Involving kids in preparing food not only helps parents in making meals but helps children to learn. How cooking helps preschoolers include building basic skills, encouraging an adventurous palate, helping kids explore with their senses, and boosting their confidence. On top of that, it can also be fun.
Using a knife can be considered risky but can further enhance learning and growth. This includes the development of fine motor skills and the involvement in more of the food preparation.
The trick is to find the most appropriate and versatile safe knife for kids. Our recommendation to solve that issue is the Chop Chop under adult supervision.
9 Advantages of the Chop Chop
1 – They Work
Often the suggestion for young children as they start to use a knife is a butter knife or a spreader, since they are not sharp. As you know this type of knife will only work to cut soft food, like bananas.
The Chop Chop, a safe knive for kids from JUstenbois, is different, it can cut anything from a banana to a carrot. This will include younger children at an earlier stage in truly cutting and contributing to food preparation safely.
2 – It is Safe
The Chop Chop is safe in many ways. First, it will cut vegetables and fruit, but it won’t cut skin. The size and shape of the Chop Chop allow the child to use more force to cut without risk.
The blade is sharp enough to cut, but when you run your finger along the blade it won’t cut skin. This is not the case with a conventional steel blade.
Next, it is made from 100% maple wood, which is a hardwood that is durable and resistant to bacteria. The grains in the maple wood trap bacteria and kill them off. Therefore, it is totally safe when in contact with food.
Finally, it has no tip. This will ensure that children are not poked while using the knife.
3 – The Shape and Handle
Safe knives for kids come in all shapes and sizes. Everything from a crinkle cutter to a regular knife shape. Even among wooden knives there are different models.
The Chop Chop has a handle that permits a child to use it with one or two hands easily. It is easier to grip that those that do not have a handle. This allows for a firmer grip while cutting. Making the job of cutting easier.
Its rounded edges allow you to rock the knife a little without damaging these edges. Rocking a knife makes it easier to cut for people with a weak grasp.
4 – Made from Maple Wood
As mentioned earlier maple wood is a durable hardwood. It is resistant to cracking, decay, and splintering if properly maintained.
The grains of the maple wood trap bacteria and kill the off as this safe knife for kids dries after cleaning. This prevents bacteria from forming and spreading.
Many of the recommended safe knives for kids are made from plastic, nylon, or stainless steel.
Not only are plastic and nylon knives bad for the environment, but they can also be problematic when used. They can release toxins when heated. They are also known to lose their sharp edge quickly, making it hard to have a suitable edge for ongoing use almost impossible.
Most knives are made from stainless steel to avoid corrosion. Stainless steel contains varying amounts of nickel and chromium, which makes it resistant to corrosion. We think this should make the knife safe.
However, poor-quality stainless-steel knives are not safe and can leach into the food. Trace amounts of metal in our bodies are not a problem, but accumulation could be detrimental to our health.
5 – Preserves the Taste of Food
Maple Wood is neutral when in contact with food. It won’t react when cutting or chopping any food, allowing the food to taste as it should. Metal, particularly stainless steel, interacting with food can leave an unpleasant metallic taste to the food.
A wooden knife is your best alternative if you want to preserve the taste of the food you are preparing and eating.
6 – Preserves the Nutrients of Food
In the same way that metal can alter the taste of food, it can transform the nutrients in the food. This same neutrality of maple wood will not alter the nutrients and integrity of the food. This will allow your child to consume the snack that they have prepared full of its intended nutrients.
7 – Natural Antibacterial
The porous nature of maple wood actually works to prevent bacteria from growing. The wood pores absorb and trap the bacteria. This prevents the bacteria from resurfacing and kills them naturally. This phenomenon does not happen with knives made from other materials. Wooden knives for kids are much safer as a result.
8 – Eco-Friendly and Zero-Waste
Wood is a natural, renewable resource. Very little wood is used to make a wooden safe knife for kids. At JUstenbois, more than 9,000 Chop Chops are crafted from one maple tree.
We also choose Maple Wood which comes from cultivated trees that follow sustainable management practices. We only use mature trees; therefore, their removal allows for younger trees to grow faster. This captures more carbon dioxide.
All our wood residues are reclaimed by local farmers. Very little energy is used during the manufacturing process. Also, wood is 100% biodegradable.
Perhaps the worst factor in using plastic is the impact on the environment. Both in the manufacturing process and its subsequent disposal.
Avoid harming the environment and use wood.
9 – Attractive
Very few materials are as attractive as wood. Not only is a wooden safe knife for kids practical to use, but it can also add style to your kitchen.
The Montessori Safe Knife for Kids
The Montessori method of education involves children’s natural interests and activities rather than formal teaching methods. A Montessori classroom places an emphasis on hands-on learning and developing real-world skills.
It emphasizes independence and it views children as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a sufficiently supportive and well-prepared learning environment.
Advantages of Montessori Learning
A safe knife for kids that follows Montessori principles is one that is the right size for a child’s hands that is easy to grasp and is effective at cutting. The Chop Chop follows these principles.
Because it is the right size, easy to grasp, and cuts the child will approach the activity enthusiastically and want to participate in food preparation.
Just involving children in the family’s preparation of the meal will provide an opportunity for great social interaction. It helps them to see what is involved and prepares them for life. It may also make them want to try new foods.
Without realizing it, they will be performing math. Cutting the apple into 8 pieces, is a great exercise in math. What happens when you cut each of those pieces in 2, again math. Reading a recipe, to see what they need to do next improves their reading abilities. All of this can be accomplished by using the Chop Chop.
The more a child learns the more they will develop confidence in themselves and gain a sense of independence.
How to Clean and Maintain the Chop Chop, a Safe Knife for Kids
Step 1 – Rinse immediately after use
The quickest, simplest, and easiest way to ensure that food does not cake on your Chop Chop is to rinse them under warm water immediately after you use them. Do not soak them.
Step 2 – Hand wash
Wash your Chop Chop in warm water with mild dish soap by hand. Use a soft sponge or gentle dishcloth and scrub to remove all the leftover food particles. Do not soak in water for more than 15 minutes.
Step 3 – Rinse and towel dry
Thoroughly rinse all soap suds away with warm water. Dry immediately with a clean dishtowel. Allow them to air-dry before putting them away.
If you don’t let them air dry and put them away wet, the water droplets trapped in the wood will not dry completely and, over time, can cause the wood to crack or warp.
What To Do If the Blade Dulls?
If you find that the blade has become dull over time. Prior to sanding ensure that the Chop Chop is well dried. Use a #320-grit sandpaper and sand along each side of the edge two or three times and then end with a soft stroke along the cutting edge.
To restore the original smoothness to the wood, lightly sand with a #600-grit sandpaper or a fine soap free piece of steel wool. One light sanding should suffice for many years of use and pleasure. Apply a food safe natural mineral oil to restore its luster.
Frequently Asked Questions About a Safe Knife for Kids
At what age can a child use a knife?
Every child is different, but at JUstenbois we suggest that you can introduce our safe knife for kids, the Chop Chop, to a child as young as two years old. At this age their hands may not be strong enough to control a conventionally shaped knife with much precision.
The shape and the handle of the Chop Chop make it easier for a child to have a firmer grip and cut independently. Children should always be supervised when in the kitchen, especially when cutting food.
What is the best non-toxic choice for kids?
Wood is the most sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative for a safe knife for kids. It is durable and not easily broken by children. Maple wood is non-toxic and the best choice for a safe knife for kids. The porous nature of maple wood also works to prevent bacteria from growing.
What is a kid knife?
A kid knife is one that is made to fit in a child’s small hands. It is designed to involve them in food preparation at an early age. The Chop Chop, a safe knife for kids from JUstenbois, does just that.
How are knives safe for kids?
Safe knives for kids are designed to cut food not kids, are made from a material that is non-toxic and prevents bacteria growth and has a dull point to prevent injuries from poking. The safe knife for kids from JUstenbois does all three.