knife skills for kids

The Best EFFECTIVE Trick for No Tears Onion Cutting…so Easy, a Kid Can Do It

I’ve read a LOT of tips for not crying while cutting onions.

When I used to stock my freezer regularly with diced onions, I cut a bunch at a time using a little chopper. Believe me, folks, the tears were flowing!

Could I find a way to cut onions without crying?

  • I tried doing the right breathing. I never actually remember if you’re supposed to breathe through your mouth or through your nose to make the onion bite more tolerable, but you know what? Neither one works, so it doesn’t really matter. Smile
  • I rarely remember to put my onions in the fridge before dicing (nor do I have room in the fridge) but I’ve often heard claim – and made the claim! – that chilled onions are easier on the eyes.
  • And I took the free Craftsy class on knife skills and was delighted to hear the chef say that slicing with the grain also cuts down on the tears. Of course, that ceases to be so helpful when you dice the onion and have to go the other way.
  • A reader on Facebook just this weekend said that a super sharp knife with a little bit of oil on it would also do the trick.

Wish you didn’t have to feel nervous when your kids ask to use knives?


But they all seem to be a halfway (or less) solution.

knife skills screenshot all kid lesson

When I was preparing to have my 10-year-old son and his 8-year-old friend cutting onions on camera for the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse, I totally remembered. The onions were in the fridge overnight. I said on camera that chilling them cuts the tears.

And then there was a lot of blinking, tearing, and boys trying to get away from the onions…on camera. Smile

We had a lot of learning happening on the set of the eCourse. including one of the cameramen admitting that he was using our “Up and Over Soldier” technique for cutting vegetables at home in between shoots. The other cameraman taught us something.

Something about onions.

He used to work at a pizza place, and he told us a story about his job interview. When he arrived, he laughed at his future boss because the man was wearing safety goggles. Mr. Boss Man invited him to come stand nearby as he was running onions through the slicing machine, with a fine mist of onion juice beginning to make a cloud.

And that is how we learned this truly fool-roof trick:

This is how our kids cut onions

We may look a little foolish in the kitchen wearing swim (or ski) goggles, but they truly lock out the onion offenders. They’re my new favorite kitchen tool, because they enable my kids to make dinner, without me, and without crying. Smile

Now I’m going to have to get Paul his own Wusthof chef’s knife, because he’s always stealing mine. Or I could just sit down and rest.


A 10-year-old with a Knife?

Does it surprise you that my 10-year-old is using a great big chef’s knife? Or that my 7-year-old also uses sharp knives already? If your kids want to learn some knife skills too, check out our free knife skills class for kids!

Our online cooking classes in the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse have been a hit from the beginning, and with thousands of members we’re really picking up steam.

Why is this Special for Kids?

There are plenty of online and in-person cooking classes out there. I even mentioned Craftsy above. But this one is different.

Everything is completely geared for developmental readiness, and the terminology and demonstrations are created especially for kids, to be fun, memorable, and an easy part of their daily lives. Reviewing families have been pouring forth with compliments, and my favorite ones are when the moms tell me how much their kids are using the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse phrases and getting excited about cooking class:

“We cooked dinner together right after our lesson and I heard little phases and “fun language” from the lesson repeated often. I actually told somebody to sandcastle pack something and he knew exactly what I meant. They were recalling and processing what they had learned and applied it in a new situation. I was very pleased.”

“As soon as I started [the adult info video], I don’t even know how the kids knew, but they were swarming like bees. They love this cooking class!”

That’s me…your favorite might be what moms are having time to do while their kids are cooking dinner – like finally getting to that Bible study before you’re bleary-eyed the night before your meeting:

Mom doing Bible study while kids make dinner

Kids Teaching Kids

I am also tickled when moms tell me their kids love seeing my kids and our friends working! Here’s another one:

“He really enjoyed watching the other kids work. I think it was really helpful for him to have seen it before he tried it.”

It’s really making a difference for kids to see other kids doing the skills. They feel like the kids on screen are their little friends, and they know that they can do it too. You won’t find that positive peer pressure in other cooking classes!

“I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get my kids interested in ants on a log for years. Who knew I just had to show them a video of other kids doing it?”

Preschoolers spreading peanut butter

The best way for you to see what I mean, of course, is watch some of the lessons – you can get a little preview in the promo video, but really, I hope you’ll just jump right in (that’s what the 30-day money-back guarantee is for!).

One dad friend of mine watched a lesson and said the best quote ever:

“Oh my goodness, you speak child!”

See if you agree!

Safe ways to Cut with a Sharp Knife

At what age will you or did you let your kids use sharp knives? What do you wish they knew how to do in the kitchen?

What You Should Do Next:

1. Subscribe to The Healthy Parenting Connector

Katie Kimball

I interview experts about kids’ health every week – stay in the loop with a quick Saturday morning email:



2. Try a Free Preview of my Cooking Class for Kids

Our members’ favorite lesson is always our 10-minute knife skills and safety class, teaching techniques with unique & memorable phrases from butter knives to chef’s knives (ages 2-teen). Take a peek here and try it out with your kids.

3. Enroll in the Online Cooking Course for Kids:

Enroll now in the Wall Street Journal’s #1 recommended online cooking class for kids (also rated 5 stars on Facebook). See what fits your family best HERE.

About Katie Kimball

Katie Kimball, CSME, creator of Kids Cook Real Food and CEO of Kitchen Stewardship, LLC, is passionate about connecting families around healthy food. As a trusted educator and author of 8 real food cookbooks, she’s been featured on media outlets like ABC, NBC and First for Women magazine and contributes periodically on the FOX Network.

Since 2009, busy moms have looked to Katie as a trusted authority and advocate for children’s health, and she often partners with health experts and medical practitioners to stay on the cutting edge. In 2016 she created the Wall Street Journal recommended best online kids cooking course, Kids Cook Real Food, helping thousands of families around the world learn to cook. She is actively masterminding the Kids’ Meal Revolution, with a goal of every child learning to cook.

A mom of 4 kids from Michigan, she is also a Certified Stress Mastery Educator, member of the American Institute of Stress and trained speaker through Bo Eason’s Personal Story Power.

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