I love to cook with my kids. I was in the kitchen with one of my older girls the other day, and she asked if she could cut an onion for a soup I was making. Her technique scared me a bit, and I realized I needed to teach her how to properly use a kitchen knife. I used to work as a sous chef for a while after college. How well I learned to cook is debatable, but I did become pretty proficient at using a knife. Here are a few tips:
- Use a good, sturdy cutting board. Keep it from slipping by using a board with non-slip feet, or put a wet towel or non-slip mat underneath.
- Never cut food that you’re holding in your hand – place it and cut it on the cutting board..
- Keep knives sharp – dull knives are more likely to slip and accidentally cause an injury
- Secure the food with your opposite hand, and tuck your fingers to form a “claw” – your fingers should be straight up and down and can be used to guide the knife. Here’s a picture of the technique.
- Use a cutting board with plenty of space, and try to keep the tip of the knife in contact with the board as you chop.
- Keep knives away from the edge of a counter top, and if a knife falls DO NOT try to catch it.
- A good tool for kids to use at first is a double handled half moon knife (Mezzaluna). This can only be used for chopping, but its design keeps stray fingers out of the way of the blade.
- Always have adult supervision until you’re completely comfortable that a child can use a knife safely.
Here’s a good video that does a good job showing these techniques. Stay safe and have fun cooking with your kids.
I can’t believe it’s Halloween again. We here at CSB hope everyone has a great time — here are some reminders to keep everyone as safe as possible:
Halloween Safety Tips –
- Wear light colored or reflective clothing/costumes OR buy reflective tape (sold at any hardware or big box store) and place on costume. 3M makes good reflective tape.
- Make sure your kids have flashlights.
- Make sure costumes don’t drag on the ground – long costumes present an increased fire hazard.
- Talk with your children about not getting too close to jack-o-lanterns with candles, or any other open flames.
- Young children should have a parent with them when trick-or-treating.
- It’s much more safe for children to travel in groups then by themselves or in pairs.
- Take masks off between houses (better yet, don’t get a costume with a mask).
- Don’t cut through yards — use driveways and walks.
- The best neighborhoods for trick-or-treating are the ones with the fewest cars. Take extra time to impress on your children the need to be on the lookout for cars – they will be excited and crossing the street often. They absolutely need to stop and look before crossing, and young children need to wait for a parent before crossing.
- Feed your kids dinner beforehand — lessens the candy intake (at least a little bit).
- If your older kids are going out alone, it’s best for them to have a cellphone or some means of communicating with you.
- Inspect your children’s candy for open packaging or anything else that might be suspicious.
- AND, although not safety related, talk to your kids about being polite, saying thank you, and not grabbing handfuls of candy when offered.
BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!