Why I bought my one year old a knife

November 2, 2014

Since being pregnant, I’ve eaten so much more healthily than I did before.
There was a time I’d spend my tea breaks at work scoffing down a greasy sausage roll and swigging a can of energy drink.
These days I will more likely be found pinning healthy food ideas on my Pinterest board whilst bunging a load of veg in the slow cooker and batch cooking stews and casseroles.

It’s important to me that we encourage Dexter to make good choices about his food and to me that means starting as we mean to go on. With so many of todays illnesses, ailments and problems being caused by obesity (which in turn is caused by bad diet / lack of education/skills) I believe it vital that he understands the importance of a balanced diet, where his food comes from and what to do with it.

We’ve recently taken over an allotment so we will be growing plenty of our own fruit and veg. Dexter loves digging in the mud and of course getting filthy. He has a play house down there that we are currently using as a shed until we get a new one and then we aim to grow him a bean tunnel leading to the door way.
We also hope to get some pet chickens in the new year. (We had 7 chickens a few years ago but they sadly got foxed)10620557_10152729088860803_8445186762030045743_n

Over the last couple of months, Dexter has shown particular interest in copying any housework that I do. He’s always helped with the hoovering since he could walk but he now loads up the tumble dryer with the clothes that I pass him from the washing machine. He presses the buttons that I show him on the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher and helps me get food out of the cupboards and freezer. In fact he gets quite sulky if I don’t let him help. He likes to take handfuls of pasta out of the bag and put them in the saucepan, I think mainly because it makes a cool noise but I’m not complaining.

Children learn best by watching, copying and doing and so I always try and encourage and involve him in my daily tasks,  which is why I’ve recently started to let him get more involved in cooking.

I let him stir things that aren’t hot and help me pour things etc and I’ve recently bought him a crinkle cutter so that he can start to help me cut the vegetables.
If I’m completely honest, it is a little sharp for my liking so I will be on the look out for a new, much safer one but the handle being at the top means he can use both hands, giving him much more control than he would have with a normal knife. He never uses it without my help and he really enjoys being part of the cooking process.
We sit him in his high chair with his tray, he grabs hold of the handle at the top and I hold the side to help guide his hands. I move the vegetables where they need to be for him to cut them so his fingers never go near the blade and as soon as we’re done with chopping each thing, I remove the knife from his reach while I get the next veg ready to cut so of course we are very careful with it.


The way I see it, is kids love it when they master something new and they are less likely to become fussy eaters when they have such and involvement in the preparation of their meals. Its also a great way of helping to encourage kitchen hygiene. We always wash our hands together when we start for example and its never to early to teach the basics of cleanliness. Who knows, maybe he’ll be a famous chef one day.
Or maybe he’ll just be able to prepare himself decent meals when he leaves home.

Either way, I’d be interested to know if any of you let your little ones help in the kitchen and how old they are/were when you first let them?
Also, If you can recommend a good but safe knife that may be more suitable, I’d be very interested to hear.


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  • Reply Hannah Budding Smiles November 2, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! We’ve got chickens and are in the process of getting a veg patch ready for next year and Toby will be helping out for sure!xx

  • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 2, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Awwwww. have you named them? I miss my girls. Cant wait to get more. What does Toby make of them?

  • Reply Carrie November 4, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Totally agree, my 2 started “helping” around 18 month, mixing, stirring etc, I bought a pampered chef kids safe knife which they used to help me chop foods for dinner from around 2.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 4, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Ahh I shall look that up. Thank you. He uses his plastic knives for softer things like bananas but I would definitely like to get him something a bit more suitable.

  • Reply Julie Kelly November 9, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Lexi would chop mushrooms and bits for me while in her high chair in the kitchen next me although most of it was squashed and/or eaten. When she was about 1 I actually sterilised a plastic knife that come with a playdoh set. It was a perfect size and harmless. Apart from everything it teaches them it also gives you time to actually do chores which is great.
    Now lexi is 6yr she has an adult dinner knife that she uses but finds it more of a chore now. She likes to take part in the writing of the shopping list etc so enjoy it while you can.

    • Reply Leslie Rickerby November 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Aww bless her heart, I can picture her doing that too! And you’re right about he time thing.
      Its the same when I hoover. I plug it in and turn it on and he instantly wants to takeover so I leave him with it in the middle of the room while I get every thing else picked up, and then by the time he’s lost interest, I’m ready to hoover.

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