While I don’t think you need a whole kitchen full of toddler-specific cooking gear, there are a few things that are incredibly helpful to have on hand. Because whether you like to cook with your kids everyday, or prefer to save it for a special occasion, durable tools that help promote (and allow) independence are everything for toddlers.
These items are the ones that we’ve been using regularly in our kitchen for the past few years. They hold up well through typical toddler wear and tear and are super helpful at making cooking together fun for everyone. Actually, the little pitcher is a new addition and clearly isn’t for cooking per say, but it’s made such a difference at meal times that I thought I’d include it here anyway!
Potato Masher: We use our potato masher to stir eggs and pancake batter, to mix muffins, and yes, to mash potatoes. It’s very sturdy and it actually works, which is a definitely plus over many kid-specific tools.
Crinkle Cutter: This slicer is the best! It’s crazy durable and is easy for even little toddlers to use since they can use both hands/arms to press down. It’s good for slicing things like cucumbers, potatoes, bananas, strawberries, melon, kiwi, and any other soft-ish pieces of produce. Stay nearby when it’s in use to help little fingers stay above the dull cutting surface, but otherwise, the kids can use it all by themselves.
Cutting board: You totally could use your regular cutting board with your child, but I like having a separate one because it ensures that it A.) never smells like garlic or onions, which our big one sometimes does and B.) it’s small enough that L can pull it out of her kitchen drawer by herself…which goes a long way when I’m trying to get her to participate in a task with me.
Pitcher: This 16 ounce pitcher has a lid that stays on and is shatter-resistant, so it can survive inevitable falls. I picked one of these up after realizing that L was in the habit of pouring her own drinks at school during snacks and lunch—and that it might save me from getting up and down throughout meals. I fill it about halfway with water and let her pour it into a little open cup. (We like these little Duralux glasses, though little jam jars also work well.) She actually drinks more water this way and likes being in control of something that’s entirely hers at the table.
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