Chop chop!

A bowl of chopped ingredients

Cut the vegies up finely so that little fingers can't pick them out

Back in my post, top ten ways to smuggle vegies into kids, I touched on the concept of chopping things small. It solves the huge problem of targeted foods being picked out of the meal.

For instance, last night I’d made a vegie and ham muffin and my daughter, who was hoovering it down, did stop to ask, “What’s the red stuff?”.
“Sweet, delicious, red capsicum”, said I, valiantly trying to sell it in and avoid a muffin fiasco.
“I don’t like it” she said.
“Oh well,” I tried to act casual, hoping she couldn’t see the rising panic (you see, I know that once she rejects something, chances are little brother will loyally follow). “Oh well, they’re so small, just don’t look at them. As a general flavour you seem to like it?”.
She did quite like it. And the offensive red stuff was just tiny flecks here and there. So she ate it. And there is the joy of chopping things up finely.

So the best way to do it? My all time favourite would have to be a hand-held food processor like these. Or if you’re a member you can check out the Choice review of hand-held blenders. I use the pulse function on this all the time to do an easy, quick chop. You do have to watch it though and not turn everything into pastes and purees.

You can’t beat a good knife and basic knife-skills. Want a general tutorial on basic chopping techniques? See an astonishingly fat man with a light touch and a nice teaching manner here.

Or Men’s Health has a basic tutorial here. Typically on a video by men, for men, it starts with a discussion on knife size (8 to 12 inches is fine).

However, the most succinct and helpful is by a NY cooking teacher here. She’s also a little size obsessed – happy with just the 8 inch, but it has to be a good 2 or 3 inches wide.

Good luck!

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