The Best Cooking Gifts for Kids (Toddlers to Teens!)

Are you searching to buy a birthday, Christmas, or other holiday present for a special child in your life? This list of the Best Cooking Gifts for Kids is full of high-quality, useful kitchen tools, cookbooks, toys that encourage healthy eating, subscription boxes, and so much more. The post is organized in age groups, but use those as a rough guideline and feel free to browse all the categories to see if other gifts fit the child you have in mind. Whether you have a little foodie, a budding chef, or a child that needs more encouragement to get into the kitchen, there is a gift below that will put a big grin on his or her face.

The gifts on this list are from a wide variety of sellers and websites including Amazon, Etsy, Williams-Sonoma, and Small Business websites. Many of the independently owned companies I’ve learned about through Instagram and word-of-mouth. If you know of any other products or small businesses that would fit well on this list, please feel free to leave the information in a comment below. The more the merrier!

Gifts for Toddlers: Ages 1 to 3

Many of my gift recommendation for the toddler age group are toys, not actual kitchen tools. That’s because pretend play is the best way to get little ones interested in cooking and exploring foods. I also listed a few cookbooks to get your little one started around age two.

  1. Cookbooks: Little Helpers Toddler Kitchen, 40 recipes plus a detailed guide on safety, specific techniques, and helpful tips on cooking with toddlers. Food Play, a new book written by Amy of Yummy Toddler Food, one of my favorite food blogs for kid-friendly recipes. This is such a cute, easy-to-use book. Highly recommended!
  2. Child-Safe Knife: I always recommend this set of Tovla Jr. nylon knives as the first ones to buy for any child. Because they come in three sizes, they are perfect if you have more than one child or if you want to use them alongside your little chef. This knife set is a great gift to pair with a cookbook or an apron! Check out my blog post, Teaching Knife Skills to Toddlers and Kids, for more info on these knives and using them. For a full cooking set ideal for toddlers, this WeeSprout 14 piece cooking set is perfect for the little baker in your family and includes a kids apron, two kid-sized oven mitts, a rolling pin, a wooden knife, a wooden chopper, a cutting board, a turner, a spatula, a spoonula spatula, a stirring spoon, tongs, a whisk, three recipe cards, and three blank recipe cards all in a stylish carrying case.
    If you’d prefer a to buy a single wooden knife or small set, these Montessori-style knifes are available to personalize on Etsy HERE as a set; or HERE as a single wooden knife.
  3. Cooking and Food-Play Toys: I found so many great, high quality toy options on Etsy. Here are some of my favorites: Pretend Play Wooden Cutting Set, this set is so adorable and allows toddlers safely practice cutting fruits and veggies. This Wood Cooking Set with pots, a tea pot, salt and pepper shakers, and utensils is such a great way for little chefs to “cook” you a meal while you are busy in the kitchen. Felt fruits and veggies are such a great way to expose toddlers to healthy ingredients and let them play with food. I love these two Etsy Shops with all kind of felt foods and sets: Mini Food World and Felt Food Truck.
  4. Learning Tower or Kitchen Stool: These tend to be pricy, but I found some very reasonable options from small shops on Etsy. There are ways to cook with toddlers and young kids without having a special stool, but they allow kids to be safely at counter hight and easily participate in cooking activities. My boys used one from ages 1 through 7, so I think they are worth the investment. Here are two options I found, but feel free to search Etsy for more: Adjustable 2 in 1 Kitchen Helper Step Stool and Duck Wood Workshop’s Kitchen Tower (seen in picture above). Looking for a more affordable option? This Dream on Me Funtastic Tower and Step Stool fits the bill! Walmart also sells an even more affordable, plastic option HERE.
  5. Fun Popsicle Molds: Frozen treats are great to make all year long. Freeze leftover smoothies or make a quick recipe together to have on hand for healthy snacks. I love these Tovolo Ice Jewel Ring Pop Molds because they are so cute and great for little hands. Also, these Dino Ice Pop Molds or the Mini Pop Molds from Zoku are so fun, easy to use, and the right portion size for toddlers. For a splurge gift, we love this ZOKU Quick Pop Maker that makes popsicles in 7 minutes! I have a discount code for you: Use HAPPYKIDS10 at checkout to get 10% your first ZOKU order.
  6. Fun Dinnerware and Placemats: We love everything that EZPZ makes for kids, especially this flower-shaped “Mini Play Mat” that’s made from silicone and makes eating so much fun. There are many cute personalized placemats or dinnerware on Etsy like these Animal Alphabet Print Placemats . For a very special gift for young toddlers, this personalized bamboo plate, bowl, and spoon set is super cute and high quality.
  7. Reusable Snack Storage: Bumkins Baby makes the cutest bibs, plates, and more, but I especially love their reusable snack bags. They come in small and larger size and the most kid-friendly prints like superheroes, unicorns, Disney characters, and much more. Such a great alternative to plastic baggies!
  8. Personalized Apron or Chef Hat: There are so many adorable apron options on Etsy (click to see the search results)! Here is a set that stood out: Toddler Personalized Apron and Chef Hat Gift Set by Messy Matters.

Gifts for Preschoolers: Ages 3 to 6

This is such a great age to buy gifts to inspire cooking and food exploration. Preschoolers crave independence, so getting them their very own cooking tools or kits will encourage that need is a helpful way. Cooking gifts and also play kitchen toys will continue to help preschoolers develop the skills they need to become confident cooks in the future.

  1. Cooking Kits and Subscription Boxes:  If you are looking for a one-time cooking kit to get a child, I love this Kids Pizza Kit . The kit comes with ingredients, tools, and a box to decorate. It’s such a cute idea. For something sweet, here’s another Etsy find is this Unicorn Cookie Cup Baking Kit (there are a few more choices by this seller including a soft pretzel kit and cocoa bombs too!). Raddish Kids cooking subscription is geared towards kids 4 and up. You can choose between the cooking club, baking club, or culinary adventure club, but all kits send 3 kid-friendly recipes a month, a cooking tool, and more.
  2. Personalized Plates and water bottles: Dylbug makes some of our favorite, fun and colorful dinnerware that you can personalized. The Harmony plate, which depicts kids of all different races and background with unique traits, is one of the best purchases I’ve made over the years. There are also superheroes, mermaids, pandas, Christmas designs and so much more. When my boys were toddlers and preschoolers they also loved this Constructive Eating plate and utensil set that looks like a construction site. (There are dinosaur and garden themed sets too.)
  3. Personalized Cutting Board: This is one of the best gifts I found on Etsy, a personalized Bamboo Cutting Board. I want one too! Would be so great to give with a child-safe knife and a cookbook or apron.
  4. Cookbooks and Picture Books: Although my cookbook, Little Helpers, has ‘toddler’ in the title, it’s really great for ages 2 though 5 as well. The recipes are for all ages and can be enjoyed by the whole family. If you want to browse other options for cookbook as well, click HERE to see my Amazon list of favorite cookbooks for kids. There are also so many beautiful, educational children’s books about food and cooking. If you want some of my recommendations, check out my blog posts Children’s Books to Encourage Adventurous Eating and Children’s Books about Diversity and Food.
  5. Personalized Apron and Chef Hat: more great Etsy finds:Again from Mess Matters, I love this custom, color-on apron for kids that little chef’s can decorate themselves. Also, if you are looking for a family gift, Family Custom Aprons and Cooking Set . Different set style:  Kid’s Monogramed Apron and Chef’s Hat.
  6. Sensory Play Kit: Wild, Young, and Friedman’s Play dough and Sensory Bins are one of my favorite gifts to give to kids. They come in a wide variety of themes that any child would love. Although they aren’t technically cooking or food related, sensory play has been shown to help with picky eating and developing skills that can transfer to activities in the kitchen.
  7. Fun Cooking Utensils: This comprehensive cooking and baking tool set by Tovla Jr is fun and useful. I also love these cute personalized wooden cooking tools from A Few Spare Moments (check out their whole shop. Really great stuff for adults too). I also love this fun set of silicone cooking tools shaped like little people.
  8. Fun Shapes Waffle Maker: Make breakfast so much more fun! My kids absolutely loved the car and trucks shaped one when they were little. There are themes like Unicorns, Dinosaurs, and others too! Click HERE for the full Amazon store.
  9. Cookie Cutters: I have a few fun sets of cookie cutters listed in by Amazon store HERE. They make a great stocking stuffer or gift to paired with an apron or cookbook.
  10. Lunch Box or Bento Box Gear: At this age is when creating special lunches and adding fun touches to meals, really makes a difference. I highly recommend these Nutridashe fun food picks . They are made by hand and come in so many different themes, like the cute fruit and veggie ones in the picture above.  I have a whole section of bento boxes and fun lunch gear in my Amazon store, including the awesome Bento Lunch Set with sandwich cutter, food picks, and colorful divider cups. Also, for lunches, we love these “uncrustables” Sandwich Cutter and Sealer to make fun, shaped sandwiches really easily.

Cooking Gifts for Elementary School Kids: Ages 7 to 10

Time to get more independent in the kitchen! Kids in this age group seem to have specific interests such a baking or science, and it is great to find high quality cooking gifts that allow them to grow and learn new things about those topics. If you’d like to encourage a child to get into the kitchen more often, pick a theme, character, or hobby they love (like Star Wars or Emojis) and get cooking supplies or kits with that interest in mind.

  1. Subscription Cooking Kits: The Yummy Crate (discount codes are sometimes on their site for 50% off your first box!) by KiwiCo is my new favorite cooking subscription for kids ages 6 to 14. We got a change to test it out and I love that it’s all about fostering a love of science through cooking. Each box also comes with a high-quality kitchen tool, science magazine, and 2 hands-on projects. (I happen to have a discount code if you’d like to use it. America’s Test Kitchen and Little Passports have teamed up to create a travel themed cooking subscription box for kids 7 and up. For the first kit, kids travel to Rome, Italy through 4 kid-approved recipes and activities that highlight Roman food history and architecture.   Baketivity is perfect for the child that loves baking. They come in one-time kits like funfetti muffins, holiday cookies, cinnamon rolls, and granola bars, or a subscription option that sends a new baking kit each month. The kits comes with pre-measured dry ingredients, detailed instructions, and more. I love these Cookie Decorating Kits by SS Unique Creations on Etsy. They come with baked cookies, pre-made icing, and lots of sprinkles/toppings to decorate. This Rainbow Ravioli Kit on Etsy is also a great one-time cooking kit and the seller has many other themes to check out.  Little Sous is a monthly cooking subscription box to help kids (5+) and parents get into the kitchen together. They have recipes, cooking tools, stickers, and more, and focus on S.T.E.A.M learning in the kitchen. The recipes are sophisticated and great for kids that are interested in serious cooking. If you are looking for gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free recipes, Little Sous has options for those dietary needs HERE.
  2. Cookbooks: My newest book, Kid Kitchen, is the best things to get kids excited about picking out recipes to try. We also like this popular one by America’s Test Kitchen: My First Cookbook .
  3. Knife: I love this gift set from Opinel.  If you want a starter knife for a child that is completely new to using a knife, I recommend the set of Starpack nylon knives I suggested for the younger age groups. They come in a set of three sizes so they are appropriate for a wide range of ages. Another great option is this Tovla Jr. Knife Set.
  4. Cooking Utensils and Special Kits: Have a Star Wars lover at home (like I do)? Williams-Sonoma has a Star Wars Cooking Gifts and many other Star Wars themed cooking gifts of various prices on their site (The mini waffle maker is my favorite). Harry Potter fans click HERE. This Tovla Jr. Kids Cooking and Baking Gift Set with Storage Case is a great large gift for a kid that loves to cook. The Magical Microbes DoughLab STEM Kit: Bake and Learn, that demonstrates the science behind yeast and making delicious bread. This mini waffle maker, cookbook, and measuring spoon set by Dash is such a great gift for a budding cook. I gave it to a friend’s daughter a few months ago and she loved it.
  5. Personalized Chef Coat: For those kids that like to be really serious about their time in the kitchen, go beyond an apron and get them this awesome Chef Coat found on Etsy.

Cooking Gifts for Tweens and Teens:

Tweens and Teens can be tricky to buy gifts for, but I think I have found a bunch of great options for kid with a variety of interests. Cooking gifts or food related presents, from my experience, usually make teens very happy.

  1. Cooking Kits: I love this Sushi Kit found on Williams-Sonoma, especially since we are all cooking and eating more at home these days. They also have a Mochi Ice Cream Making Kit, Ravioli Kit, and a Mozzarella Cheese Making Kit available on their site. This Sushi Kit found on Amazon is a bit less expensive and still a great option! Is it strange that I want this Tiny Baking Kit for myself? Haha. Anyways, this kit teaching science and baking while kids make tiny pizzas, pies, cookies, and more…so much fun!
  2. Cookbooks: The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen is a great option for older kids. If the child you are buying a gift for has a particular interest in baking or a certain kind of food/cooking, there are lots of cookbook options out there if you do a quick online search.
  3. Chef Knife: Kids at this age can start to use a pairing knife or learn to use whatever knives are at home. However, as a gift it’s nice to get your very own, size appropriate knife. Some great options are the Kai PRO First Knife, RiseBrite Knife, and the Made for Me Knife (Also linked in my Amazon store). Along with a knife, get the teen in your life some more kitchen essentials like measuring spoons or spatulas. There are lots of high-quality options, like these stainless steel but colorful measuring spoons, in my Amazon essentials store HERE.
  4. Small Appliances: These two gifts allow teens to be more independent by making their own breakfasts or snacks. My son asked for the SODASTREAM sparkling water maker for his birthday and loves using it. The Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker and the Single Serve Mini Blender are both in my Amazon gift store. This S’mores Maker (Amazon) is such a fun gift. Another more “fancy” S’mores Kit can be found on Williams Sonoma HERE. Who’s doesn’t love S’mores, right?  Air fryers have become very popular over the past few years and they are actually really great for teens to use to reheat or cook simple foods. I like this colorful and compact one HERE but there are many larger options on the market if you want to use it for the entire household.
  5. Novelty Apron and Personalized Tools: Some kids aprons can be kind of hokey or “babyish” for teens, but not these custom ones by My Face Socks. You can personalize an apron or oven mitt with a picture of your family pet, a funny saying, or a face. They are hilarious! I love these beautiful silicone and wood spatulas that you can personalize on Etsy. Check out the whole A Few Spare Moments Etsy shop if you have a baker in your life to buy a special gift for.
  6. Personalized Water Bottle: not exactly cooking related but can be paired with some other items or a cookbook to make a great gift. There are many personalization shops on Etsy, but here is a stainless steel water bottle that I though looked really nice or the very popular Stanley like this one.
  7. Jewelry: I found this Etsy shop that specializes in food themed, gold and silver jewelry and I had to share it. Delicacies Jewelry makes beautiful pasta (like the farfalle necklace in the picture above), avocado, donut, and many more tiny trinkets for a food lover in your life. Plus, part of every purchase goes towards fighting hunger through charity donations.

Did I miss anything?? Comment below on your suggestions or other ideas you’d like to see!

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  1. Adriene on November 19, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Can you tell me where the cookie cutter set of different size squares, flowers, etc. in the top picture is from? I couldn’t find it in the list below. Thank you for this guide!!

    • Heather on November 19, 2020 at 10:36 pm

      So sorry about that! I knew I’d forget something! LOL! Just added a cookie cutter section under the preschool age group. They are all listed in my Amazon store. Let me know if you have any other questions! Feel free to email me: [email protected] 🙂

  2. Ashley on November 23, 2020 at 11:49 am

    raddish cooking subscription boxes are the best

    • Heather on November 23, 2020 at 4:33 pm

      Yes, I’ve heard great things about Raddish. I wanted to shine some light on some of the lesser known companies, so I didn’t include them but I probably should mention it. Thanks!

  3. Funny Aprons on November 26, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Hi Heather – thank you so much for featuring our family owned business Funny Aprons on your gift guide. It means a great deal to us and wish you all the best for the upcoming holidays!
    Warm Regards
    Lillie & Mert

    • Heather on November 28, 2020 at 2:06 am

      Of course! Your aprons and other products look so awesome!

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