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Must-have kitchen gadgets for healthy families

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Kitchen tools for healthy cooking

Kitchen gadgets don't just make your time in the kitchen easier -- they can also help your family eat healthier. Here are five of our favorite kitchen gadgets to deliciously improve your family's diet.

ISI Twist n Sparkle Soda MakerISI Twist n Sparkle Soda Maker

Sugar-loaded soft drinks and diet colas alike have been linked to poor health consequences, including weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The usual soft drinks are made with artificial ingredients, loaded with sugar or fake sweeteners and are devoid of nutrition. When your thirsty family is craving a fizzy pop, you can ditch the sodas and make your own carbonated beverages with the ISI Twist n Sparkle. This fun kitchen gadget lets you turn juice, tea and even water into an effervescent treat. The Twist n Sparkle starter set comes with a reusable BPA- and phthalate-free bottle, sparkling wand, recyclable soda chargers and a recipe booklet featuring over two dozen sparkling beverage ideas for refreshing coolers, festive cocktails, dessert floats and more.

Omega's Vert350 JuicerOmega's Vert350 Juicer

Those juice box drinks may be convenient, but most of them are nothing more than sugar and water with a little artificial color and flavoring thrown in for kid-appeal. You can drastically improve your family's diet by swapping out those fake juices and other unhealthy drinks with freshly juiced fruit and vegetables. Make your own delicious and nutrient-dense juices with the OMEGA VRT350, which features a low speed juicing system that delivers vibrant-tasting juices that retain the healthy enzymes that many high speed juicers destroy. This high-end juicer has a contemporary design, compact size, a heavy-duty juicing screen and an auto-cleaning system that increases its juicing efficiency. This juicer will also save you money if you happen to frequent the local juice bar for smoothies and drinks. Why buy when you can make them at home?

Kitchen tools for healthy cooking

The Pampered Chef Make Your Own Chips Set

If your kids are chip junkies, getting them to kick the habit won't be an easy endeavor. However, you can turn them on to healthier chips you make together as a family at home -- no hot oven required. The Pampered Chef Microwave Oven Potato Chip Maker lets you transform regular potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, beets and yucca into crispy, thin rounds of healthy snack goodness in just minutes. The Make Your Own Chips Set comes with a razor-sharp mandolin, two microwave chip trays and a spicy BBQ rub to get you started. This healthy kitchen gadget will reduce your family's consumption of fat, calories, sodium and artificial additives and preservatives found in many store-bought chips.

Kitchen tools for healthy cooking

Ronco Showtime Compact Rotisserie

Though that supermarket rotisserie chicken is convenient, it is also loaded with sodium and has been sitting under the heat lamps for hours. Bring the ease and juicy flavor of a rotisserie chicken into your own kitchen with the Ronco Compact Rotisserie. This healthy kitchen gadget doesn't just stop at chicken; it expertly cooks poultry, beef, pork, lamb, seafood, shellfish, vegetables and fruits. Simply thread your food of choice on the rotisserie rod, close the door, and let your meal rotate to perfection. Cooking food in a rotisserie means the fat will melt off your meaty choices but keep your meal super juicy and flavorful. The Ronco rotisserie comes with a flat spit basket, drip tray, BBQ gloves and an instructional booklet and DVD so you can get the most out of your rotisserie cooking experience.

Excaliber ED2400 4-Tray Food Dehydrator

Kitchen tools for healthy cooking

Unless you make your own jerky, you may not think of a food dehydrator as a practical kitchen gadget. However, once you start using one to dry fruits, vegetables and meats and make fruit leathers and a variety of jerkies, you'll wonder how you lived without one. The Excaliber ED2400 is a compact model (great for small spaces) that features four dishwasher-safe trays and a horizontal-airflow drying system that evenly dries the food on each level, which means you don't have to rotate trays during the drying process. The food dehydrator will save you money, cut down on your family's food waste since you can simply dry any excess food you happen to have, and it gives you the ability to always have healthy and preservative-free snacks available. The instruction manual for the Excaliber includes over 50 recipes to show you just how easy using a food dehydrator can be.

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