There are many small appliances and storage containers you can buy for the kitchen that are supposed to make life easier when it comes to preparing meals. You probably don’t need half of them, and it can be difficult to find somewhere to store the bulky appliances. I now have a core that I use regularly and highly recommend to other families:

Slow cooker. I was given one as a wedding present and didn’t actually use it for six years. Now I use it almost weekly and love it. It helps you get evening meals ready in the morning with minimal fuss.

Large double steamer. This is perfect for cooking large quantities of steamed vegetables and for making vegetable meals for babies when they start solids.

rice cooker. A rice cooker provides a very quick and easy way to cook large quantities of rice.

large electric frypan. I choose a non-stick frypan as I find with the heavy usage ours gets, the pan’s lifetime is longer. We’ve found non-stick pans deteriorate quickly (especially if you put them in the dishwasher).

large stockpot. This is ideal for making large batches of soup or cooking up bulk amounts of pasta.

fridge storage containers. The secret to keeping fruit and vegetables fresh for the week is not using the crisper sections of the fridge. We keep all fruit and vegetables in specifically designed fridge containers that keep them fresher for much longer periods of time.

pantry storage containers. These are the most efficient and organised way to store baking goods such as flour, sugar, desiccated coconut and cocoa.

electric mixer. I’d love a flashy stand mixer, but it’s not necessary for the type of cooking I do now. A hand-held electric mixer easily meets my needs.

hand blender. This is essential for making the kids’ favourite soup (pumpkin) and handy for blending food when introducing solids to baby.

Table 2.5: lunchbox inspiration cheat sheet

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