A few weeks ago I wrote "Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen" about websites to inspire the kids in your life to cook with you. Now, I’d like to talk about more ways to give kids “hands on” experience to help build food enthusiasts for life.
Kids are usually curious about cooking and love learning how to do new things. First, I’ll start with special pint-sized tools and equipment that really engage kids to try their hand at creating their own meals.
Cooking Tools and Items for Kids
- Personalized Chef Jacket and Hat by KidKraft Kid’s Aprons: check Etsy.com for tons of adorable options
- Little Cook Kid’s Kitchen Tool Kit by Sassafras (includes measuring spoons & cups, wooden spoon, rolling pin, spatula, melon baller, pastry scraper, herb pot & whisk)
- Quick Pop Maker by Zoku Cheese Knives (great replacement for real knives)
- 16-piece Cupcake and Decorating Kit by Curious Chef
- 5-piece Pizza Kit by Curious Chef
- A personal favorite of mine is a blast from the past: The Original Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine.
Now it’s time to talk cookbooks. You just can’t expect Julia Child or even Emeril to capture a young person’s imagination like they do for you. You’ve got to re-think cookbooks when it comes to kids. Here are few to consider for your tiniest chefs.
Cookbooks for Kids
- Mom and Me Cookbook by Annabel Karmel
- Dora & Diego Let’s Cook by Nickelodeon and Raina Moore
- Strawberry Shortcake’s Berry Yummy Cookbook by Judith Bryant and Lisa Workman
- Fancy Nancy: Tea Parties by Jane O'Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser
- The Spatulatta Cookbook by Isabella Gerasole and Olivia Gerasole
- Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A cookbook for Pre-Schoolers and Up by Mollie Katzen and Ann L. Henderson (vegetarian)
- C is for Cooking: Recipes from the Street by Susan McQuillan
Perhaps you have very young kids in your life and they aren’t ready for some of the things I mentioned above. Don’t let them feel left out. Give them the “cooking bug” too with the plethora of toys out there that can really get the creative juices flowing.
Toys That Encourage Little Ones to Cook
- Cook’s Corner Kitchen by Melissa & Doug
- Sweetheart Cafe (restaurant set) by Alex Toys
- Stir Fry Slicing Set by Melissa & Doug Bake
- Decorate Cupcake Set by Melissa & Doug
- Cutting Fruit Crate by Melissa & Doug
- Crepe Shop by Kukkia
- Sushi Set by Kukkia
- Dirty Dishes (color changing bath tub toys) by Alex Toys
For recipes and additional food tips, check out Sally Bernstein.