Cooking up a storm is tons of fun for kids — and not to mention a great way to ward off picky eating and teach an all-around important life skill. Your little sous chefs may even surprise you with how much they can handle in the kitchen, especially when outfitted with the right tools. These six picks can help them (safely!) slice and dice.
You’ve probably used this blunt, rectangular tool to cut dough or smooth out frosting on a cake. But its relatively large size also makes it easy for kids to control. They can use it to make simple cuts on soft foods, like trimming cookie dough edges or even slicing soft cheeses.
Place food on the counter, top it with the dome of a food chopper, press down, and bam...perfectly cut produce every time. Only problem: Getting your kids to stop.
If your kids already use scissors for arts and crafts, then they can use kitchen shears! They’re sharper than most school pairs, but the handles make them safer than a real knife. So go ahead and have them snip up boneless meat, semi-firm veggies, and herbs.
Yup, they have a use outside the pizza box! This is a great tool for kids since most wheels have a protective cover that separates the blade from the easy-to-hold handle. Use it to cut homemade pasta, cinnamon rolls, or a lattice crust for a pie.
Grab one out of the silverware drawer and guide kids as they cut soft vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Consider it a gateway utensil: It has the shape and feel of the real-deal, but is way less sharp than a chef’s knife.
Kid's chef knife
Once your child has mastered the options above, you might want to invest in a chef knife designed specifically for him. This is a great way for kids to use a real kitchen tool with a few “training wheels” attached. They’re typically smaller in scale, have a slightly duller blade, and often have safety handles. (A good option: The Opinel Le Petite chef knife .)
One last thing: All the tools on this list should be used with adult supervision. But consider it an investment: Someday these kids will be cooking you dinner! (A parent can dream, right?)