Welcome Friends!

How do you feel about kids using a knife?  I know it can be uncomfortable for many adults, but I am a big fan of teaching kids to know to use a knife at an early age.  If you want to ease your kids in using a knife you can graduate from using a plastic to-go knife to using a kid-friendly starter knife then on to kitchen knives.  Either way, teaching your little chef knife safety is an important skill to build with your little chef.  

Here are great tips when introducing your little chef to knife safety skills.  

1. Holding a Knife

First, there’s is the pinch grip.  Professional chefs will almost always promote holding a knife with a pinch grip where the thumb and forefinger pinch the bottom of the blade.  It allows for control and steady the hand when cutting.Pinch Grip

Then there’s what I call the pointer grip.  It’s when you place an index finger along the top of knife as a way to steady their hand.  Pointer GripWorking with my little chef, I have noticed that there he naturally gravitates to the pointer grip.  As long as it is safe and he has good control of the knife, I let him use the technique that makes him most comfortable.  I suggest practicing both techniques and see what comes naturally to your little chef.  

2.  Protecting the Fingers

A common safety technique is called “The Claw”.  Yes… the first time I heard it I immediately thought of that adorable scene with Jim Carey in the movie, “Liar, Liar”.  Similar concept, different purpose.  With this technique, your hand is curled into a claw-like shape, with the fingernails resting/holding the food. Keeping your fingers in this position and away from the knife, you run much less risk of a serious injury.

Here’s a great video of our friend and guest sous chef, Chef Sevilla Riley, sharing how to properly use the claw technique.

3. Standing up straight

This may seem like common sense, but I notice that I often have to remind my little chef to stand up straight when cutting or cooking.  It’s easy for a little chef to get too comfortable while cooking.  However, leaning on your elbows (like below) while cutting can put you off balance and cause you to slip.No leaning

It’s important to stand up straight and most importantly stay focused while using a knife and other cutting tools.Knife Safety Skills

Try practicing your knife safety skills with a few fruits like bananas and apples or vegetables like cucumbers and peppers.  Tells us how it goes!


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  • Diana Johnson @ Eating Richly Even When You're Broke

    SO many great tips here! In my kid cooking classes we also have a finger jar next to the cutting board. I tell them that if they cut their finger off, to put it in the jar and bring it to me. Then I explain that of course they’re not really going to cut their finger off, because they will use the knife safety skills I taught them, but the jar is there to help them remember how important those skills are. It works really well!

    • Sous Chef Mommy

      I LOVE that idea! I can only imagine the looks on their faces when you ask them for their fingers in a jar!

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About the Chef!

Chef Julian has had a love for cooking since the age of 3. Now as the CEO and Head Kid Chef of The Step Stool Chef, he is focused on empowering kids to be leaders in the kitchen. Chef Julian has been featured on the covers of magazines, newspapers as well as made guest appearances on all major TV networks, conferences and food festivals and is known for his fun & easy approach to cooking.

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