From gift ideas to everyday tools I couldn’t live without, these are my favorite ideas for cooks big and small.
Tools for Mini Foodies
PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box. It’s not cheap, but my 1st grader has used hers every single day for nearly 2 school years now–and it still looks new. We’re bought a second one for our second kindergartener this year.
Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set. Our kids have these knives and they’re awesome. They cut veggies, cheese, bread, muffins… And those plastic blades mean I never worry about little fingers.
Lego Ice Cube & Candy Molds. So cute.
Stainless Steel Veggie Cutters. I’ve had this $4 set of veggie cutters for years–and they still hold up perfectly. For cutting carrots, cucumbers, cheese and even punching holes in sandwiches, they are one of my first, and current favorite, kiddie kitchen tools.
One-Piece Chopsticks. We bust these out every time there’s sushi or Chinese on the table, and everyone loves giving them a try every time. Bonus: This 6-pack only runs about $12!
Star Wars Cookie Cutters. When a friend of mine asked me about a great recipe to take for her twins to take to preschool on their birthday, we settled on these adorable cookie cutters and a delicious recipe for chocolate graham crackers.
Toys for Food Lovers in the Making
LEGO Downtown Bakery Set. One of our kids’ favorite toys, this time with a sweet tooth.
Daniel Tries a New Food. A board book for littles who might be nervous about new foods…
Melissa & Doug Stainless Steel Pots & Pans Set. I love it when kids’ toys come in anything other than plastic. They hold up better, and if I’m going to be picking up the pieces from the living room every night, I’d like to enjoy the look of them.
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato. A paper book for slightly bigger kiddos who might be nervous about new foods…
Uptown Kitchen. Sleek and cool without an inch of pink anywhere, it’s easy to see why this is the #1 seller in the kiddie kitchen category.
Melissa & Doug’s Pizza Party. This is a great one to bring to birthday parties for preschoolers. It’s a nice quality set featuring the one food almost every little guy loves.
Tools I Use Constantly
Ninja Smoothie System. We’ve been on a smoothie kick around here (mostly green smoothies) and this contraption makes it easy to blend, pour off the kids’ portions then take the rest with me on the road.
Wusthof Knives. We got these as a wedding present and immediately got rid of all the dull weird to use knives we’d collected before. I use them daily and love them every time.
OXO Tongs. Okay, I admit it. I bought these tongs because I saw Ina Garten using them over and over and finally, I just caved. But for flipping everything from asparagus to piling noodles on a plate, I use these tongs more often than I ever expected I would.
Set of Espresso Spoons. Take this advice: Buy yourself an inexpensive set of espresso spoons for the kids to use for everything from applesauce to cereal. The size is right and if you get a set, you’ll never worry about the spoon that seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the van.
Programmable Slow Cooker. I recently upgraded to a slow cooker with a timer, and it’s changed everything. Plus, this one comes with a little mini that’s cute as a gadget but also works as a toy if you don’t find yourself using it.
Books that Changed My Life