Want to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are 10 of our favorite kitchen tools to have handy.
Whether it’s to help make fresh school lunches or to prep dinner, kids seem to constantly ask: Can I help?
Sometimes, finding something simple for them to do can be a bit difficult, that is, if you don’t have some of these simple tools.
It’s no secret. Cooking with your kids is the perfect opportunity to get them involved in making healthy food choices. My daughter is 5 years old now, but she has been in the kitchen helping out since she was 2.
I usually get asked “couldn’t you just cook faster without her in the kitchen?” And the answer to that is yes. Of course, I could get things done faster. However, I like having her involved in the kitchen.
While she is busy drying the lettuce with the salad spinner, or sifting flour, I quickly do some of the steps that she cannot help me with yet.
Every child is different, and while some of these gadgets my daughter could use at the age of 2, they may not all be appropriate for a different 2-year-old. As always, be cautious while cooking in the kitchen with your children.
Here are our top 10 kitchen favorites and how we get our kids to help in our MOMables kitchens:
1. Salad Spinner. A salad spinner can be used to dry lettuce and herbs, but what it can also do is occupy your little one for up to 10 minutes! At age 2, my daughter loved to play with the salad spinner. I would have her spin the salad while I would quickly go through the rest of the steps that she couldn’t help me with.
Now that she is 5, she’s learned how to stop the salad spinner, and her favorite thing to do is to check the lettuce in order to make the executive decision if the salad is dry enough.
2. Garlic Chopper. I bought a rolling garlic chopper right around the time my daughter turned 2. With this gadget, you open the compartment to put a couple of peeled garlic cloves inside. You then roll it around on your kitchen counter (or floor, like a toy car). The blades inside chop the garlic and allow you to cut garlic without a knife. Your child has to be of the age to understand that he/she cannot open up the contraption without an adult, but they can roll the garlic chopper all by themselves! My daughter at the age of 2 understood not to open it and absolutely loved to use it.
3. Egg Slicer. An egg slicer can not only be used on eggs, but on strawberries, olives, bananas, and other soft fruits. Give these items to your child for them to cut.
4. Mini Chopper. A mini chopper can be used to chop nuts, make salsa, make breadcrumbs, dice onions, etc. The blades are enclosed in a cup, and your child can help make a meal with just a push of their hand!
5. Peeler. A peeler can be used with older kids. You can use a peeler to peel fruit and vegetables, or to shave chocolate or hard cheeses.
6. Garlic Press. With a garlic press, you’ll need a good grip, but you can easily set up your kids to press a few cloves of garlic on their own.
7. Flour Sifter. Some flour sifters have easy and simple cranks that resemble a child’s jack in the box. This gadget often keeps kids entertained for a while even after all the flour is sifted. Some sifters come with an attached measuring cup so that the worry of dropping flour all over the floor isn’t as high.
8. Potato Masher. Making mashed potatoes? Let your kids use their muscles and mash them for you. You can use a potato masher to mash avocado or hard-boiled eggs, too.
9. Citrus Juicer. A simple old-fashioned citrus juicer, where you place half of a citrus fruit on top to squeeze the juice out into the bowl is the perfect gadget to have! Not only will you get some freshly squeezed orange juice, your kids will love making it (and drinking it) themselves!
10. Egg Beater. An egg beater has a crank that is easily doable for older and younger kids to help make scrambled eggs in the morning. A whisk could be used instead of an egg beater as well.