Would You Give Your Two-Year-Old a Chef’s Knife?

by Bettina Elias Siegel on October 20, 2010

This cookbook author did.  Watch J.M. Hirsch’s very engaging little video and see what you think.

Hat tip to Aviva Goldfarb of The Six O’Clock Scramble.  You can also read Aviva’s interview with Hirsch at the PBS Parents’ Kitchen Explorers site.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie October 20, 2010 at 10:22 am

Well, when you put it like that, I wonder why I still have not given my 7 year old a blade to wield in the kitchen!!!
Looks like mama is going shopping for a new knife!


Grace @eatdinner October 20, 2010 at 11:58 am

What a great video! I was working on a post about Jamie Oliver’s basic cooking skills videos (specifically one on knife skills) and I had to work this in. Thank you for tip and inspiration!


bettina elias siegel October 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Grace: You’re welcome! And thank you, btw, for recent retweets! Much appreciated. – Bettina


J.M. Hirsch October 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm

So glad you’ve enjoyed the video. It has been four years since I first gave Parker his knife and still no cuts!


bettina elias siegel October 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm

J.M. – Welcome to TLT! If you’re at all interested in a guest blog post or interview about your new cookbook, I know the Lunch Tray readership would be interested in reading about it. It looks right up our alley – we’re all about getting the weeknight meal on the table with minimum angst. :-) Just send me an email via the Contact tab or leave a reply here. – Bettina


Lori October 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Hi Bettina!

So pleased to see how well the blog is going… just subscribed to ChopChop after reading about it here.

Anyway, I’m writing today to see if you feel like tackling a slightly off-topic question: what to do about Halloween??? Someone has suggested giving away small toys instead of candy. Clearly our kids don’t need more candy, but do they need more plastic junk? Or do you try to buy something slightly more responsible than the standard commercial candy? Would love your (and your reader’s) thoughts…


bettina elias siegel October 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Lori: You beat me to it! Next week will have two Halloween posts – one on what to hand out, one on what to do with the haul. And so glad to see you here, btw! – Bettina


Donna October 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm

When we took the girls to France, one of our most memorable stops was our visit to Dehillerin, a famous shop for chefs which sells everything from the tiniest pastry molds to stock pots the girls could sit in. You guessed it…bought each girl a knife which they’ve used regularly since then without incident. Now they use our bigger knives when they need them. As long as they know some basic safety tips – make a bear claw, carry with tip pointing down, lay knife flat on counter when not in use, create a flat side so fruits/veggies don’t roll around (didn’t like the clip with the cucumber rolling around), never hand someone the blade – I say let them do the chopping!


Chic Mummy October 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

I haven’t worked up to a chef’s knife yet, but both my toddlers (2.5 and 4) have been using a “kiddie cutter” knife in all the cooking prep they help with (which they have been doing since they were about 2) . It has a serrated blade that will cut most fruits and veggies, but not their hands, and like Donna, I teach them “proper form”. They love helping me cook!


Bri October 21, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Wow, I thought I was good! I’ve just started teaching my 4-year-old how to cut properly, with smaller knives (butter knives, paring knives, etc) — his fine motor skills are not great, so he’s just at the point where I feel we can safely tackle the issue. I also let him sit at the stove with me and flip pancakes and stir pots. There are people in our extended family who act like I’m handing him a basket of razor blades and grenades and leaving the room. I’d like to show them this!


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