At Project CHEF, we believe that children of any age are capable of helping out in the kitchen. It’s hard to put a number on what age your child may start using a knife, but if you are looking for a place to start, we have a few helpful tips to get your kids in the kitchen.

 

In the classroom, we have taught children as young as 4 years old how to cut safely with a knife. This, of course, requires close supervision and a more hands-on approach than with an 8 year old but it can be done. We have seen students in Grade 1 go from never before holding a knife, to confidently and independently cutting on their own over the course of one week.

 

#1 Where to START

If you feel that your child is not quite ready to learn how to use a knife, there are plenty of cooking skills they can learn using their hands and other kitchen tools.

Using Your Hands

  • Tearing: herbs, cheese, greens, vegetables
  • Greasing a pan
  • Measuring liquid & dry ingredients
  • Cracking eggs
  • Washing & drying dishes
  • Setting the table
  • Mixing ingredients
  • Kneading dough

Cooking Skills

  • Mashing
  • Whisking
  • Mixing
  • Folding
  • Emulsifying
  • Juicing
  • Creaming

 

#2 What comes NEXT

Next, you might like to introduce using handheld equipment, including those with sharp blades or edges.  Watch our Sharp Hand Tools video to learn how to safely use these tools.

Using Sharp Hand Tools

  • Micro-plane
  • Box grater or Flat grater
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Melon Baller

#3 Progress to CUTTING and COOKING

When you are ready to introduce using a knife, there are some very important safety measures to follow. Watch our Knife Skills video for an easy-to-understand introduction to holding a knife and cutting.

Knife Skills

    • Holding a knife
    • Claw & Saw
    • Teeter Totter
    • Cutting Fruits and Vegetables

Cooking at a Stovetop

  • Stovetop Safety
  • Adding Ingredients to a Hot Pan
  • Flipping
  • Stirring
  • Sautéing
  • Stir-frying

 

 

COOKING PROGRESSION at a GLANCE

There is not one approach to introducing cooking skills. Do what your feel works best for your children and your family. At the end of the day, the more hands helping in the kitchen, the better. Refer to our Top Tips for Cooking before getting started.

USING YOUR HANDS
    • Tearing (herbs, cheese, salad greens)
    • Greasing a pan
    • Measuring liquid & dry ingredients
    • Cracking eggs
    • Washing & drying dishes
    • Setting the table
    • Mixing ingredients
    • Kneading dough
COOKING SKILLS
    • Mashing
    • Whisking
    • Mixing
    • Folding
    • Emulsifying
    • Juicing
    • Creaming
USING SHARP HAND TOOLS
  • Micro-plane
  • Box grater or Flat grater
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Melon baller
USING A KNIFE
    • Holding a knife
    • Claw & Saw
    • Teeter Totter
    • Cutting fruits and vegetables
COOKING AT A STOVETOP
    • Stovetop Safety
    • Adding ingredients to a hot pan
    • Flipping
    • Stirring
    • Sautéing
    • Stir-frying

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECIPES TO GET YOU STARTED

We have categorized our recipes to help you choose ones suitable to your family.

Beginner Recipes

Super Fast Guacamole

This is one of our favorite ways to spice up a Friday night dinner when we are all too tired […]

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BANANA SUSHI

Banana sushi is a healthy snack and it’s super quick to make. As an added bonus, it offers learning opportunities […]

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Bird's Nest Cookies

The smell of cookies baking in the oven is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Fill your ‘nest’ […]

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Soda Bread

Bread is “very satisfying” to make, our young chefs tell us. This whole wheat and oats soda bread is a […]

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Beginner
no cutting or stovetop cooking

 

 

  • Spelt Bread
  • Brownies
  • Apple Bites (apples pre-cut)
  • Luscious Lemon Squares
  • Lemon Bread Pudding
  • Summer Black Bean Dip
  • Super-Fast Guacamole
  • Fruit Kebabs with Orange-Cinnamon
  • Yoghurt Dip (fruit pre-cut)
  • Whole Wheat Baguette
  • Naan
  • Critterless Caesar Salad (adult help with croutons)
  • Eggy Bread Egg Nests
  • Jiffy Chocolate Cake
  • Bird’s Nest Cookies
  • Smoothie
  • Whole Wheat Pizza
  • Double Corn Bread
  • Pita Bread
  • Tzatziki
  • Soda Bread
  • Banana Sushi (adult can help cut)
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Intermediate Recipes

Whole Wheat Quesadilla

If you are new to cooking, this is a great recipe to practice many important cooking skills, in particular, knife […]

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Apple-Berry Crumble

There’s something comforting about the flavours and aroma of this crumble. Crumbles or crisp are traditional desserts that have been […]

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Rhubarb Compote

It’s a true sign of spring when rhubarb pokes its head out of the ground. This BC vegetable grows all […]

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Intermediate
some cutting or cooking

 

 

  • Apple Bites
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Herby Egg and Collard Green Wraps
  • Fresh Tomato Salsa
  • Tofu & Veggie Kebabs
  • Whole Wheat Quesadilla
  • Vietnamese Spring Rolls
  • Chocolate Pudding
  • Oven-Roasted Yam Wedgie Fries
  • Roast Chicken with Herbs
  • Potato Gnocchi
  • Quinoa Salad with Fresh Herbs and Veggies
  • Apple Berry Crumble
  • Apple Buckle
  • Greek Salad
  • Calzone
  • Whole Wheat Pancakes
  • Tuscan-Style Tomato Sauce

 

Top CHEFS

Ratatouille

Ratatouille is chunky vegetable stew from the south of France. In Project CHEF, we like to promote eating all the […]

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Frittata

Our Fresh Flavourful Frittata is easy & versatile. You can create frittatas using many different ingredients – it’s a great […]

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Pasta with Tomatoes and Herbs

Kids love pasta. When we ask kids about their favourite foods, pasta is at the top of the list. This […]

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Top CHEFS
cutting & stovetop cooking, more advanced fine motor skills

 

 

  • Frittata
  • Kung Pao Chicken
  • Tomato Soup
  • Cous Cous
  • Ratatouille
  • Farm Fresh Omelette
  • Chana Masala
  • Fish Tacos
  • Spanakopites
  • Fraser Valley Summer Succotash
  • Maple-glazed Salmon
  • Maple Sticky Buns
  • Miso Soup
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Pasta with Tomatoes & Herbs
  • Salmon Yakitori
  • Veggie & Brown Rice Maki Rolls

 

HAPPY COOKING CHEFS!

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