The Best Cookbooks, Subscriptions, and Cooking Sets for Culinary Kids

Your kids are in the kitchen all the time now. Make the best of it.

by Donna Freydkin
Originally Published: 

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Cooking with kids will probably wreck your kitchen. But make like Elsa and just let it go. Getting children involved in culinary pursuits helps them learn math, become more adventurous eaters, and most of all, gives you something rewarding to do together as a family that doesn’t involve a screen, which is even more important now that everyone’s stuck at home. A great kids’ cookbook, and some strategically deployed kids’ cooking sets and kitchen tools, make the experience all the more fun and accessible to kids, while helping to minimize the mess.

Molly Birnbaum, a mom of two and the editor-in-chief of America’s Test Kitchen Kids, urges type-A parents to relax their standards and accept that “things are going to get really messy. That’s just how it is.” The benefits of cooking together far outweigh the inconvenience.

“Food is a wonderful lens into learning about so many subjects. Kids learn where food comes from and how to use kitchen tools to cook it. In terms of creativity, they learn how to plate and decorate foods. To learn math, they measure out ingredients. It’s fun, and kids don’t feel like they’re in school. And when you’re done, you have something delicious to eat and share,” she says. Cooking is also just “a really fun thing to do with other people.”

If you’re wondering what to cook, many chefs recommend starting with dessert, because if you want to get kids exited about cooking, serve them a cupcake or a brownie they helped make. In terms of gear, you don’t need a ton to get started, but a few basics will help keep things under control, and kids engaged. Here’s what Birnbaum recommends to make the most of your inter-generational cooking endeavors.

The Best Kids’ Kitchen Utensils

The Best Kids’ Cooking Subscriptions

The Best Kids’ Cookbooks

The Best Kids’ Cooking Sets

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