When holding your vegetables, be sure to keep your hand in the shape of a claw. This will keep your fingertips away from the knife’s blade. (Alla Dreyvitser)

Lots of recipes require ingredients that are chopped or sliced, so it’s important to know how to handle a knife. Ask a grown-up to help you follow chef Jeremy Cooke’s tips. The photos show how to chop vegetables for Cooke’s couscous tofu recipe.

If you are right-handed, shape your left hand into a claw and put your fingertips on top of the food, which should stick out slightly from under the knuckle of your middle finger. That knuckle will provide a guide for the knife. With your right hand, grab the knife handle firmly and treat it like an extension of your hand, making sure your wrist doesn’t move. Put the tip of the knife on the cutting board, and cut the food by sliding the knife down and away from you. Then pull the knife toward you, keeping the tip on the cutting board. Use the thumb of your guide hand to move the food toward the knife. Continue moving the knife back and forth.

If you are left-handed, switch hands.