I once made some comments on an older blog post about helping kids in the kitchen. Workers insisted they would never allow their children to use knives, or confine them to butter knives or cutting utensils for at least 12 years.
Diff different strokes for different people and all of them, but my kids have been using different types of knives and learning to cook since they were little kids. In my view, children can learn valuable lessons when they are allowed to take risks.
Indeed. The decision of the parents is good and necessary. But if we prepare children with skill and safe limits instead of saying “no”.
Is it safe for children to learn knife skills?
I must admit, I used to make a lot of mistakes when it came to babies and knives, even when I started researching the ability of a child to use sharp things like knives. Delaying can hamper their psychological development and is “tantamount to delaying grandchildren’s training until school age.”
what was that?
I was also surprised, but after some research and careful testing with my research team (aka my kids) in our lab, I have to agree that not only kids use the “real knife” at a much younger age. Are older than I expected but it seems that there will be some psychological benefits.
Knives = bad, TV = safe?
This is the second amazing disconnect I have noticed in recent years that has become more and more apparent; we protect our children from vital real-life skills that pose a risk (such as using a knife safely). Doing, climbing trees, playing outside (by yourself, or riding a bike to the park) but give them easy access to “safe” things that are developmentally very effective (such as screen time too much, Baby lifestyle etc.).
Our kids can work on an iPad like an iPad but can’t use a kitchen knife (unless they can, we don’t allow them). They can dominate the candy crush but can’t do the housework like carpeting the floor, loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry.
We limit children to any work that hurts them, creates a mess or we can “work faster.” Then we wonder when we finally expect them to help and why they don’t want to do it themselves.
Benefits of using a knife for children
As parents, it is easy to see knives as a dangerous thing just waiting to remove our children’s finger / hand / arm or lead them to a certain obstacle, but in reality, knives are just a normal And a very useful kitchen tool. Yes, it can be harmful if used improperly, but the wrong hands can also have a stove, oven, spiral slicer, vegetable peel or broom handle.
On the flip side, kitchen knives (and other common tools we often use to save a child) not only represent the kitchen tool, but also the path to freedom.
As parents, we have to ask at the end of the day: is our real job to keep our children “safe” at all times or to make them independent and capable adults? I will discuss the latter.
In fact, in many parts of the world, children are routinely allowed to communicate with “dangerous” tools such as knives, hammers, mortars and insects, and under 2 years of age (and in some places even smaller!) ۔
Risk assessment and learning freedom
It sounds like a blanket bully in our more sociable society, but listen to me
Revealing children in situations that teach them to assess risk at an early age actually helps protect them in the long run. As children try (and sometimes fail) they learn how to jump, fall safely and use tools (such as knives) correctly.
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either Can survive More importantly, they Need These experiences are meant to teach them freedom and flexibility and that small blows are not the end of the world.
From the article, “American Parents Put It All Back”:
Alan Hansen Sandsetter, a Norwegian researcher at Queen Mood University in Norway, said in his research that our children respect their decision about their ability to be comfortable with risk and safety. While being kept safer. Children are drawn to what we parents fear: high places, water, wandering far, dangerous sharp tools. Our instinct is to keep them safe to save their lives. But when you talk, Sandeter explains, “The most important protection you can give your child is to put them at risk.”
Countries where children are given the freedom to take risks develop a good sense of risk assessment. Instead of keeping their children indoors, countries like Sweden and Norway enable their cities to have safe hiking and biking. This is one of the reasons why they have the lowest child injury rate in the world.
Raising helpers who are not helpless
There is also a theory in psychology that the declining number of children per family in modern times has forced us to think about “protecting our children from precious treasures” instead of raising future helpers.
Don’t get me wrong, I consider my children the most precious gift I’ve ever had. I am grateful to them for spending years with them and for raising them as responsible members of society. Over time, I have also come to realize that doing too much for them deprives them of the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to our families. In fact, it will hurt them in the long run as they move forward to contribute to society.
Now this is one of my parental mantras: I don’t do anything for them, they can do it themselves. I have made a list of the skills my children need to know to take care of themselves when they leave home, and this gives them age-appropriate responsibilities that they can help. These include basic tasks such as cleaning, cooking, sewing buttons and changing car tires.
Using a knife safely and correctly is an amazingly useful skill and one that I use daily, even outside the kitchen.
Helps to strengthen healthy eating habits
When it comes to helping children prepare food and use knives and other tools, there is another direct benefit that is not needed.
Helping children prepare food makes them more likely to eat it.
Processed foods often require little or no preparation, but whole nutritious foods need to be washed, peeled and chopped. It has been a universal experience with my children that the more food a child can help prepare, the more likely they are to eat it.
In fact, our 7-year-old and 9-year-olds started preparing themselves for the occasion, especially for the family on the weekends, and in the process have become brave cooks and brave eaters. ۔
Involving children in all aspects of food preparation has changed the conversation from “ewww… what it is” to “fresh foods”, “how you cook it and what recipes you use.” Are there? “
In fact, older children peeled and stole carrots, kohlrabi, onions and other vegetables this winter and made a vegetable soup from scratch. And they ate. And loved it
In Japan, France, Korea, and other countries, there are no separate food items for children or things like children’s menus. Children are expected to eat what adults eat and what adults eat. In most places, children are not even given breakfast or lunch between meals.
When it’s time to eat, kids have a natural sense of expectation and more adventure to help prepare food. Avoiding snacks or baby-specific foods makes children feel naturally hungry and self-controlled while waiting for food.
In my experience, food has the least frustration and the least complaint when our children are allowed to get involved in every aspect of food, from food purchases to preparations.
Teach children knife skills
Letting our children use knives has been an exciting growing experience for our children. It’s just a representative step up the ladder of freedom, but we know it’s an important and highly anticipated one for our children.
To be clear, we are not giving the little things to the little ones, nor are we giving any child uncertain access to a knife, but as part of preparing food for our children and family. But make it a priority to spend time using knives safely in the kitchen.
I use this great course called KidsKick Real Food that teaches kids how to use knives and other kitchen tools safely and how to make a wide variety of foods. My kids especially like the knife skill class. They’re offering an incredible deal right now, so check it out!
Result? Our older children are even using kitchen knives with me to safely cut and prepare food and look forward to this time every day.
Here are some other tools and tricks that helped along the way:
Are there ever minor cuts and accidents? Absolutely, but then again, I know that every time I cut a finger while cooking for a while and I’m saved; that’s what will happen!
What do you think Do you allow children to use knives?