Want to get your kids interested in new foods while also learning new skills? Let them help in the kitchen! We'll take cooking with kids from stressful to FUN with a list of some of our very favorite food prep tools and tips for little hands!

Image of a mother and father cooking with two young children in their kitchen. - Shelf Cooking

Ah, dinner time! That perfect time of day where everyone gathers around the table for a homemade meal that's been lovingly prepared. All family members happily eat what's been made, no one is rushed or worn out, and then the clean up is quick and easy. Everyone feels satisfied and content the rest of the evening.

HA! In our dreams, right?!

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

We all have fantasies about idyllic dinner times, but the truth is the evening family meal is often fraught with difficulty. Stressed out parents, kids who refuse to eat…We get it! We've all been there! But we're here to share one of our favorite tips for a better family meal, so read on!

Our Best Tip For Smoother Meal Times

There are a lot of reasons why dinner might be hectic or stressful, and sometimes those are outside of our control or require more intensive solutions than we can offer today. However, one thing that can help get your mealtimes on the right track is this:

Get everyone involved!

Yep! Having meal responsibilities rest solely on one parent can lead to a stressed out, burned out parent with kids disconnected from the food prep process. Getting the whole family, especially the kiddos, involved in meal prep is a great way to keep them invested. Plus, kids who help prep foods are often more likely to eat them!

Does the idea of having little kids underfoot in the kitchen make you anxious? Totally understandable! However, allowing kids to help when they are young sets them up to be fabulously self-sufficient in the kitchen as they get older. Think of it as an investment! Train them today, and have capable sous chefs tomorrow. We are all about #raisingcapablekids around here!

To help equip your little chefs-in-training, we've put together a list of some of our favorite kitchen tools for cooking with kids.

Useful Kid-Friendly Kitchen Apparel

We know your little tike is adorable all the time, but imagine how cute they'll be wearing some of these suggestions. Not only are they cute, these items are super useful too!

  • Child-sized apron – You have enough laundry to worry about already, so protect those cute clothes with a fun apron that is just their size!
  • Cut-resistant gloves – How cool are these?! Learning how to use cutting tools in the kitchen just got a whole lot easier now that those little fingers are protected. It's not a bad idea for mom and dad to use them, too!
  • Disposable gloves – Sometimes different textures can be super fun…but sometimes they can weird kids out, too. Protect small hands from funny textures, raw meat, or spicy foods with these disposable gloves in their size.
  • Safety goggles – If we know kids, we know they can be pretty unpredictable most the time! That's why safety goggles are never a bad idea. Protect vulnerable eyes from popping grease, spicy residue, and sharp objects with eye protection in their size. Plus, these can be put to use in all sorts of settings!

The Best Kitchen Tools For Cooking With Kids

Overhead image of an adult and young child working together to roll out dough with a rolling pin. - Shelf Cooking

Now that your child is dressed and ready for some action in the kitchen, let's get them the right tools for the job! One of the biggest struggles for kids learning to cook is trying to use items that are too big for their little hands, so setting them up for success is a great place to start. Here's some items we've found helpful when cooking with kids:

  • Safety helper stool – One of the biggest obstacles in the kitchen is being too short to see the prep area! Raise of hands, how many of us remember falling of a kitchen chair while trying to help the adults? *Raises hand*. Kids these days have access to these awesome step stools that protect them from falling over, making everything more enjoyable!
  • Kid-friendly knives – Every kid wants to help chop and dice, but handing over that big ol' chef's knife isn't the best idea quite yet! This wooden knife is a great tool for beginners with its large grip. Kids that are a little more experienced might like this 3-piece knife kit that's both safe and effective.
  • Kid-size utensils – Just like knives that fit just right in their hands, these kid-size utensils make getting the job done so much easier! They'll love having their own spatula, brush, and whisk for all the fun parts of cooking!
  • No-slip bowls – Ever get a little too enthusiastic with stirring and before you know it — whoops! Just another day in the life of a kid, right? Help prevent spills with these no-slip bowls. Perfect for your energetic little ones!
  • No-slip cutting boards – Just like the mixing bowls, having cutting boards that stay in place are much easier for kids to use! Plus, making sure everything stays put is safer, too.

Fun Recipes For Cooking With Kids

Need some ideas for easy recipes to make with your kids? We've got you covered there, too!

Whatever you decide to make, we know you and your kiddos will enjoy both the yummy food and the memories that you whip up together in the kitchen!

Do you have a must-have kitchen gadget for your kids? What about a favorite recipe to make with them? Tell us in the comments!

If you're looking for even more easy recipes to make with your family, we're on it! Check out some of these ideas:

Have fun!