The Best Cooking Gifts for Kids

Food-focused presents for budding home cooks

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The Spruce Eats / Amelia Manley

Searching for a fun and interactive gift for the younger chef? Surprise a tiny foodie with a practical, kid-safe present that will have them buzzing around the kitchen. The excitement of receiving a cooking gift is just the tip of the iceberg—just wait until you see how proud they are to whip up their very own culinary creation.

Here are the best cooking gifts for kids.

Best Knives: Tovla Jr. Knives for Kids 3-Piece Set

Tovla Jr. Knives for Kids 3-Piece Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Three sizes

  • Sharp enough to cut produce, but not skin

  • Non-slip handles

What We Don't Like
  • A little large for small hands

When your children are ready to make the leap and actually start helping in the kitchen, this set of kid-safe knives is a good place to start. The FDA-grade, BPA-free kitchen tools are made of a premium nylon material with serrated edges that chop but are much more delicate than sharp metal counterparts. Though your child will relish in the newfound autonomy, you can let go of your breath.

Material: Nylon | Blade Style: Serrated | Sizes: Large, medium, small

Best Aprons: Williams Sonoma Dog & Cat Kid Aprons

Williams Sonoma Dog and Cat Aprons

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

What We Like
  • Adorable designs

  • Two pouch pockets

  • Adjustable Velcro neck straps

  • Machine washable

What We Don't Like
  • Dog and cat aprons sold separately

Baking and cooking can get a little messy. Protect children’s clothing with these absolutely adorable dog- and cat-themed aprons, which feature two pockets on the front to hold utensils and other tools. Made of durable cotton, these aprons can handle any task in the kitchen and are even machine washable for easy cleanup. Tie the aprons up in the back using the two long straps and get right to baking. The neck strap is adjustable, as well, thanks to Velcro. 

Material: Cotton twill, Velcro | Dimensions: 20 x 24.5 inches

Best Baking Kit: Baketivity Kids Baking Cinnamon Bun DIY Activity Kit

BAKETIVITY Kids Baking DIY Activity Kit

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy-to-follow directions

  • Multiple recipes available

  • Includes a game to play while waiting on the oven

What We Don't Like
  • Recipes sometimes omit ingredient amounts

Take any guesswork out of the next family baking session with a kit that includes just what you need to make one special treat—nothing more. In each box, you’ll get all of the ingredients pre-measured for convenience, step-by-step educational instructions, plus a learning activity to dive into while dessert bakes. This particular kit makes tasty cinnamon buns, but there are other treats available, too, like chocolate chunk cookies or cake pops.

Includes: Dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon mix, sugar, yeast, brown sugar, vanilla sugar), recipe instructions, game instructions

Best Baking Set: GWAWA Kids Cooking and Baking Set

GWAWA Kids Cooking and Baking Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Full and inclusive set

  • Made for small hands

  • Washable apron

What We Don't Like
  • Too small for kids older than 6

For budding chefs who aren’t quite ready to handle real cooking tools, consider this comprehensive 25-piece cooking and baking playset. Not only does the set include handy tools like a whisk and a rolling pin, it also has an apron and chef's hat for the full kitchen look.

Includes: Chef’s hat, apron, oven mitt, mat, wooden spoon, rolling pin, metal whisk, brush, 4 cookie cutters, 6 silicone cupcake molds, 5 measuring spoons, 2 cake cutters

Best Meal Kit: Uncommon Goods Kid's Global Adventure Cooking Kit

UncommonGoods Kid's Global Adventure Cooking Kit
What We Like
  • Multiple recipes available

  • Great way to explore cooking and global cuisine

  • Easy instructions

What We Don't Like
  • You’ll need to provide some ingredients

Teach your kids that there’s more to cooking than just putting a quick meal together. This cooking kit shows kids that food is one of the best ways to explore new cultures and new traditions. Choose from one of seven countries—Brazil, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Lebanon, Mexico, or Morocco—to send your family on a culinary expedition. Each kit comes with unique ingredients and spices that come together to yield three authentic, healthy, and—most importantly—kid-approved meals from each country.

Includes: Various sauce and spice mixes, recipe cards, food passport, small tools

Best Chocolate: Easy Chef Moose Toys Chocolate Bar Maker

Easy Chef Moose Toys Chocolate Bar Maker

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes decorative pen, molds, and stamps

  • Has candy bar recipe suggestions

  • Fun group activity

What We Don't Like
  • Ingredients not included

  • Messy

Why limit your favorite sweet lover to what the stores have to offer? This fun kit comes with a variety of BPA-free molds, a decorating pen, stamps, and wrappers to encourage them to use their imagination to create their ideal candy bar right in the microwave. 

Includes: 3 molds, decorating squeeze pen, 4 candy bar wrappers, recipe booklet

Best Cake: Flour Shop Rainbow Pop-Up Cake Kit

Flour Shop Rainbow Pop-Up Cake Kit
What We Like
  • Multiple set sizes

  • Aesthetically pleasing

  • Comes in a decorative tin

What We Don't Like
  • Only one flavor available (vanilla)

The only thing better than baking a cake is baking a layered rainbow cake that nestles into a push pop. That’s right—this special kit comes with everything an adventurous baker needs to whip up the rainbow-hued push pops the NYC-based Flour Shop is famous for. The set, which comes packaged in a tin ripe for gifting (no wrapping required), makes plenty for a small crowd of 12.

Includes: Vanilla cake mix, vanilla frosting mix, 6 neon food coloring gels, rainbow sprinkle mix, 12 push pop molds, pastry bag, decorative tin

Best Cutting Boards: Fotouzy Cutting Boards

colorful cutting boards
What We Like
  • Multiple colored boards for different ingredients

  • Waffle-textured grip backing

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • May warp over time

  • Visible knife marks

Kids can help prepare meals in the kitchen by chopping fruits, veggies, and more. These vibrant cutting boards from Fotouzy are not only great surfaces to prep food on, but they also are color- and symbol-coded for various types of ingredients. For example, the red mat has a picture of a cow on it and can be used for preparing beef. The orange mat has some cheese, the green one has a banana, the yellow one has chicken, and so on.

Not only is this a nice way to introduce various types of food, but you can also use it as a teaching moment about food safety. For example, only using the yellow mat to cut poultry means kids won’t cross-contaminate raw meat bacteria onto fruits or vegetables. Place the mats on a fully dry surface to avoid slipping. 

Includes: 7 colored cutting mats | Material: Plastic | Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 0.28 inches

Best Waffle Maker: Disney Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker

Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Fun Mickey Mouse shape

  • Nonstick cooking plates

  • No-slip rubber feet

What We Don't Like
  • No indicator light for when waffle is done

Surprise a Disney fan with an appliance that marries two great loves. The mini waffle maker makes one 6-inch Mickey Mouse character waffle (try your hand at a grilled cheese, too!), plus features a few important safety features for young cooks, like non-skid feet and a power light that indicates when the appliance is on and hot.

 Power: 800 watts | Warranty: 1 year | Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.25 x 3.75 inches

Best Dinnerware: Uncommon Goods Construction Plate and Utensils

Construction plate and utensils

Uncommon Goods

What We Like
  • Fun, interactive design

  • Microwave and dishwasher safe

  • Separated sections

  • Textured-grip utensils

What We Don't Like
  • Not sold in sets

  • Pricey

Even if your toddler is too young to really get into cooking, you can still foster a love of food from an early age. This fun dining set does more than turn mealtime into playtime. It encourages kids to explore and experiment with whatever you put on their plate.

Includes: Plate, spoon, fork, pusher | Material: Plastic

Best Decoration Tool: Real Cooking Chocolate Pen

Real Cooking Chocolate Pen

Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes 40 chocolate molds

  • Chocolate comes in four colors

  • Melting tray keeps chocolate warm

What We Don't Like
  • Must disassemble and clean after every use

Trade those trusty markers for a different kind of drawing tool—a pen that deposits real chocolate as your child writes. The kit comes with a melting tray that holds four colored chocolates and a pen that automatically loads to minimize mess, plus 40 mold designs to help guide the creative process.

Includes: Chocolate pen, drawing tip, warming tray and lid, 4 colored chocolate packs, stirring stick, 40 mold designs (2 trays), charging cable, instructions

Best Toy Oven: Hasbro Easy Bake Ultimate Oven

Easy Bake Ultimate Oven
What We Like
  • Refill mixes available

  • Electric baking (no lightbulbs)

  • Includes brownie mix, frosting, and sprinkles

What We Don't Like
  • Can’t view treats inside while cooking

  • Pricey

There’s a reason the Easy Bake oven has been around for as long as it has—it’s a great and safe foray into the world of baking. The electric oven comes with everything your child needs to make frosted brownies—a baking pan, pan tool, chocolate brownie mix, vanilla frosting mix, rainbow sugar crystals, and, of course, step-by-step instructions. 

Includes: Oven, baking pan, pan tool, chocolate brownie mix, vanilla icing mix, rainbow sugar crystals, instructions

Best Ice Cream Maker: Chef'n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker

Chef’n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Compact and easy to use

  • Short freezing time

  • Can make many types of cool treats

What We Don't Like
  • Hand wash only

Sometimes the best treats are the ones you can whip up in just a few minutes flat—particularly if the task involves hungry kids. This cool insulated bowl is a great alternative to more cumbersome ice cream machines, as it preps ice cream, gelato, and other frozen desserts in just 120 seconds.

Includes: Ice cream maker pan, scoop, spade, recipe book

Best Chopsticks: Genuine Fred Shark Munchtime Chopsticks

Genuine Fred shark munchtime chopsticks

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Easy to grip and use

  • Multiple animal shapes available

  • Helps build chopsticks skills from a young age

What We Don't Like
  • Hand wash only

There are many tricks to learning how to use chopsticks. For example, some people tie disposable chopsticks together with rubber bands. These training chopsticks by Genuine Fred make the task of learning how to use the utensils easy, fun, and child-friendly. Shaped like a shark, the mouth opens when the sticks are pressed together. Kids will have fun puppeting the shark while figuring out how to eat bigger pieces of food with the chopsticks. Genuine Fred has other animal shapes available, too, including a yellow frog, lobster claw, green t. Rex, and the pink and orange toucan


Material: ABS plastic | Dimensions: 2.75 x 0.87 x 8.86 inches

Best Popcorn Maker: Presto Poplite Hot Air Popper

4.9
Presto Poplite Hot Air Popper

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Built-in butter melting tray

  • Hot air popping doesn’t require oil

What We Don't Like
  • Needs to cool down between batches

Popcorn is a classic treat for family movie night. Kids can help make the snack with the Presto Poplite Hot Air Popper. Not only is it simple to use, the Poplite also doesn't require any oil. It's able to pop up to 18 cups of popcorn in just 2.5 minutes. The built-in popcorn measuring cup also doubles as a convenient butter warmer. Thanks to the curved chute, the popcorn can fall directly into a serving bowl.

Our testers loved how the model was easy to clean since there wasn't any oily residue. They also praised the overall compact frame of the popper, which made it easy to store. However, the testers did note that the unit needed to cool down between uses.

Power: 1,475 watts | Capacity: 18 cups | Dimensions: 5.81 x 9.25 x 13.12 inches

Poplite popcorn maker

The Spruce Eats / Phoebe Cheong

Lab Test Takeaway

"There's no way the popcorn can oversteam with this maker, which was reflected in the popcorn's impressive flavor and texture: crispy, not chewy, and perfectly toasted."

Best Soda: UncommonGoods Root Beer Science Kit

Root Beer Science Kit
What We Like
  • A tasty experiment

  • Makes 2 gallons

  • Includes most ingredients in tools

What We Don't Like
  • Does not include sugar or 2-liter bottle

This fun science-based set teaches kids that not all cooking provides instant gratification, but that sometimes the best things are worth waiting for. The root beer making kit comes with all of the ingredients your little food scientist needs to whip up artisanal root beer—sassafras extract, yeast, and a funnel. It also comes with additional tools—labels and instructions—to extend the fun, as your child figures out how to brand their creation. 

Includes: Sassafras extract, yeast, a funnel, labels, instructions

Best Taco Holder: Uncommon Goods Dinosaur Taco Holders

Uncommon Goods dinosaur taco holders

Courtesy of Uncommon Goods

What We Like
  • Whimsical shapes

  • Helps keep taco ingredients together

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t work as well with soft shell tacos

  • Sold separately

Kids love dinosaurs, kids love tacos; put them together and you get these handy gadgets. These T. rex- and triceratops-shaped taco holders are perfect for family dinners. Adorable and practical, they can hold two tacos each and keep all the ingredients upright and safely in the tortilla shell. Of course, they can also work with other foods, like doughnuts, sandwiches, waffles, and plenty more. Uncommon Goods also has a stegosaurus-shaped nachos and dip set where the chips form the dinosaur’s spikes. Make dinner whimsical and get kids excited to eat. 

Material: ABS plastic | Dimensions: 10.25 x 3 x 5 inches

Best Safety Gloves: Evridwear Kids Cut-Resistant Gloves

Evridwear kids cut-resistant gloves

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Multiple sizes and colors available

  • Durable and lightweight

  • Machine washable

What We Don't Like
  • Drip dry recommended

Knife skills and knife safety are incredibly important to learn, even from a young age. With these cut-resistant gloves, younger kids can protect themselves while confidently building knife skills. EvridWear’s gloves are made from durable polyethylene glass fibers, tightly woven together so blades can’t slip through. The gloves feature an elastic band around the wrist to keep them secure and comfortable. They’re great for chopping vegetables, grating cheese, carving pumpkins, shaving carrots, or cutting paper for crafts. The gloves come in multiple sizes, so you can find a pair that fits your child. There are also multiple colors to pick from: pink, gray, purple, and green. 

Material: Polyethylene (HPPE) glass fibers | Ages: 4-15

Best Step Stool: KidzWerkz Wood Step Stool for Kids

KidzWerks wooden step stool

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Adjustable step height

  • Anti-slip foot pads

  • Removable safety bar

  • Multiple colors available

What We Don't Like
  • No grip pads on steps

  • Heavy (26 pounds)

If kids want to help in the kitchen but can’t quite reach the countertops, you’re going to need a step stool. This sturdy wooden option from KidzWerks is ideal for any young chef. It’s made of birch plywood and has four anti-slip pads to avoid jostling and floor scratches. Have multiple kids or want to keep this step stool around as your child grows? No problem. It features an adjustable step with three different heights. There is also a removable safety bar to keep kids secure. The step stool comes in four different colors–gray, navy, white, and natural wood–so you can find one that matches your kitchen’s décor. 

Material: Wood | Hold Weight: 150 pounds | Dimensions: 36 x 19.5 x 16.5 inches

Best Chef's Hat: Eshato Chef Hat for Kids

Eshato Kids Chef Hat
What We Like
  • Elastic band to keep hat in place

  • Adjustable size

  • Fits a wide age range (5-12 years)

What We Don't Like
  • May shrink after washing

If you have a child who is already into cooking, you can really make them feel like a pro with a chef's hat. This affordable three-pack is great if things get a little messy and you need to plop one in the washer, or invite a couple of friends over and let everyone feel like a pro baker or chef. Each hat has an elastic band so it can be adjusted for comfort.

Material: Cotton, polyester, elastic | Includes: 3 hats

Best Educational: Edible Science: Experiments You Can Eat

Edible Science: Experiments You Can Eat

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Combines cooking with science

  • Fun family activity

  • Includes helpful pictures and diagrams

What We Don't Like
  • You need to purchase ingredients and tools

For elementary- and middle school-age children, this unique cookbook that focuses on the scientific side of cooking is entertaining and educational. In this National Geographic special, kids will work their way through dozens of thoroughly-tested, fun, edible experiments crafted by a former teacher who holds a Ph.D. in science education. 

Pages: 80 | Reading Age: 8-12 | Published: 2015

Best Baking Book: The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

America's Test Kitchen Kids

What We Like
  • 100+ recipes

  • Easy-to-follow instructions

  • Aesthetically pleasing layout

What We Don't Like
  • Requires adult supervision

Here’s a fresh idea: Help a budding chef hone their skills by giving them a cookbook they can work their way through from start to finish. This #1 New York Times Best Seller from America’s Test Kitchen is a great choice, since each recipe—breakfast, snacks, beverages, dinners, desserts, and more—is developed by expert chefs and thoroughly tested by more than 750 kids.

Pages: 224 | Published: 2019 | Publisher: Sourcebooks Explore

What to Look for in Cooking Gifts for Kids

Size

Whether it’s apparel–like an apron and chef’s hat–or simply kitchen utensils, finding the right size gift is important for kids. Adult items can be too big, unwieldy, or heavy. Not only can this make cooking frustrating, but also potentially dangerous. It’s best to put in the effort and find a good size. Most items for children will have an age suggestion in the description.

Function

When it comes to giving a kitchen-related gift, you’ll want the item to be useful in some way. For kids, that could mean tools that help them learn how to cook, develop fine motor skills, or excite them about cooking. It’s also best if the gift serves multiple purposes, so it’s not just taking up space in a drawer. A cooking spoon, for example, can mix batter, push eggs around, or even serve food out of a bowl.

Age

Toddlers, kids, and pre-teens all have different skills and abilities. Getting them involved in the kitchen as soon as possible is great, but a toddler probably shouldn’t handle a chef’s knife. Make sure the gift you’re giving is age appropriate and comes with safety features. Most items will have some sort of age suggestion or age range available in the product description.

FAQs

How can kids help in the kitchen?

There are many ways for kids to help prepare meals, snacks, and desserts. Kids can stir batters in mixing bowls, cut up soft bananas or strawberries, peel carrots, crack eggs, sprinkle cheese, and plenty more. Depending on their age, some tasks may be easier than others. Toddlers can help mix ingredients together while pre-teens can handle tasks like cutting up bell peppers.

What are some kid-friendly recipes?

One way to get kids excited about learning how to cook is to make kid-friendly meals or treats with them. After all, they might be a bit more eager to try it out if they’re making chocolate chip cookies they get to eat afterwards. If it’s breakfast time, try making some easy pancakes from scratch or a tasty omelet. For lunch, try chicken kebabs or tomato soup. There are so many fantastic desserts to try, like chocolate fudge, peanut butter cupcakes, or chocolate-covered bananas.

Can kids use adult kitchen tools?

While some kitchen tools, like wooden spoons or silicone spatulas, might work for kids, sometimes adult tools are just too big or hard to handle. Tools made specifically for kids tend to be smaller, have no-slip grips, and include softer edges to avoid injury.

Why Trust the Spruce Eats?

This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of gift guides for various publications over the course of the last 10 years. She also holds a culinary degree from the French Culinary Institute. 

Allison Wignall was in the kitchen from a very young age. She started by helping crack eggs and mixing ingredients and eventually grew into a cooking enthusiast. Allison focuses on writing about food and travel. She spends plenty of time in the kitchen recreating dishes from her travels abroad. Her work has been featured in publications, such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.

Additional reporting by
Allison Wignall
Allison Wignall The Spruce Eats

Allison Wignall is a staff writer for The Spruce Eats who focuses on product reviews. She has also contributed to publications such as Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living.

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