5 Most Popular Kid-Safe Cooking Tools
I get asked about kid-safe cooking tools a lot, especially at this time of the year. It makes me really happy when parents of my students (current and past) ask about kitchen tools for home because I take it to mean that the parents are supporting their mini chefs' interest in cooking, and it more than likely means that they will cook at home together.
That's success to me. A new generation of children who feel comfortable in the kitchen and who feel the pride and confidence of being able to provide nourishment for themselves.
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1) Kid-Safe Knives
The #1 tool that parents ask me about is what knives we use in class. I have 2 types that I use, and one of them has been discontinued, sadly. The knives that the kids really love are made by Curious Chef. Find them HERE.
They’re made out of nylon and they are the same shape as a “real” chef’s knife. It’s easy to cut all sorts of fruits and vegetables and my mini chefs develop good knife skills as a result of using these knives.
The knives are white and there is a small accent color on the handle. If you’ve ever met any kids before, you’ll know that they are very particular about colors and which one is “better.” We know that they all work the same, but if you’d like to avoid a protest of the knife not being “the same” as the ones in class, go for the green accented ones, which is what I have!
2) The Garlic "Spaceship!"
One of the most fun cooking gadgets that the kids love is what I refer to as “the garlic spaceship.” It kind of looks like a space ship that closes up at the top and in order to chop up the garlic, you rev it back and forth on the table. It’s made by Chef’N and you can find it HERE.
When I teach my preschoolers, I never get tired of making corny jokes about putting on their space suit and blasting off. And the elementary aged chefs really dig it, too! (I hold back on the corny jokes just a smidgen with them!)
What I like about the gadget is that the kids enjoy practicing a different fine motor action, their fingers won’t smell like garlic and this gadget chops up the garlic much finer than they can chop it with a knife. My only cautions are to make sure they don’t try to stick their finger into the top where the blades are, and also to be very gentle with the “space ship” top.
3) Kid-Sized Cutting Gloves
Another parent-requested item is the kid-size cutting gloves. I use these a lot when we are grating cheese or vegetables, using the microplane and ginger grater.
HERE is the link for them. The gloves protect their little hands well, and of course, one should never try to cut through the glove with a sharp utensil, as they are not made to withstand that kind of force.
The kids enjoy wearing them, and they never get my Michael Jackson joke about using one glove!
4) Appealing Peelers
We use peelers a lot, and I really love the OXO brand because of its thick rubber grip. The mantra that I sing with them when I teach them how to use the peeler is “push it away, push it away and push it away.”
This helps remind them that the way to safely peel something is to push the peeler away from them rather than pulling it towards their hands. Of course you can have them wear the glove if you like, too, for added protection.
I would also start them on peeling a long and straight item like carrots, rather than apples or potatoes which are a bit trickier with all of the curves. Find the peeler HERE. It's also listed as the #1 pick for peelers on Amazon! Not too shabby!
5) Chopper Upper
Kids and onions aren’t a good match, and to protect their little eyes, I love using a chopper like THIS by OXO to chop up the onions (or garlic) really finely.
I like to use the Pampered Chef chopper, which you can find HERE. I use both items and they’re both good. The key to using these gadgets well is to exert enough force to make the blades touch down onto the item you’re chopping.
With my 3-year old chefs, sometimes they don’t have enough strength to make that happen. The other key to the kingdom with using the chopper effectively is to chop, then pause, chop, then pause so that the blades don’t get stuck from too much force.
There we are.
There are many other tools that I use with the kids in my classes, and if you’re interested in knowing more, you can check our “Tools for Small Chefs” page or comment below. You can always drop me a line at Sharon@cookingwithkidsNY.com
Bye for now!