Now that you’re set up to cook safely in the kitchen alongside your young ones opens in a new tab, let’s talk about the right tools to have on hand for your adventures. Though many of the tools you already have in your kitchen will be perfectly fine for cooking with kids, there are a few items (9 to be exact!) that are pretty indispensable if you’re going to make family kitchen fun a regular routine.
Not only is a slow cooker a magical device beloved by adults that allows dinner to bubble away unattended all day, but it’s a great tool for kids, too. Kids love to layer ingredients in the slow cooker insert, plus they can stir like crazy and you won’t have to concern yourself with heat.
Mini food processor
The food processor doesn’t necessarily need to be mini, but I have gotten a surprising amount of mileage with mine. Pressing the buttons to blend ingredients is a simple task for kids with instant gratification. Bonus points for the mini version — it’s a little less intimidating and usually not as loud as the big version. Plus, it’s super portable, so if you and your child have a great recipe you’re taking to a potluck, tote the mini food processor along and zap the topping or sauce just before serving.
Measuring spoons and cups
Young cooks are always up for measuring ingredients (a fun way to sneak in a math lesson, too!). Easy-to-hold measuring cups and spoons are a must.
Mixing bowls with grippy, no-skid bases
Grippy bottoms for mixing bowls are important as kids tend to really lean into their work and no one wants a bowl of muffin batter flying across the kitchen.
Though there are plastic knives made for cutting lettuces, they aren’t my favorite for kids because I think they end up looking like toys (and getting played with like toys) instead of the sharp tools they actually are. Stick to using table knives for slicing soft foods, then transition to small paring knives when kids are older.
Small rolling pins or rolling pins without handles
Kids love to help with rolling out dough, but large rolling pins are too unwieldy. Look for small rolling pins or French-style pins that don’t have handles.
Safety kitchen shears
Snipping herbs or kitchen twine are excellent tasks for kids — just have a pair of blunted scissors on hand to be used specifically (and exclusively) for kitchen work.
An immersion blender
An immersion (or stick) blender allows for easy puréeing of soups and batters without the tricky part of transferring to the upright blender. Older kids are perfectly suited for this chore, as their longer limbs will have an easier time wielding the blender.
Kid-size oven mitts
Younger kids shouldn’t be grabbing anything from the oven, but even if kids aren’t handing extra-hot kitchen equipment, it’s still good practice to use oven mitts when transporting items that could be hot — muffin or cake pans, etc. Have the right-size oven mitts on hand for practicing kitchen safety.
What are your go-to tools for working with young cooks? Do you have any adjustments you make to your current kitchen equipment to make them ready-to-use for cooking with kids?