How to Safely Handle a Knife
Want to teach your kids to safely use a knife but don’t know where to start? Let us guide you! Knife skills are an important part of everyone’s cooking journey. Start your kids off right by giving them the confidence and skills they’ll need for a healthy future.
- When buying your little one his or her first chef’s knife, it’s best to invest in one with a knife guard. Teach them the safe habit of always putting it on when the knife isn’t being used. Knife guards not only keep you safe, but it also keeps the knife sharp. Every good chef needs a sharp knife!
- When cutting anything round (like carrots, cucumbers or apples), always make a flat surface by first cutting it in half. This way, it won’t roll around while they are trying to cut.
- Teach your child not to put their pointer finger on the top of the blade when holding the knife. This will help them grip and balance their force when cutting ingredients.
- With their food-holding hand, round all their fingertips back like a claw. Tuck their thumb behind their fingers to protect it. This is one of the safest ways to hold an ingredient. This habit is probably the hardest to form but the most important when learning knife skills. It will ensure their fingers don’t get in the way when cutting.
- Using a sharp knife is always safer than a dull knife. Although this sounds like a strange rule, a dull knife needs more force to cut instead of letting the knife do the work. With a dull knife, they are more likely to slip, which might cause an accident.
- Placing a damp cloth under the cutting board is an important step in staying safe in the kitchen. This will stop their board from sliding around while they are cutting.
- Take the chairs away when they are cutting and get them to stand straight. This gives them the most strength and control behind the knife.
- Remember, the rule is one knife and one kid for each cutting board.
- Enforce that we shouldn’t reach across or take something off someone else’s cutting board when they are holding a knife. It’s safer to wait until they have put their knife down or back in the guard.
- Give everyone in the kitchen the most space possible. A bumped elbow is dangerous if they are holding a knife.
- Teach kids to work in the middle of the cutting board rather than in the corners or on the sides. This makes for a nicer learning experience.
Knife Safety Videos
If your kids are visual learners, check out some of our helpful videos below.