Picky Eater List of 14 Best Kitchen Tools

by | Aug 11, 2023

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Isn’t it funny how there seems to be a gadget, tool, or gizmo for everything nowadays?  Like, how did we survive?  

While some gadgets and tools may just clutter your home, others can serve a valuable purpose, especially when it comes to helping your picky eater try new foods.

I’m a huge fan of making mealtimes a positive experience, and sometimes a little novelty can go a long way.  

As a dietitian specializing in picky eating, and a mom myself, I have put together a picky eater list of my favorite gadgets and tools to help your picky eater try new foods.  

Are these tools required?  Absolutely not.  Are they the only way your child will learn to actually eat a vegetable for once?  Definitely not.  But they can help with trying new foods and meal prep for picky eaters. 

Why Kids Should Get in the Kitchen

I know what you’re thinking; getting your kids in the kitchen will just turn out to be a huge mess take way longer, and ultimately everyone will be stressed out.

Those are all a possibility and honestly just what comes with having kids in general if you ask me.  

But getting your kids in the kitchen, while it does take longer and can get a bit messy, comes with great benefits.

Healthier Habits

When kids get in the kitchen and learn how to cook, even with the smallest of tasks, it’s associated with healthy dietary behaviors.

More Vegetables Eaten

When you involve your child in meal preparation, especially when there are vegetables involved, they’re more likely to eat more vegetables.  That makes sense, right?

Increased Confidence

Getting children in the kitchen can lead to confidence in cooking skills, a desire to cook more meals at home, along with improved meal planning and prioritizing healthy choices. 

Built-in Private Chef

Okay, this one isn’t entirely true.  However, the sooner your child gets in the kitchen and learns how to cook, the sooner they can cook their own meals, or better yet, meals for you!

My kids are four and six and they just made dinner for our family with minimal supervision.  Dinner was simple and consisted of scrambled eggs, toast, and sliced fruit, but how amazing!

Yes it was messy, and no things weren’t cooked like I would have, but it was so worth it!

Food Picks

Many kids don’t enjoy touching foods, especially slimy, sticky foods.  This is where a food pick can come in handy. 

You can certainly find some fun and simple food picks on Amazon and these work great for packing in their lunch box when you don’t have to worry if they accidentally get tossed.

For home I highly recommend Dabbldoo food picks because they’re easy to hold, food doesn’t fall off like other food picks, and they have a food brush that’s perfect for helping your picky eater engage with wet sauce, dips, and other foods. Use code thefamilynutritionist15 for 15% off!

Yes, you could just use a utensil, but the novelty of a food pick paired with the tiny, not as overwhelming piece on the end makes it irresistible to at least pick up.  This way they’re interacting with the food even if they don’t try it.

How to Use Food Picks

  • Place a small piece of any new or disliked food on the end of the food pick and place on their plate
  • Provide a food pick as one of their utensils
  • Preload a food pick with a new or disliked food in the dish you’re serving it in

Kid Safe Knives

kids safe knives

Knives for kids might sound dangerous, but I’m not talking about the same knives you use as an adult.

Kid-safe knives are one of my number one recommendations for parents to have for their kids, picky eaters or not.  

Kid-safe knives are hard enough to cut through most fruits and veggies with their serrated edge, but safe enough that they won’t cut through little fingers or hands. 

If I had to rank these tools, I’d say these kid-safe knives are #1 on my picky eater list of best kitchen tools!

How to Use Kid-Safe Knives

  • Give your child a cutting board, a soft fruit, or a veggie, and let them slice away!
  • Let your child have the kid-safe knife at mealtimes to cut their own food
  • Foods that work well are strawberries, bananas, kiwi, avocado, cucumber, zucchini, etc

Crinkle Cutter

crinkle cutter for kids

Similar to kid-safe knives, a crinkle cutter is not only a must because it’s easy for your child to use themselves, but it allows you to change the way food is cut, making it brand new and exciting when it really isn’t.

Sometimes just changing up the way you cut the foods you’ve tried to get your child to enjoy will create enough curiosity that they’ll actually try it after the 99th time. 

Childrens Chopsticks

Another tool on my picky eater list is children’s chopsticks. I am by no means a chopstick pro, but I have to admit, they’re kind of cool to use.  

Childrens chopsticks can elevate the mealtime experience for your child, while also helping them work on their fine motor skills too!

Plus these childrens chopssticks from Genuine Fred have fun animals as the head that you can use to have your picky eater engage with food by feeding a new or disliked food to their chopstick!

If you have a fast eater, they can also help them eat more slowly since it takes more effort and requires smaller bites of food. 

How to use children’s chopsticks

  • Offer with regular utensils as well
  • Works great with long noodles or larger items
  • Let them explore!

Mini Cookie Cutters

mini cookie cutters for kids

Not just for playdoh, mini cookie cutters can turn a boring red bell pepper strip into a beautiful red bell pepper flower.  Guess which one your picky eater will want to try?

It’s amazing how simply changing the shape of a food can transform it into something your child is all of a sudden willing to try.  

How to Use Mini Cookie Cutters

  • Cut out fun shapes of fruits and veggies
  • Make puzzle pieces out of food that your child can interact with
  • Give to them at mealtime to punch out fun shapes in their toast, tortillas, pancakes, etc

Novelty Utensils

utensils for kids

A plain old spoon will do, but what if you gave your child a spoon with their favorite character on it?  Would that bring a little positivity to mealtimes?  I’m guessing it would.  

Do you have to get your child novelty utensils?  No, but they certainly can be a fun addition to mealtimes and make for great stocking or Easter basket stuffers too!

How to Use Novelty Utensils

  • Let your child pick out a fun new set of utensils
  • Let your child pick out their own utensils for mealtimes – who cares if they don’t match


tongs for kids

Like food picks, tongs can help a child interact with food without touching it.

I love using tongs to serve family-style meals where my kids can select which foods go on their plate from what I offer.  This provides autonomy (power of choice) at mealtimes which is essential to your child developing a healthy relationship with food.

Fruit and Veggie Divider

fruit and veggie divider

Another top recommendation, and frequent gift I give, is the Goodcook Fruit and Veggie Divider.  

It divides round or stick-shaped fruits and veggies like grapes, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, small potatoes, etc into quarters.

Not only is this a tool your child can safely use, but it also makes common choking hazards safer for them to eat.

How to Use Fruit and Veggie Divider

  • Give your child to quarter a fruit or veggie themselves while you’re making dinner
  • Offer at mealtime so your child can quarter their own fruits and veggies

Muffin Tins

muffin tin for picky eater

Muffin tins, or even ice cube trays, are a great way to serve your child’s food!  

Just like changing up the shape of different foods to make it more interesting, try changing up what you serve the food on.  It can make a world of difference!

Another plate option is the Ezpz Silicone Suction Flower Plate. It’s perfect for offering foods deconstructed at meal or snack times, plus works great for arts and crafts too!

How to Use Muffin Tins:

  • Offer small portions in each of the sections for any meal of the day!


whisk for kids

Kids love to stir, so naturally a whisk is the perfect kitchen tool for a picky eater.  They’re easy to use, allow your child to safely help prepare something like eggs or any baked good that requires whisking, and they’re affordable.  You can pick up a small whisk at your local dollar store. 

How to Use Whisk:

  • Crack a few eggs for breakfast and let your child whisk them
  • Bake something with your child and let them whisk the ingredients together

Kitchen Helper Kitchen 

best kitchen helper stool for kids

Another one of my favorite kitchen tools for picky eaters is a Kitchen Helper.  

A kitchen helper allows your child to safely and easily be at the counter with you during meal prep, clean up, or any other activity done at the counter.

We’ve used the Guidecraft Kitchen Helper (use code family10 for 10% off) since my daughter was two years old and have upgraded from the single to the double where both my kids can fit!  It easily collapses and the height can be adjusted as well. 

I put felt pads on the bottom of our kitchen helper so my kids can easily move it around the kitchen.  Without our kitchen helper, I’d be doing a lot more things for my kids that they could otherwise do themselves. 

Because it’s a bigger ticket item, it’s a great option for gifting at holidays or birthdays when your child is young.  And you don’t have to be the one to gift it.  Offer it as a suggestion to grandparents, aunts, uncles, or a group of friends for a baby shower gift!

How to Use Kitchen Helper

  • Pull up to the counter for your child to help you with meal prep
  • Let your child push around the kitchen to access different things
  • Place them in front of the sink to have them help you wash the dishes or give produce or some of their toys a bath

Magnetic Cups

magnetic cups for kids

The more you can give your child power over what they can do, the better.  Children are constantly seeking independence, yet most of their decisions are decided and tasks completed for them.

That’s why I love these magnetic cups that you can place on the side of your fridge so your kids can grab a cup of water themselves. 

Now this only works if you have a water dispenser on the outside of your fridge or they have an easy way to access the sink.  This is where a kitchen helper comes in handy!

Magnetic cups are more for me than they are for my kids.  One less thing I have to do for them!

Kitchen Gift Set 

kitchen cooking and baking set for kids

If your child really enjoys being in the kitchen, or maybe you’re looking for a way to get them more excited about being in the kitchen, a kitchen gift set might just be the answer.

These are fun and usually include so many great, kid-friendly tools, including a chef’s hat and apron.  

One of the best ways to help your child learn to be more comfortable around food is to make it fun.  Therefore, getting into character and really playing the role of a chef can go a long way. 

Books for Picky Eaters

books for picky eaters

Progress for picky eaters isn’t just about what happens at the table.  There are also things you can do away from the table to help them!

Books for picky eaters are a great place to start and can be a low-pressure way to discuss different foods with your child.

Some of my favorites are Daniel Tries a New Food, Eating the Alphabet, A is for Artichoke, Dragons Love Tacos, and Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli.

Children’s books about food can help the whole family learn about foods they never even knew existed!

How to Use Books for Picky Eaters:

  • Let your child pick out a book about food the next time you’re at the store
  • Read a book about many different kinds of foods and have your child pick out one food to try
  • Make a recipe around a certain book

Where to Start

Many of these products on my picky eater list of best kitchen tools work great for stocking or Easter basket stuffers, holiday gifts, or even birthday gifts for other kids too!

If you need a simple place to start, I highly recommend the kid-safe knives or a kitchen helper.  These will both help make getting in the kitchen safer and easier for your child. 

Regardless of what gadgets or tools you decide to use, get your kids in the kitchen to help them explore new foods!

Shop all my picky eater tools in my Amazon shop here!

Hi! I'm Alex Turnbull. I'm a registered dietitian specializing in introducing solids and picky eating. Most importantly, I'm a mom of two so I get how stressful feeding kids can be.

Use code family10 for 10% off my favorite Kitchen Helper!
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