When a child learns chopping, peeling or basic knife skills, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are developed. So, learning to cook at a young age can be an important milestone in your child’s development. With the development of cooking skills, the use of cutlery can also improve their eating habits. Hence, buying kids cutlery is a vital consideration.
Using knives significantly impacts eating and wellness habits which develops into a lifelong practice. If you are still apprehensive about purchasing a knife for your child, read the following section.
What can be a good age to start using a knife?
This is the first question that probably comes to your mind when buying a knife. However, there cannot be any definite answer to that since the temperament of every child is different. Below is a timeline that could guide you in making a decision.
- Various kids cutlery ranges are available in the market that design child-safe knives ideal for 18-20 months olds. To use the knife, choose a safe and stable space to hold the knife together and start by cutting something soft.
- You can let your children safely experiment with the knife by the time they are two years old. You should cut alongside them to show the cutting technique and help them figure it out.
- As your children become 3 or 4 years old, they develop more experience of holding the knife and have made significant progress. At this time, you can set up a cutting station for your children and supervise them when required.
What can be the benefits of using a knife for your toddler?
Using a knife would develop a sense of independence in your child. If your child insists on having certain snacks throughout the day or rejects food at the table, they will benefit from having better control over food preparation and food choices when learning to use a knife.
You can also expose your little one to various foods and let them smell, touch and chop. Further, this could be an excellent way to familiarise your child with the food he does not like by pairing it with the food he prefers.
When your child gradually learns to control a knife, it prepares him for other skills like tying shoelaces or having a good grip on the pencil while writing.
How safe is a knife for your toddler?
Safety is the topmost priority when the use of kids cutlery is concerned. When used correctly, the child-safe knives can go through more foods than you can expect. However, following some safety rules is necessary.
- The knives should be used as tools and not toys. This way, the children know its purpose and immediately put down the knife after using it.
- You must teach your child about knife safety. You must clearly explain and demonstrate the rules of knife usage. Moreover, you need to remind them of the safety rules as often as possible and help them learn faster. Remember, learning through play, being very active, and testing limits are age-appropriate behaviour for these toddlers. So, have patience and let them pick up at their own pace.
- If your child is not careful using the knife, they require redirection. So, you may keep it out of sight or tell them that it will be provided at another time of the day.
Learning to hold a knife and cutting ingredients are fundamental to cooking. Hence, make sure your children are supervised at all times so that they can grasp the chopping and cutting mechanism quickly and you can prevent any injuries from happening.