There is nothing quite as terrifying for parents as a knife-wielding child standing precariously on the edge of a dining room chair while trying to “cook eggs” atop the gas range. Kids want to mimic their parents and there is nothing more essential than learning to feed (and thus cook for) themselves. To enable them to do so safely, it’s best to have some pint-sized tools at your disposal. We’ve put together our favorite kid cooking essentials to aid you in encouraging your mini chef. Who knows—maybe you’ll wake up on your birthday, not to an incomprehensible plate of toast and mustard, but rather to fresh apple muffins and poached eggs with hollandaise? If you give your kiddo the right tools, there will be less frustration and more creation.
The one true disadvantage your child has in the kitchen is height (or lack thereof). But you don’t need to spend a small fortune building a mini-kitchen that they’ll play on for a week before tiring of the waterless spouts and the gas-less range. Elevate them to the real deal with a simple 7” step.
Now that they can reach the counter, it's time to minimize the damage done up there. Given enough access to water and flour, kids can create an indelible playdough. This will harden in tribute to their chefly ways upon your once-lovingly oiled butcher block countertop, so spare yourself the heartache and get an easily cleaned, non-stick surface to layer on top.
With the workspace set, the real fun can begin when kids get their hands on their very own tools. This petite measuring set is the perfect size for smaller hands and will teach valuable lessons about measuring and math.
This non-skid bowl is small enough for kiddos to wrap their little arms around and really get some leverage to stir. It has a weighted bottom (to keep it in place), an easy handle to grip, and a pourable spout so that muffin batter doesn’t end up on the floor.
It might take a long winter to get them making meringues with these beaters, but they will do an excellent and fun (not to mention silent and safe) job at whipping up eggs and buttermilk for the batter. Kids will love the mechanics of this simple and efficient technology.
Every chef deserves a legit knife for chopping ingredients, and the pleasure of using a real one will not be lost on your kiddo. Fortunately this model has a handy safety ring to stop little digits from getting in the way of danger.
Peeling anything with a child can feel like a minefield for cuts and scrapes waiting to happen, but the PalmPeeler takes the risk out of it. The ingenious design sits cupped naturally in the hand, giving your child (or quite frankly, you) the control to safely take the peel off your apples and potatoes.
Even though your lil’ chef is getting more confident in the kitchen, you don’t want to put her in front of the oven unprotected. Give her her own mitt to keep little hands safe and help her guide cookies to their last stop.
This kids’ cooking set is a budding baker’s dream come true, complete with a mini-muffin tin, loaf pan, cookie sheet, and two cake pans. Your child can pour homemade batter into the appropriate vessel, pop it in the oven, and await his masterpiece.