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Correct peeling and chopping techniques


The bridge

  • Always use a chopping board.
  • Make a bridge over the vegetable or fruit with your hand. Fingers should be on one side and thumb should be on the other.
  • Pick up the knife with the other hand and check that the blade is facing downwards.
  • Guide the knife under the bridge and over the tomato. Cut into the vegetable or fruit by pressing the knife down and pulling it out of the bridge. It can help to think of the knife as a train which goes under the bridge.


The claw

  • Make a claw with your hand by partly curling your fingers together.
  • Pick up the knife with your other hand and check that the blade is facing downwards.
  • Tilt the knife and slice through the vegetable or fruit, using your fingers as a guide.
  • Slide your fingers back, keeping your grip on the celery, and continue slicing carefully. Keep the ends of your fingers vertical almost as if you are digging in your fingernails.
  • Note: adults and children unfamiliar with this technique often start correctly but their fingers start slide into a horizontal position after a few slices. Keep reminding them to keep the ends of fingers vertical.
  • Keep the thumb well back and away from the knife.

Flat surface down

  • Try to create a flat surface when you start chopping fruit and vegetables, so they are stable while being cut.
  • Chop with flat surface on the chopping board. Remember ‘If it rocks, it’s wrong’.







  • Always use a chopping board.
  • Always peel away from you with the end of the vegetable or fruit on the board.
  • With long foods, such as carrots, hold one end and peel from the middle away from you. Then hold the peeled end and repeat the same process, peeling from the middle towards the chopping board





  • Remember that you do not have to grate every bit of the food. It is best to leave a small chunk at the end to hang on to. This means that fingers are not pressed against the grater.





  • Kitchen scissors can sometimes be a useful alternative to a knife, especially with young children. Scissors are good for snipping herbs and spring onions – even pepper slices.