Learning to Use a Grater – Cooking with Kids, Part 8

By Ebony Porter, September 28, 2017, Family

Welcome to Cooking with Kids from Bounce Energy! Think of the kitchen as a science lab or a living classroom. It contains so many elements that can provide hands-on learning opportunities for your kids – measuring, learning temperature, time, chemistry, fermentation, and more. Join us as we show you how to introduce your kids to the best room in the house!

Learning to Use a Grater - Cooking with Kids, Part 8 | Bounce Energy Blog

When approaching something with blades or a sharp edge in the kitchen, we shouldn’t shy away from having our children use them. The best thing to do is educate them.

The cheese grater, or just a simple grater, is a great little tool to use in the kitchen. It’s the sort of food prep that your child can help you with while you wash up the dishes, or handle other aspects of meal prep that aren’t suitable for your kiddo.

Here are our tips for how to introduce your child to a grater, and get the most out of it!

Choosing a Grater

There are as many graters to choose from as there are kitchen spatulas, whisks, thermometers, and knives!

When keeping in mind the thought of your child using one, we recommend buying a grater that has a plastic or rubber handle at the top, and allows you to hold it with one hand, while holding the food to be grated in the other.

These graters usually have either two sides of four sides, each side with a different “grate” size. Some graters also include a side to grate rind from a lemon or orange.

The Microplane grater that finely grates Parmesan cheese, Brussels sprouts, and ginger root isn’t one we would suggest for children. The tiny blades are extremely sharp, and even adults must use caution.

We also don’t suggest the old fashioned graters that are are a simple one surface with handle. It can be wonky to hold these graters while holding onto the food at the same time. There may be a tendency to lose balance, and find your food flying across the kitchen floor!

Learning to Use a Grater - Cooking with Kids, Part 8 | Bounce Energy Blog

Using Caution

Begin by explaining to your child that the grater is like a hundred little knives!

We must always use caution when handling a grater and like a knife, keep the sharp edges away from us. When we don’t use caution, tender skin may be cut or grazed.

Only hold the grater by the handle. Also caution them when washing a grater. Be careful to only wash with the grain of the blades, not against it.

One Direction

Rather than moving a block of cheese up and down the surface of the blades, teach your child to move and press the food into the grater one direction. When you go the opposite direction of the blade, you risk cutting your knuckles and fingers.

Start slowly, and teach them to be deliberate.

What to Grate?

You might think of it as a small gadget in the kitchen, but the possibilities are endless!

Consider grating cheese to put on top of a baked potato. Grate hard Parmesan cheese for a pasta dish.

What about grating carrots for tonight’s dinner salad?

Grated apples are great in muffins, and make them extra moist. You’ll want to cut the apple first to make it more manageable for your child, and also avoid a slick skin surface on the apple.

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