finger Guard (they come in different colors). Please note, however, that no matter how safe knives are, they must still be used under adult supervision.
Do you let your children use real knives?