Checklist: Equipping Your Kitchen for Life After Baby

It's never too late to equip your kitchen or start preparing home-cooked meals. Here are some suggestions to get you started, from the authors of The One-Armed Cook.

All Those Little Things

One Armed Cook recipe book cover

If you haven't bothered to stock a kitchen with basic equipment, stop by your nearest home center store -- there's likely to be one near the baby store where you've been spending so much time and money lately. This list is rather daunting -- don't be intimidated. Add to your current stock one or a few pieces at a time and, before long, you'll be well equipped. Better still, add a piece of equipment to your baby shower wish list -- a slow cooker will be a lot more useful than a baby wipes warmer!

    Utensils and Gadgets

    ___ Wooden chopping board
    ___ Plastic or glass chopping board
    ___ Set of four nesting stainless steel mixing bowls
    ___ Set of three nesting glass mixing bowls
    ___ One large plastic mixing bowl with pouring spout
    ___ Kitchen timer
    ___ Oven thermometer
    ___ Can opener
    ___ Kitchen shears
    ___ Strainer/colander
    ___ Tongs
    ___ Wire whisk
    ___ Long-handled slotted spoon
    ___ Long-handled wooden spoon
    ___ Long-handled stainless steel spoon
    ___ Rubber spatula (for scraping bowls)
    ___ Flat spatula (for turning pancakes)
    ___ Pastry brush (for basting)
    ___ Ladle
    ___ Glass measuring cup with handle and pouring spout
    ___ Plastic dry-measure cups
    ___ Stainless steel measuring spoons
    ___ Pizza-cutting wheel
    ___ Under-counter jar opener
    ___ Freezer-safe storage containers with lids
    ___ Freezer-safe resealable plastic bags
    ___ Heavy-duty plastic wrap
    ___ Heavy-duty aluminum foil


      ___ Paring knife
      ___ 8-inch chef's knife
      ___ 10-inch slicing knife
      ___ Serrated bread knife

        Pots & Pans


        ___ Saucepans with lids and ovenproof handles
        (1-, 2-, and 3-quart)
        ___ Nonstick heavy skillets with lids and ovenproof handles
        (8-, 10-, or 12-inch sizes)
        ___ 8-quart stock pot with strainer insert and lid


          Be sure that you purchase microwave-safe products. Your equipment will be so much more versatile.

          ___ Loaf pan -- 9x5x3 inch
          ___ Square cake pan -- 8 inch
          ___ Square glass baking dish -- 8 inch
          ___ 2 nonstick heavy baking sheets (flat, no
          ___ 2 jelly roll pans
          ___ Glass pie plate
          ___ Glass casserole dish -- 9x13 inch
          ___ Glass or ceramic casserole dishes with lids
          (1- and 2-quart sizes, like Corningware)
          ___ Heavy roasting pan with rack
          ___ 12-cup Bundt pan
          ___ Heavy enameled cast-iron casserole
          (called a Dutch oven) with lid (3- to 5-quart
          ___ Souffle dishes (1- and 2-quart sizes)
          ____Nonstick broiler pan

            Recommended Extras

            Make Life Easier

            ___ Stand mixer, or electric hand mixer
            ___ Food processor
            ___ Blender
            ___ Slow cooker
            ___ Bread machine
            ___ Grill
            ___ Grill basket
            ___ Long-handled grill tools (spatula, meat fork)

              Special Extras

              ___ Cordless can opener
              ___ Large mixing bowl with suction bottom, or rubber-coated,
              nonslip bottom
              ___ Large pot with single long handle for boiling pasta

              Cynthia Stevens Graubart is an author and former television producer living in Atlanta, Georgia. Catherine Fliegel is a registered nurse and certified childbirth educator living in New City, New York.