17 Cooking Gifts for Junior Chefs (Updated Nov 2020)
Little hands are always welcome in the kitchen and they need tools to match their size and dreams.
Junior chefs can be encouraged with inspiring gifts that make cooking fun and encourage them to develop their cooking skills while being safe and easy to handle.
We have researched the best cooking gifts for junior chefs, starting with gifts for babies and toddlers, for whom eating vegetables can be so much fun, and with no utensils in sight. We go next to junior chefs aged 3 and older who get busy in the kitchen pretending to be awesome cooks.
For independent kids, we have selected real cooking tools together with really fun children’s cookbooks that include magic recipes from Harry Potter and board games that teach them through play what a balanced meal looks like. It’s never too early to teach your kids how to eat healthily!
We came up with the best 16 cooking gift ideas for junior chefs to save you the trouble of online research, leaving you to enjoy a cup of coffee, or maybe a glass a wine. These are perfect gifts for pretty much any special occasion, birthdays, or Christmas presents.
1. Personalized Baking Set and Apron
Any little aspiring chef will be delighted to get his personalized baking set and matching apron. Having a customized chef uniform to fit them can only make them proud and eager to get busy.
2. Kids Chef Knife
Practice makes perfect. Children can start practicing chopping ingredients on their own.
This nylon knife is the best way to learn how to manipulate a knife in a safe way while having fun helping in the kitchen. For age 4 and up, this 3-piece set encourages chopping and helps build confidence. The knifes have a serrated cutting edge, blunt tip, ergonomic handle, and soft touch button grip, and they are BPA free.
Older children already familiar with real knives can take their skills to the next level in complete safety. This set is for kids from 7 to 11 years and contains one stainless steel knife, a peeler, and a finger guard. The peeler and the knife come with a finger ring for a better grip and for safety. The handles are made from durable Beachwood and the knife has a rounded tip.
3. Kids Baking DIY
Who knows what will inspire your child and hook their imagination. It could be this Baketivity kit that contains all they need to make delicious bug cupcakes. With everything measured out and ready to go, you can leave them to it, building confidence and independence in the kitchen.
And there’s a couple of activities to keep them amused while the cakes bake, too.
4. Dry measuring cups
Good pastry means baking with your heart and your hands. But when precision is needed, we’ve found the perfect set for little bakers. The set we found is of the well-known traditional Matroyshkas dolls.
The set is made from heavy duty, BPA-free, 100% food-safe plastic. Isn’t it the cutest thing to have the kid’s measuring cups stored besides mom’s?
5. Rolling Pins
All passionate home cooks have their own rolling pin, and no exceptions for any age.
Kids love to play with dough and luckily there are many rolling pin models that leave all kinds of imprints. Cookies will look awesome and dressed to fit any occasion or holiday. Pastry is easily imprinted with animals or vehicles, seasons or abstract patterns. Which one will be your little baker’s favorite?
What’s the first thing kids learn to do in the kitchen? Bake cookies! It’s easy and great fun rolling out the dough. With these rolling pins they can add a Christmas theme to their baking. Reindeer, snowflakes, presents, and Christmas bells, any budding chef will love imprinting the cookies with Xmas cheer.
But don’t stop at cookies. If your kids have moved onto more advanced cookery, they can press a pattern on the pasta, put it on some pastry, use it on fondant icing or even on breads and chapatis.
6. Engraved Cutting Board
Side by side with mom helping her chop ingredients calls for a cutting board of their own. Engraved with a cute chef hat and rolling pin, this eco-friendly bamboo cutting board is just waiting for a child’s name to serve as the perfect present. Little One’s contribution in the kitchen will be more exciting with their own cutting board to work with.
7. Silicone Cupcake Mold
Nobody can resist cupcakes, and decorating them is part of the fun and helps develop creative skills. This silicone cupcake mold cup and saucer shape is flexible and non-sticky, thus, it is easy to use and makes a beautiful presentation for the dessert table. Bake and decorate your favorite cupcake recipe in one mold.
8. Silicone Cupcake Baking Cups
Colorful and fun – what more do you need? Silicon is so easy to work with. No need for lining paper or messy cooking spray. Just pop the mixture in, and pop the cupcake out. And so easy to clean that the clean-up won’t be left to mum or dad! What better way to introduce kids to the fabulous art of baking.
These cups come in vibrant rainbow colors and multiple shapes. Even your pickiest eater will be reaching for the pink circle, blue star, orange heart, or green rose.
8. Cookie Cutters
The best toys in the kitchen are cookie cutters and the variety of shapes is infinite. Simple dough can be brought to life by numerous characters, shapes and holiday motifs. Good looking cookies will decorate the plates and be a feast for the eyes. Your little baker will have so much fun with cookie cutters and be so proud of the results.
Check out below some super-fun cookie cutters available on Etsy or browse Amazon for more options.
Amazing set of 4 pcs Christmas Snowflake Cookie Cutters.
With so much excitement around the holiday season, why not channel it into something artistic, productive, and Christmas themed! Eleven assorted shapes to use for cookies, pancakes, fondant, sandwiches, cheese, ham…
Baking cookies is simply hours of fun in the kitchen, and then chilling out later to munch down the jingle bells, snowmen, angels, and Santa Clause as they dream of delights to come.
Personalized cookie cutters with names makes it more special:
Little ones just love cutting out shapes. Turning a plain old sandwich into a Tyrannosaurus Rex is magical for young minds. And these cutters are so easy to use, your kids will feel satisfaction and achievement with every shape.
Their use is limited only by imagination: try a Pterosaur pancake, a Dragon Claw cookie, Brachiosaurus Jello, or Spinosaurus cheese or rice piled into the shape of a dragon.
And train lovers:
Thomas the Tank Engine Cookie Cutter.
9. Cut Resistant Gloves
Some kids just need to be using tools – kitchen knives, scissors, paper cutters, penknives: if they see one, they have to pick it up. Other kids just want to do the job – cut the cheese, make a kite, whittle a stick. Either way these cut resistant gloves will give them extra protection.
The snug, elastic fit and the lightweight material that isn’t bulky make them perfect for small hands when preparing food – they are 100% food safe too.
10. Decorative Spoons
Perfect for tea parties to level up the cutlery, your budding hosts will absolutely love this present and never get tired of using them. The delicate flower spoons stand out when sprinkling sugar in the favored beverage. They also make a stylish utensil to accompany a slice of cake.
11. Global Adventure Cooking Kit
Let the foodies enjoy flavors of the world without leaving the kitchen. These awesome country-specific kits take kids to a culinary mini-adventure of Africa, Europe, or the Middle East. They can make their own three authentic and healthy meals with the help of step-by-step instructions and the key spices and hard-to-find ingredients that are supplied. In addition to enriching their taste buds’ culinary experience, they can satiate their thirst for knowledge about the country’s food and culture with the interesting facts, puzzles, and activities.
Every kit has a country flag pin, collectible utensil, and a foodie passport with stickers to help kids commemorate each culture your family has explored, as well as shopping lists, key ingredients, and recipes for three family-sized meals (with vegetarian options).
12. Cookbooks for Junior Chefs
Parsec peanut butter sandwiches, Bantha buns, and Mimban mud pies make this cookbook a delight for budding Star Wars fanatics. It includes sandwiches, sides, and desserts that are easy to make and features iconic scenes from the saga modeled by Star Wars figurines.
It also comes with a Millenium Falcon and a Chewbacca cutter, so you’ll really find out if the force to cook is strong in your little one.
Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!) has more than 50 recipes for children ages 6 to 12 that also explain basic cooking techniques in kid-friendly language.
It includes favorites like applesauce, French toast, popcorn chicken, pizza and more. Full of fresh, healthy ingredients and featuring imaginative presentations like egg mice, fruit flowers, and mashed potato clouds, it will keep their interest alive. They’ll not only develop their cooking skills but also their creativity and imagination.
Spark your little ones’ interest and natural inquisitiveness with a colorful cookbook. Eat Your Greens Red, Yellows, and Purples contains 25 delicious and simple vegetarian recipes and plenty of fascinating facts to make fruit and veggies fun.
Reading together about why fruit and vegetables are great, how carrots help their vision, why red peppers keep them healthy will have your kids itching to get into the kitchen to try out the recipes. Not only that, it might even help your more fussy eaters to get excited about veggies.
The Ultimate Kids’ Cookbook: Fun One-Pot Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love! is for kids who want to take over the kitchen and put their parents on the helping bench. They will learn how grownups cook but with ingredients of their choosing. They can cater for their culinary needs such as quick snacks or sleepover treats.
Kid Chef Bakes: The Kids Cookbook for Aspiring Bakers has easy to follow recipes for those with a sweet tooth craving home-made goodies.
Everybody loves the smell of fresh-out-of-the-oven, bursting-with-flavor pastries. From old-fashioned spiced pumpkin shortbread to gingerbread men and oatmeal cream pies, the book explains some useful tips and tricks. They will learn baking basics, what to do with leftovers, and how to substitute for missing ingredients.
Especially designed for cooking fans and wannabe kitchen wizards, The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook will be very much appreciated! Who wants to make Harry’s favorite dessert? I’m sure you know someone. Movie-inspired themed dishes are featured among the 150 magical recipes contained in this cookbook. With a dash of magic and a drop of creativity, ordinary entrees, desserts, snacks, and drinks will be turned into culinary masterpieces that will make Mrs. Weasley very proud.
Science experiments you can eat makes science accessible using food for a range of tastes, from salad dressing to mayonnaise, celery to popcorn, and muffins to meringues. What can be more rewarding than eating the results of their theory testing and experiments? Chemical reactions we witness everyday can be observed in cooking and the book has the added bonus of providing information on healthy eating.
14. Best Cooking Games
Healthy Helpings teaches kids through play how to put together a balanced meal and to eat healthily.
With special placemats, it develops self-discipline and an understanding of portion control. The 50 self-checking cards illustrate real-life fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins and will get your young’uns accustomed to identifying food and food groups. Children will learn to make nutritional choices when having a snack or cooking a meal. The MyPlate Game is suitable for 2 to 4 players aged 4 or more.
Pretend Play for Children Age 3+
Children love make believe. Give them a social setting and they will act out their own hilarious scenarios often mimicking their real-life observations. This food truck and kitchen comes with plenty of play accessories including food, chalkboard, working horn, and cash register – a card reader might be a useful update, though!
In no time, your little ones will be creating original plates of food, hawking for business, buying and selling, and all with their very own unique take on the world.
Unique Plate and Utensils for Children Age 2+
Get small kids to fall in love with healthy food in a unique way. How about collecting peas in a bulldozer and putting them into an excavator cup before popping them into the mouth? Small children are fascinated by construction sites, and the plate is the backdrop for all the heavy-duty vehicles they love.
For dinosaur fanatics, there are matching utensils and plate that impersonates these fantastic creatures, helping little eaters to clean their food scene. I sure want each of those sets for me…I mean my children.
Dinosaur plate and utensils:
15. Baking Set for Kids
It is likely that lockdown with kids has made more of us aware of the value of independent play. The Baking Set for Kids comes with 6 utensils, 6 silicone baking cups, and 5 recipe cards. With utensils made for small hands, your children can safely try out the simple recipes on their own – as long as you know to expect lots of mess! And, of course, parental guidance when cooking!
Having their own custom-made utensils will encourage your children to see themselves as chefs and to feel responsible for what comes out of the kitchen.
16. Cooking Subscription Box
A monthly box of edible education! Each month your kids learn about a culture and cuisine, with a mix of math, science, and life skills.
With laminated step-by-step recipe cards, quality kitchen tools the recipes need, and a grocery list that takes dietary needs into account, you and your kids can discover a world of food.
The kids will be waiting for the postie to bring the next box!
17. Dinosaur Taco Stand
Do you watch your adorable little one struggle to hold and fill their taco and have to fight back the urge to take over? That coordination conundrum can get frustrating and end in tears. Taco stands are the answer of course, and this dinosaur will add dino-fun to taco night, birthday parties, and any other mealtime.
No more frustration, just satisfied taco building. But this dinosaur is not fussy. It will take crackers, waffles, sandwiches, nachos, paninis, pizza, burritos… Yep, pretty hungry.
Gifts for Grown-up Chefs
If you are also looking for gifts for grown-up chefs please check our extensive list of gift ideas for chefs and cook. We have also researched the best engraved gifts for chefs so make sure to check that one as well.
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