The 25 Best Cooking And Baking Gifts For Budding Chefs
One part science experiment, one part sprinkle fest, a dash of independence, and a whole lot of delicious...
Erica Silverstein · 10 months ago
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One part science experiment, one part sprinkle fest, a dash of independence, and a whole lot of delicious — it’s no wonder kids love to cook. Toddlers will serve you imaginary tea, while teens will happily destroy a kitchen with their cupcake creations. Give your budding chef a baking-themed gift, and the food (real or imaginary) that they create will be a gift for the whole family.
1. “In The French Kitchen With Kids” Cookbook
Fiorigianluigi / Getty Images
Your budding Julia Child will be churning out steak frites and profiteroles by New Year’s once she cracks open this family-friendly cookbook. Note: Some parental assistance may be required.
2. Safety Knife Set
All great cooks — even junior ones — know that gifting knives is not bad luck. Certainly not when the plastic blades allow young chefs to slice and dice veggies without slicing and dicing their fingers.
3. Melissa & Doug Cutting Food
Melissa & Doug
Is your child too young for even plastic knives? Then gift him a wooden one with pre-sliced wooden fruits and vegetables he can learn to cut into pieces. (Unlike in the real world, where an incorrect cut can lead to an epic toddler tantrum, this food is easily velcroed back together.)
4. DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit
Give young Ben and young Jerry a family-friendly cooking project with this mochi-making kit. They can have fun experimenting with flavors and finding punny names for them (think “I Love Chocolate Very Mochi”).
5. Djeco Tea Time
When bunny and dolly need an afternoon snack, this painted wooden tea set makes the perfect serving piece for tea, crustless sandwiches, and petits fours.
6. Paint-Your-Own Tea Party Set
Making in the Moment
Older afternoon tea enthusiasts will enjoy painting their own ceramic tea set, after they’ve whipped up some hot chocolate and raisin scones.
7. “From Crook To Cook” Book
Is your teen too cool for Betty Crocker? Get them rockin’ in the kitchen with this cookbook featuring recipes by Snoop Dogg.
8. Melissa & Doug Top & Bake Pizza Counter
Melissa & Doug
Toddlers love eating pizza — now they can practice baking it, too, with this pizza-baking set from Melissa & Doug. The faux oven, pizza box, and dollar bills will teach them the life skills they need to prepare for their future high school job working at Domino’s.
9. Kids Cooking And Baking Set
Some kids can be convinced to do anything if the activity comes with the right outfit. Dress your preschooler in an adorable apron and chef’s hat, pick a recipe from the included cookbook, and give that rolling pin a workout. (Note: While the junior-sized baking tools and cooking cutters can be used on actual food, the oven mitts are exclusively for pretend play.)
10. “Pretend Soup And Other Real Recipes”
You don’t need to read to be able to cook. Preschool chefs will delight in the pictorial recipes in Moosewood’s Mollie Katzen’s kid cookbook. Parents will be thrilled when their budding chefs actually eat what they create.
11. Kitchen Step Stool
Your little baker might be able to crack an egg and frost a cupcake — but can she reach the kitchen counter? Give her the gift of a lift with a sturdy standing tower style kitchen step stool.
12. Melissa & Doug Pasta Set
Melissa & Doug
A is for angel hair, B is for bowties. … Begin your kids’ pasta education with this pretend play pasta-making kit, and perhaps they’ll learn that spaghetti is more than something to throw at the wall.
13. Mini Silicone Rolling Pins
This colorful two-pack of nonstick mini rolling pins lets kids and parents (or sister and brother) roll out pie crust and pizza dough side by side. It’s a perfect cooking gift for kids who can never agree on which flavor to make.
14. “The Power Of Sprinkles”
Harry N. Abrams
A cake that barfs rainbow sprinkles … what more could a teen baker want? This cake-baking book by Flour Shop’s Amirah Kassem presents one basic cake recipe that you can decorate in various crazy ways (from rainbow unicorn to Chinese food takeout box).
15. Kendall The Kale
Oli & Carol
If you’re hoping to raise baby as a foodie, start the vegetable education early. When this kale-shaped teething toy soothes his sore gums, it will be the beginning of a lifelong love affair with all things green, leafy, and delicious.
16. Fred Food Face Plate
All chefs know that presentation is as important as preparation. Your aspiring Top Chef Junior contestant can practice his plate drizzles and garnishes with Fred, a face on a plate just waiting to be spruced up with edible creations.
17. "American Girl Baking"
If she loves her American Girl doll yet drools over the Williams-Sonoma catalog, then the American Girl Baking cookbook is the ideal baking gift for your kid. The recipes for cookies, cupcakes, madeleines, and more will take tea parties with her favorite doll to the next level.
18. Rainbow-Colored Measuring Cups And Spoons
A pinch of this, a dash of that — if you want your kids to practice their math and measure flour and sugar more precisely, these rainbow-colored measuring cups and spoons are the perfect kid-friendly baking tools to make cooking lots of fun. (Bonus: The colors make it more difficult to confuse the 1/3 cup with the ¼ cup.)
19. Melissa & Doug Smoothie Maker Blender Set
Melissa & Doug
If your play kitchen is lacking a Ninja-style blender to make healthy kale smoothies and protein shakes, this smoothie maker set will make breakfast in the playroom more satisfying. Just keep Kendall far, far away...
20. Penguin Random House "Julia Child" Book
Penguin Random House
If you have to ask the question, you need the book. This chapter book for young readers will take them through the life and food loves of chef and TV star Julia Child.
21. Play Food Set
No elaborate play kitchen games are complete without a large assortment of plastic fake food. From imitation chicken drumsticks to faux cans of beans — kids, stuffies, and dolls can pretend feast for weeks on this 122-piece set.
22. Farm To Table Play Kitchen
Give your kid the hipster kitchen you always dreamed of with this play set from KidKraft. It’s got vegetable boxes in the window for your organic urban garden, a stylish back splash, and a much coveted water and ice dispenser in the fridge.
23. Cake Pop Maker
Step aside, Easy Bake Oven. Modern kids are asking Santa for a cake pop maker. It’s like the love child between a waffle iron and a George Foreman grill, and it churns out 12 cake pop balls at a time, ready for sprinkle-tastic decorations.
24. Piggy Wiggy Timer
“Mom! When are the cookies gonna be done?” Skip the exasperated sigh, and hand them this adorable kitchen timer in the shape of a pig. It’s so fun, they’ll be setting timers for everything, not just their baking adventures.
25. Nessie & Mama Ladle & Colander Spoon
We have found the Loch Ness Monster … in your kid’s dinner! Young chefs will enjoy whipping up a pot of soup or pasta when they can swim Scotland’s mysterious mascot through the broth and noodles.
You’re not leaving this table until you play with your food!
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