Last updated on Jun 21st, 2021 at 03:21 pm

Who said meal prep and cooking have to be time-consuming? These handy kitchen gadgets will make mealtimes a cinch…

Whether your little one loves hearty stews and purees or prefers feeding himself with a variety of finger foods, these kitchen gadgets are designed to help you cook and prepare meals faster, which means less time in the kitchen and more time with your family.

For smoothies, soups, stews and purees

Philips Daily Collection Hand Blender, from R440 at Clicks, Yuppiechef and other independent retailers

It might look small, but this handheld blender is a whizz at mashing veggies for soups, chunky fruits for smooth purees and healthy smoothies for the family. It’s also quick to clean, thanks to the two-button release system, which allows you to rinse the blending bar with ease. If you have a baby at home and need to prep and blitz purees fast, this kitchen gadget is a winner!

To help you plan your baby’s weekly menu, see Annabel Karmel’s puree meal planner here

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For mashed fruits and veggies

Dreamfarm Smood Masher, R379, at

While some babies have plenty of teeth by their first birthday, it’s common for little ones to only get their teeth later, as they approach the age of two, explains Annabel Karmel in her book, Top 100 Finger Foods. The truth is that just because your child can chew off a piece of food, like a chunk of raw carrot or apple, it doesn’t mean she can chew it down properly, she says.

The good news is, you can still prepare healthy, tasty foods without the choking hazard. The Dreamfarm Smood Masher, for instance, is ideal for smashing potato, sweet potato, avo and harder veggies like carrots, once they have been steamed. It works by trapping food and forcing it through the thin gaps between the collapsing stainless-steel spring coils. Another bonus is that the handle is ergonomically designed to be held in several different positions and it’s easy to store and pack for trips away.

For fried foods, the healthy way

Philips Viva Collection Airfryer TurboStar, from R1 500 at Hirsch’s, Yuppiechef, Takealot, select Boardmans and other leading independent outlets 

If, like most kids, your little one loves potato chips, fritters, fried cheese, crispy chicken pieces and burger patties, you can now prepare and cook these favourites without worrying that they’re drenched in oil and unhealthy saturated fats.

The new Airfryer TurboStar uses only about a tablespoon, or less, of oil to give the food that light, crispy texture, while the device swirls hot air continuously throughout the whole cooking chamber, to ensure everything is cooked evenly and quickly.

We know it’s pricey, but if you have a picky eater on your hands, who will only eat chicken and chips, this kitchen gadget is worth the splurge!

For cutting and slicing

Spotty Frog Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters, from R200, online at

Trying to figure out a way to make those lunchtime sarmies less boring? Now you can transform just about any sandwich into something your kids will love, thanks to the Spotty Frog range of cutters. While they don’t claim to be a fancy kitchen gadget, the whole range is kid-friendly and BPA free, and there’s no doubt that they’ll make meal prep more fun. From fairy princesses to cars and cute animal shapes, these are bound to please even the fussiest eaters – and take the guesswork out of school lunches for you, mom!

RELATED: “Yuck mom!” 6 Reasons why children don’t like vegetables

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