Christmas comes but once a year, and that raises one major question: What should you get your kids? If you’re lucky, they’ll have a laundry list of ideas for you to pick and choose from this holiday season. But if you’re looking for something enjoyable and practical, you can help to encourage them to be future cooks with the help of these clever Christmas gifts:
Send your child to the kitchen in style with a fun new apron or chef’s coat. Zazzle has a wide selection of customizable aprons in children’s sizes. From whimsical pandas and cupcakes to fancily embroidered monograms, no matter what your child’s personality is, they’ll feel stylish (and stay clean!) in their personalized cooking smock. If you really want them to play dress-up in the kitchen, complete their outfit with an old-school chef’s hat and some adorable oven mitts.
Child-Friendly Cooking Tools
Just because your child is in the kitchen doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily ready to use heavy cooking equipment and sharp knives. Give your child a set of kid-friendly and child-sized cooking tools. Curious Chef has a wide variety of beginner’s cooking tools, including knives, whisks, tongs, and spoons that are perfect for a child’s hands.
If your kid has expressed interest in becoming a pastry chef, Williams Sonoma has a line of American Girl baking tools for kids, including rolling pins, measuring cups, spatulas, and silicone baking pans.
Normal cookbooks can be difficult for children to read and may have recipes that aren’t suitable for a young palate. Find cookbooks with kid-friendly recipes such as Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cook Book, The Everything Kids' Cookbook, or Kids' Fun and Healthy Cookbook.
If your child needs a little more coaxing into the kitchen, try a cookbook featuring some of their favorite fictional characters. Pop culture sensations such as Star Wars, Disney, and Barbie all have cookbooks suitable for children.
Easy Bake Oven
Is there any cooking toy that is more classic than the Easy Bake Oven? First released in 1963, the Easy Bake Oven has gone through many makeovers but still remains a staple of childhood. First using a lightbulb to cook food (and now using a real heating element), the Easy Bake Oven comes complete with a round cake pan and dessert mixes, so baking (and cooking savory treats like pretzels and pizza) is a snap. Is it a true way to teach kids to cook? Not exactly. But, as an introduction to the kitchen, it’s the standard.
If the Easy Bake Oven is already in your toy box, there’s a wide variety of other cooking toys that will get your kid interested in the process of making food. Perhaps your kid has a sweet tooth for a chocolate bar maker, snow cone maker, or doughnut maker. Or maybe they want to make something savory with a pizza oven or kitschy toaster, there are endless toys that will actually make real foods for your kids to eat.