Since the season of gift giving is upon us, I wanted to share some of the kitchen tools that I turn to over and over to make feeding my family easier. It's true that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to appliances and how exactly they like to work in the kitchen, so I'd love to hear if you have other things (or similar but different ones!) that you love. I'm a big fan of giving things that are truly useful (or giving books!) and that can be used again and again. Here are my picks for both cooking tools and toddler tableware.
Lifefactory Storage Containers
These glass containers are a convenient size for packing lunches or storing leftovers, and they are oven-safe so you can actually warm things up right in them. (Plus the colors are so fun!)
Wean Green Cubes
Sure, these are primarily for baby food storage, but long after that stage, they are crazy helpful. I use them to store salad dressing, leftover pesto, or L's leftovers. They stack easily and are surprisingly durable.
Replay Snack Stacker
We've gone through a lot of portable snack containers and these are so far our favorite. They are great on their own or stacked and they are a really convenient way to pack a days worth of snacks without taking up your whole diaper bag or purse.
Divided Stainless Steel Plate
We have one of these and it's one of our go-to options for serving L's dinner. The compartments are handy if your little one prefers their food separate and this plate is incredibly durable. It's also a nice option if you prefer plastic-free tableware.
I got one of these for L and one for my nephew last year for Christmas and we've used ours everyday since. It has two sides, both of which have the child's name, and it's how L learned to spell her name. It's held up really well through many (many) wipe downs.
Lifefactory 4 oz Bottle and Sippy Cap
We've largely moved away from sippy cups now that L is three, but I'm keeping our stash of glass bottles on hand for baby #2. We like these little bottles for serving up milk with dinner and love how easy they are to store any leftover milk for the next snack or mealtime. (We have 2 of this size bottle and that has been plenty.)
Egg Poaching Pan
We get our eggs locally and they are too fresh to hard-cook (it's impossible to get the shells off). Instead, we simply use our egg poaching pan, which was actually my holiday gift from my husband last week. It's super easy to use and washes up really easily too.
Half Sheet Pan
This pan, which I use for roasting veggies a few times a week, is my favorite. The little raised ridges help to keep the food from sticking and I think it helps them to cook more evenly on the bottom.
Whether for whipped cream, salsa, pureeing marinara sauce right in the pot, or pureeing black bean soup, we love our Cuisinart Immersion Blender. (We had another brand at one point and let me tell you, it didn't compare at all!)
We use our kettle 2-3 times each day and it's so much faster than a stove top kettle, like crazy fast. It's also how I heat water to thaw peas and soften grated sweet potato for muffins, hummus, or quesadillas.
This was on my wish list for years and I finally saved up points and traded them in for an Amazon gift card a few months ago. I watched the price on a refurbished model, which still comes with a warranty, and scooped it up when it dropped to the lowest I had seen it. And while I know this is not news, this blender makes the most incredibly smooth smoothies, pestos and soups. It's seriously amazing.
We picked up an inexpensive dehydrator over the summer when we picked too many apples at a friend's house and it's been a surprisingly useful tool. We've made apple chips, dried peaches, pear chips, banana chips, strawberry chips, dried parsley, and dried kale. I can't wait to try fruit leather!