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The best kitchen tools for new parents
Kitchen gadgets to get you through the first three years
Registering for baby gifts is hard, right? Knowing which products really work, which ones may break or even which ones will end up in a cabinet, never to be used. Not to mention the sheer number of items there are out there.
Here I’m laying out all the best kitchen tools to get you through the first three years of being a parent, from newborn to three year olds! You’ll find my favorite tools for both parents to use and a few bonus tools that your child can use once they’re a toddler.
Looking for more of my favorite kitchen gadgets and tools? This is the first in a series of my favorites for use for meal prep and beyond! I’ll be linking the rest of the posts as they come out here. So come back soon!
P.S., scroll to the bottom of this post for a super easy recap and links to each item!
Kitchen tools for the first year
Ah, new parenthood. Full of limitless time and resources. Ha! Just kidding. It’s a time of pure chaos, between endless feedings, adjusting to the new normal as parents, and everything in between. From bottle warmers the first few months to baby food makers and storage, here are my favorite baby kitchen tools.
There are SO many options for bottle warmers today. Some are relatively low-tech, while others even have digital displays, timers, and other clever functions.
Personally, I exclusively breastfed and had high lipase, so we didn’t freeze and reheat breastmilk; however, I would often pump and store in the fridge for others to feed my kiddo when he was a newborn.
Since we didn’t use our bottle warmer every day, we went with a more basic model like this from Munchkin.
So far, it has lasted four years – we used it when I would babysit my niece, too! – and shows no signs of stopping. It comes with a few accessories to make things easier depending on the size of the bottle. Also, it’s currently on sale for under $20 on Amazon, it’s hard to beat!
This bottle warmer from Dr. Brown’s is a more advanced and high-tech bottle warmer and is amazing. It has an LCD display, one-touch start, and will remember your favorite warming settings. A bonus is you don’t have to fill up this warmer after every single use.
Baby food makers + Storage
While I would love to link several different brands of baby food makers, I was so incredibly impressed with my Beaba Babycook, I can’t recommend anything else.
This baby food maker does it all: Steams, purees, defrosts, and reheats. All in less than 15 minutes! And all of the pieces besides the base are dishwasher safe, so cleanup is always a breeze.
From when my son started purees until he could chew more solid food, I used this several times a week. I would prep several frozen fruits, veggies and even meats at a time to freeze and use later.
In the beginning, I would use the full steam and puree functions, but as he got a little older, I used the steam or defrost/reheat functions for small pieces of food.
The Beaba Babycook comes in two versions: A 4.7 ounce container (in on-trend rose gold and other colors!) and a 5.5 ounce glass container version, which comes in chic colors like midnight blue with gold accents, silver, turquoise, and matte black.
When I finished making his baby food, I used these handy storage containers from OXO. They’re the perfect serving size and freezable, too!
Baby food tips
Pick up these silicone freezer storage containers and once they’re frozen, you can pop the servings into a resealable bag for even easier storage!
Bonus tip: Make puree prep a snap, I recommend buying pre-chopped, frozen vegetables. They’re frozen at their peak freshness and all you have to do is pour the bag into your baby food maker!
Or, if you prefer fresh produce, pick up one of these handy produce choppers from Mueller. With its multiple attachments, you can chop fresh produce in seconds that’s the perfect size to place into your baby food maker! It’s also one of my FAVORITE kitchen tools for parents with arthritis!
Kitchen tools for the toddler age
Everything changes when your kids start eating real food with minimal prep; however, that doesn’t mean you don’t need special tools to help make their meals easier!
Chopping and dicing kitchen tools
The key, especially once children transition into solid foods, is cutting and chopping foods into manageable sizes to reduce choking hazards.
One of my first favorite tools in this transition period was a pair or three of these kid-friendly kitchen shears. They’re smaller than your typical shears, but just as powerful. Be sure to keep these out of reach of children. These kitchen scissors are great for cutting smaller fruits and even larger foods like pizza!
Next, if you’re old school and prefer a knife and cutting board, these cutting boards are my favorite. They’re lightweight, dishwasher-friendly, and don’t get food stuck or stained after they’ve been cleaned. Plus, the color-coding is a handy plus and helps older toddlers with color recognition!
Lastly, in terms of food prep, the Mueller vegetable chopper is my absolute favorite. Especially great for folks with arthritis, as you simply pull the handle down and boom, diced food in mere seconds.
This chopper is great for fruits and vegetables, whether they’re raw like blueberries and grapes, or lightly cooked like carrots. Just be careful with foods that are super soft!
Another kitchen tool I absolutely love are these fun “cookie” cutters. They can be used on ALL sorts of foods.
Toddlers can be a little… picky at times, but using these shapes to cut their food into makes 1) food prep engaging and 2) kids more willing to try new foods.
Without fail, my toddler is almost always willing to eat foods he wouldn’t normally eat, like cheese, certain fruits and vegetables, when we prep together and I let him cut the food into fun shapes like hearts, bears, and stars.
Engaging toddlers in the kitchen
Engage your child in food preparation once they’re able to stand and follow directions. Well, as much as a toddler will follow directions.
One of my favorite kitchen items I have ever bought has nothing to do with food. Crazy, right?
It’s this kitchen tower. Oh, I love it. It was my son’s “big” birthday gift when he turned two. He likely would have loved this about 20 months and older, too.
The kids’ kitchen tower keeps them safe (with supervision), engages them in the cooking process, and by doing so, makes them more willing to try out new foods. We bring the tower up to our kitchen island and to let my son bring a few small toys to play with while I prepare food.
There are a few versions of kitchen towers out there, but this one from Guidecraft had more features we were looking for, including a few more safety aspects.
P.S., if you’re visiting and haven’t created your baby registry yet, you can create a registry through my link and receive a free baby box filled with lots of goodies after your first $35 is purchased through your registry! If you’re past the baby registry phase, click here to get a free one-month trial of Amazon Prime on me! Ahem, free two-day shipping, anyone?
I’d love to hear some of your favorite kitchen gadgets you use with your babies and toddlers to make life a little bit easier. Leave me a comment below or let’s chat on Instagram!