Gifts for Kids Who Like to Cook

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Writtne by:  superjenn
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I'll be the first to admit that when I'm cooking a meal, I'd rather have my kitchen all to myself.  It's my special quiet time.  But I have these kids, and they like to help.  My youngest calls himself "Little Chef" after the rat in  Ratatouille.  I'm still not clear whether this is good or bad. 
Anyway, I've found that the kids and I have much more success in the kitchen when we remember that they are kids:  we dress appropriately, we use the right tools and we make the right foods.  It really is amazing to see their faces light up when they get to serve something they've made. 
If you have a little chef in your life, here are three must haves that will make their kitchen experience even more enjoyable:
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Aprons

Kids are mess makers, it's what they do.  My kids can't go from "A" to "B" without leaving a trail of debris.  So it makes sense to prep them for kitchen time with an apron.  
I've been known to tie a tea towel around them and call it a day, but the pride (and the giggles!) that go with having their very own apron is well worth the investment. Not to mention, an actual apron stays on better and usually has fuller coverage. You can buy one already made or find a pattern and make your own. Any way you look at it, you'll be saving yourself a little trouble....and adding a little extra cute to your day.
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Utensils

If you are working with a small child, their adorable little pudgy hands have a very difficult time with adult sized utensils.  They want to stir, to whisk and to roll out dough but they don't have the motor skills to manipulate grown up sized equipment.  You can buy  utensils that are made for small hands and will help the perform the tasks of stirring, mixing and rolling with more ease (and less mess!)  There are even safety knives you can buy that let your kids chop without the normal safety concerns.
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Cookbooks

Making "Fairy Cakes" is a lot more enticing than making "banana bread with sugar on top".  There are so many  children's cookbooks out there it could take forever to choose the right one for you.  The best thing about most children's cookbooks is that while the titles are humorous and enticing to kids, they generally also have few ingredients and very simple instructions.  "The Super Heroes Super Healthy Cookbook" was a staple in my house growing up.  What kid could resist "Super Girl's Heat Vision Chicken" or "Plastic Man's Spaghetti and Meatballs"? Getting the right cookbook for your kids will keep from setting you both up for disappointment when duck l'orange burns to a crisp.
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Just For Fun

There are loads of fun  cake pans,  pancake moldswaffle makerssandwich cutterscake-pop molds and many other fun devices you can get to help shape your kids' food in the kitchen.  We sent chocolate  Ninja cookies to school one year for a birthday treat.  Be creative, be flexible and enjoy this time with your kids!
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