Looking for some gift ideas for the kids on your list? Why not give a gift that fosters their love of cooking? Getting kids into the kitchen early and often is one of the best ways to help them grow into a healthy, self-sufficient adult. Here are some ideas to inspire kid cooks of all ages:
Build Their Own Cookbook
A new service called Kidstir sends a kit full of kitchen goodies, including recipes, kitchen gadgets and a cookbook binder, so kids can begin collecting their favorite recipes. You can choose a one-time box or sign up for a monthly subscription. The service starts at $12.95 a month.
Family Recipe Box
Buy a recipe box and fill it with beloved, hand-written recipes from family members and close friends. Great choices for recipe boxes can be found at Cookbook People, and you can personalize the box for the child as well. Make sure to note who each recipe comes from and add some blank recipe cards for the child to continue to grow his collection.
Personalized Apron or Chef’s Coat
Indulge a younger child’s love of dress-up while encouraging them to play in the kitchen. Check out the great selection at the Growing Cooks website for ideas.
Let Them Taste the World
Monthly delivery services are hot right now, and a great one for curious young palates is Try The World. This service delivers a gourmet gift box every two months featuring products from a new country. The box comes with a culture guide that tells the story of each product, plus recipes. Subscriptions run $33 to $39 a month, depending on your plan.
There are many terrific cookbooks geared towards kids of all ages. Some great ones are “The Everything Kids’ Cookbook” by Sandra Nissenberg and “Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes” by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson. There are also cookbooks based on popular kids’ books and movies, such as “The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook,” “Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook” and even “The Star Wars Cookbook.”
If they are already tinkering in the kitchen, encourage them to keep a cooking journal to track dishes they try, substitutions that work great and family hits and flops. Try a pre-made one, such as “Cooking Journal: Recipe Book for Kids” by Chase McDaniel, or personalize a blank journal with their name embossed on the front cover. Check out Minted for some creative options.
Kids Cooking Tools
Make cooking more comfortable — and safe — with some tools made for littler hands and developing skill sets. The Curious Chef offers colorful and kid-friendly kitchen tools, like knives, that are safe for kids. Williams-Sonoma offers a Junior Chef line and also an American Girl line of kitchen products.
For young cooks who are interested in helping the planet or gardening, introduce them to the fun world of composting. There are many beginner composting kits that can be purchased or even made. Be sure to include a “how-to” guide with the bin, like “Compost: A Family Guide to Making Soil from Scraps” by Ben Raskin. Explore your local gardening clubs to add a gift certificate for a composting workshop.
Gift Card for a Cooking Class
With a quick Internet search, you are likely to locate several options for cooking classes in your area. Sur La Table offers classes for all levels, including junior chefs. Another option might be the Young Chefs Academy, which offers classes for kids in 10 different states currently. Also check out local culinary programs, which may offer kid camps.
This quarterly magazine is geared towards kids and offers recipes, food facts and games designed to get kids interested in cooking. It’s frequently handed out in pediatrician offices due to its award-winning content. A one-year subscription costs $14.95.
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