Having a can opener on hand is always good but look for one that allows you to open a variety of different containers — cans, bottles, jars, and more. Then, regardless of what you’re trying to open, you only have to reach for one tool.
Having an immersion blender or a small personal blender (designed for making smoothies) on hand can be extremely useful. If you need to make a quick, last-minute sauce or purée (say, to hide extra vegetables in your child’s dinner), this blender will do the job with far less mess than a traditional blender.
Though kitchen gadgets are generally more useful if they serve multiple purposes, any parent will tell you that a corn zipper is a must-have for parents of picky eaters; it can remove the kernels from an ear of corn in a matter of seconds.
Avoid nicks and cuts from peeling fruits and vegetables with a paring knife by investing in a good peeler. Choose one that has a comfortable grip. Peelers are great for making thin ribbons of vegetables too; ribbons can be cut into long noodle-like shapes and substituted for pasta. Peelers are also great for shaving thin slices of potatoes for homemade potato chips.
Not only does this pan prevent an epic battle over the coveted corner piece, but the divider portion can be used to quickly cut large sheets of homemade pasta into squares for ravioli or large pieces of shortbread cookie dough into small squares. It’s also great for making individual portions of foods like frittatas so you can cook once and reheat portions as needed.
It seems like a no-brainer, but every kitchen should have a good pair of cooking scissors. Choose one pair that you designate specifically for food; they can be used to cut everything from long thin pasta noodles to slices of pizza. If you can find a pair that comes apart in the middle, even better; each blade doubles as a small knife in a pinch.
I would be lying if I said I hadn’t considered carrying a pizza cutter with me at all times; it’s the perfect tool to have on hand when you need to cut lots of food for your child very quickly.
One of the most frustrating aspects of mealtime for your children can be the fact that they can’t be involved. Children are naturally very curious and most are more likely to eat a food once they’ve been involved in its preparation. Lots of companies sell special kid-safe kitchen tools so your son or daughter can be a part of the cutting, slicing, and chopping.