The kids’ favorite part of cooking is chopping things up. This is great, because they like to snack on the fruits and vegetables that they’re chopping up — even things that they won’t try when they’re on their dinner plate. Want your kids to eat more veggies? Give ’em knives and a cutting board.
However, the kids also like to talk and gesticulate and look around the room while chopping and slicing. To be fair, they probably learned this behavior from me, but it still means I’m not ready to let them use the grown-up knives just yet.
So we’ve been trying to find good kid-friendly knives. Sharp enough to slice tomatoes and sturdy enough to chop carrots, but safe enough that no one loses a finger.
The best child-friendly knives I’ve found so far come from Curious Chef, a company that makes cooking gear for kids. They’re much better than the nylon lettuce knives that were our previous favorite — the design is somewhat similar, but the Curious Chef knives are easier to grip and have more effective blades, for about the same price ($8.99 for a set of 3 knives).
I want to be totally transparent about this: Curious Chef didn’t pay me anything for this post, but they did send me the knife set (retail value: $8.99) for free. In exchange, they asked me to tag them in a Kids Cook Monday blog post. They had no input into the content, and didn’t get to review the post. All the opinions are mine and the kids’.
(Yes, we’re happy to do sponsored content and marketing posts, but they’ll be clearly disclosed as such, and will involve a reasonable fee (which will go to the kids’ college savings account), not just free product samples.)
When the knives arrived, we tested them out by chopping up all the vegetables I had in the fridge. I asked Everett (age 6 1/2) what he though I should tell people about the knives.
Are they good knives? Do they feel like the right size for you?
They’re good because they’re not too big, and they’re very good at cutting. I like the big one and the medium one. Those two work very well. But the carrots kept flying off the cutting board.
Would you recommend these knives if someone is thinking about getting them for their kids?
I think you should buy them for him or her, but only if they’re old enough. Like at least maybe four or five or six.*
What’s your favorite thing to chop up?
I would say cabbage. It’s the most tasty.
*Curious Chef says the knives are appropriate for ages 4+. That said, I have a friend who got them for her 2 year-old, and she’s doing just fine.
The set includes 3 knives: small, medium, and large. The kids immediately decided that little brother got the smallest knife, big brother got the medium one, and auntie could have the biggest one. “Until Uncle M. gets home, because then he’s the biggest.” In practice, they both switched around between knives as they worked, figuring out for themselves which size they liked best for which task.
I like that the knives have the same shape as grown-up knives, so the kids can develop good knife habits (and chop things without mashing their knuckles — an important feature for grown-up knives as well). And they’re BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.
The serrated nylon blades have rounded teeth, instead of points, so they can saw through most foods but won’t easily cut skin if they slip. (Fischer forgot to curl his fingers out of the way once, and the knife didn’t even break the skin. And after that, he remembered to keep his fingers out of the way.) (And yes, I had already tested the blades on my own hand, so I knew he was safe, and I was watching carefully to make sure that he didn’t actually injure himself.)
Since the knives are serrated, we found that a back-and-forth sawing motion worked best. Chopping and delicate slicing didn’t work quite as well, disappointing the kids when they attempted to mimic the fast restaurant-style prep they see me do when I’m being a bad role model. Sorry, kids: slow and steady until you’re old enough for real blades.
Impressively, the knives did pass the carrot test, making them the best kid-safe knives we’ve tried. The kids figured out that the easiest way to chop through carrots and other hard vegetables was to use their other hand to press down on the rounded spine of the blade — effective, but do make sure all fingers are safely out of the way first. And watch out: as we learned, the cut-off piece sometimes goes flying.
Where to get them:
I’d prefer you choose one of the former two options, but if you’re going to buy from Amazon anyway, using one of our links means we earn a small percentage of whatever you purchase. (And yes, all affiliate and ad earnings from posts featuring the kids go into their college savings accounts. But I haven’t told them, because I don’t want them to feel like they need to cook with me for any reason except that they want to.)
Buy the Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set from Curious Chef
Buy the Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set from Amazon