I can often be heard saying, “Get out of the kitchen!” because the constant parade of kids in the kitchen make it impossible at times to get anything accomplished. As a family, we gravitate towards the kitchen – it’s kind of the hub of the house during the day.
When I’m there, the kids are constantly pulling up chairs to the counter to measure, mix, chop and stir, “Can I help?” Sometimes I just want to have a bit of quiet, no one there to help, so that I can move freely, and quickly, through the process.
But, I guess I should be happy that my children love to be in the kitchen, and have a desire to help. Now that they are old enough to help, I want to make the experience as rewarding as possible. So, when they want to help me with dinner, I give them each a task I know that they can safely accomplish, and get down to business.
Following are a few of my favorite kid-related tools that allow them to do much more than ‘play’ alongside me while I’m cooking. These tools allow them to participate – and perhaps in a few years, I’ll be able to sit back and relax, while they cook me dinner.
The Curious Chef 8-piece Fruit and Vegetable set is a new addition to our kitchen. Included is a spatula, peeler, melon baler, apple corer, nylon plastic knife, lemon cutting board and a vegetable scrubber.
The kids love to have something designated as their own, and are intrigued as to what exactly a melon baller will do. What I particularly like is the nylon plastic knife. It gives the kids a sense of accomplishment that they can slice through veggies and fruit, and it gives me peace of mind, knowing that it isn’t too sharp for them to get hurt.
For the slightly older child, I’ve found the Furi Rachael Ray Tadpole Young Cooks Cutting Set is ideal. The knife is designed for small hands, and allows for easy and secure gripping. The blade is made from hardened and tempered professional-grade sainless steel allow, so it is the real thing – and I often grab it to use myself. The handle extends over the top of the blade a bit, making it easier, and safer, for kids to cut with precision. The set also comes with the indispensable (and very popular in our kitchen), cut-resistant glove.
I love the new Kuhn Rikon Kinderkitchen® collection, which marries function with fun. The whimsical kitchen tools are designed to empower children in the kitchen, but keep them safe at the same time. Oh, and the designs make it fun for them as well. For instance, the Cockatiel Whisk, with one bright pink silicone wire in its plumage, lets children explore the wonders of creating meals, while inspiring their imaginations. Included is the Crocodile Jaw Tongs, The Bird’s Eye Open Spoon, Bluebird Spatula, Goldfish Measuring Spoons, the Dog Knife, and my favorite, the Mouse Measuring Cups.
And, finally, one of my own personal favorites – not necessarily a kids-only set, but one that the kids can partake in, is the Cuisipro Cupcake Corer & Decorating Set. The set includes a cupcake corer – a little device that the kids can easily use to remove the center of the cupcake, so we can fill it with frosting, cream, ganache, candy or jelly. My children enjoy the process, but also the fact that I let them eat a few of the cupcake centers while they are helping me. The set also includes squeeze bottles, decorating tips and an offset spatula to help decorate our cupcakes. The squeeze bottles are perfectly sized to allow kids to get a bit of leverage when squeezing out designs on the cupcakes.
Curious Chef® Give-Away
With the upcoming Healthy Kids Day on April 17th and the White House’s “Let’s Move” initiative, the Curious Chef®line of kitchen utensils for children offers a welcome change to unhealthy eating habits that are all too common in today’s family. It also provides parents the platform to teach kids healthy habits while creating some amazing family memories.
Visit our Family Favorites section on or before April 17th, comment on how you have your kids help in the kitchen. One lucky family will receive the Curious Chef Build-A-Kitchen 8 piece Fruit and Vegetable Set. (Must be located in the U.S.)