Five food experts recommend their kitchen must-haves for cooking and baking with children | Wender Mind Kids

Five food experts recommend their kitchen must-haves for cooking and baking with children

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Whether you have a junior chef in the family or you just want to encourage the toddlers in your life to spend more time in the kitchen, you’ll want to have some kid-friendly tools on hand. Ahead, five Canadian food experts recommend products that will make cooking and baking easier and more fun for little ones.

The child-friendly chef’s knife

Craig Wong, chef and owner of Patois Toronto and Bar Mignonette, bought this Opinel knife years ago for his eldest son, long before he was born. “The knife is the embodiment of a chef’s identity,” says Wong. “What I love about this one is that not only does it come with a finger guard for the lead index finger, it also comes with a finger guard for the holding hand.” The guards help protect and position little fingers, and this one small knife features a 10 cm stainless steel blade and a durable beech wood handle. It is recommended for children over 7 years old under adult supervision. Opinel Le Petit Chef knife and finger guard, $59, cookery-store.ca

The all-age rammer

Kitchen Innovations Perfect Masher Potato Masher, $25

Calgary-based food writer Julie Van Rosendaal, author of “Cookies I Have Loved,” began hosting free Zoom cooking and baking classes for kids of all ages in January. shewere so popular that she sometimes offered two sessions per recipe and uploaded recordings to her website for those unable to attend live. For kids who want to help out in the kitchen, Rosendaal recommends this dishwasher-safe stainless steel potato masher with an easy-grip, rubber-coated handle. “In addition to potatoes, I use it to mash bananas for banana bread, boiled beans for tacos, and avocados for guacamole,” says Rosendaal. “You’ll be amazed at how much you blend in the kitchen – and kids are great at it!” Kitchen Innovations Perfect Masher Potato Masher, $25, leevalley.com

The stylish (and practical) accessory

Williams Sonoma Bay Stripe Apron Pack for Adults and Kids in Claret, $75

“There’s something about putting on a ‘uniform’ that really gets my kids excited about cooking,” says Devin Connell, Toronto-based author of the cookbook Conveniently Delicious and founder of the Crumb website. “It makes them feel like what they’re doing is an important job.” She recommends these striped, yarn-dyed cotton aprons from Williams Sonoma, which feature adjustable neck ties and two front pockets. “These matching kid-parent aprons are cute and practical and make flour blasts a little more manageable,” says Connell. And if it does get dirty, they’re machine washable. Williams Sonoma Bay Stripe Apron Pack for Adults and Kids in Burgundy, $75 williams-sonoma.ca

The multitasking pan

Betty Crocker My Kitchen Nonstick Muffin Pan, $9

An Tran, “Toronto’s Bread Whisperer,” says his young children can be picky eaters, but they’ll enjoy foods they helped prepare and are just old enough to put ingredients in bowls and mix them up. “Anything in muffin tins is great for this, so I always have a muffin tin lying around so they can help make them,” says the founder of micro-bakery Ba Noi, suggesting this affordable, non-stick Betty Crocker one. In addition to muffins, Tran suggests adding tortilla shells to the mold and filling, or lining the mold with melted chocolate and adding fruit once the chocolate has cooled and set. Betty Crocker My Kitchen Nonstick Muffin Pan, $9, homehardware.approx

The baker’s basic

Louisware digital kitchen scale, $20

A digital scale can be useful when baking with kids, says Brendan Platts, senior pastry chef for Toronto’s Bisha Hotel and its restaurants Kost and French Made. “It’s never too early to get kids building proper bases for pastries, and the essential tools in most kits would be a digital scale and digital thermometer,” says Platts. “Especially when it comes to baking, the precision required for many recipes makes these tools crucial.” A scale can also be quite inexpensive. “I would recommend any 1g/1kg model, which can range from $15 to $400 depending on your budget and use case,” says Platts. “But for baking with children, this is more than sufficient.”

Louisware digital kitchen scale, $20,amazon.approx

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