Kids love helping out in the kitchen, and it's a great way to spend family time together. Teach them proper kitchen safety for an enjoyable kitchen experience. This means demonstrating the proper way to use utensils like knives. Knives are probably the most important kitchen utensil and potentially the most dangerous, so always remember to cook with your child and supervise any knife use.
Small children should never use real knives. Instead, they can use plastic knives. These knives work well for tasks like spreading peanut butter or cream cheese for snacks, and will cut foods like lettuce, cheese and fruits like bananas and strawberries. Once they progress, you can have them start using a butter knife.
When your children are ready to use real knives, make sure they always work on a cutting board. Use a large board to allow for more space. Knives should be sharp because dull knives can lead to accidents. Children also need to learn how to properly hold a knife with the fingers of their dominant hand securely gripping the knife handle and the fingers of their other hand curled under as they hold the food.
Teach your child to always cut away from his body, and that the dull part of the knife should face him and the sharp part should face away. Make sure your child is careful when carrying a knife; it should always point down. Tell your child, or help him, to always wash and put away knives after using them. Knives left on a countertop or in the sink can cut someone who does not realise they are there.
Curious Chef and other companies make plastic knife sets specifically designed for children. The knives feature serrated cutting edges and have ergonomic handles and soft touch button grips. The knives typically are available in different sizes.