A few well-chosen tools can help boost children's interest in cooking and baking. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The long stretch of summer is almost upon us. Mums and dads, if you’re already planning activities to keep your children busy during the holidays, we have the perfect one for you – get them into the kitchen!

Learning about food, sustainable sources, cooking techniques and staying safe in the kitchen are all excellent skills to learn at a young age. But where and how do you begin?

We sought advice from Lama Jammal, founder of the Dubai-based cooking school Mamalu Kitchen, and Eazy Freezy, a line of all-natural frozen food products. She started her business in 2016 after studying and working in the hospitality industry for many years.

Get to know the basics

According to Jammal, you can introduce cooking and baking to children as young as 2.5 years old. She said: “My kids started watching me cook when they were literally nine months old, sitting in their bouncy chair. So, I think it’s just about being around food, where it comes from, taking them to the supermarket, any farming experiences where your kids can learn where food is sourced from… and the whole process. Let them watch you and take part, even if they’re just adding salt or mixing. It just gets them involved and I think it’s really helpful for picky eaters… you get kids eating all sorts of different things when they come to our cooking school.”

Before getting started in the kitchen, however, it’s important to set some ground rules and to make kids aware of the basics. Jammal shared some examples: “Just explain from the beginning that you need to wash your hands before cooking and after using any eggs, and that you can’t eat the batter of a cake that has raw eggs.”

Familiarising children with the kitchen also involves helping them gain a basic understanding of safety. For parents, this can mean a few minor changes to how you prep meals. For instance, you’ll have to put away the sharp knives you use for chopping and slicing.

Jammal shared some safety tips: “The safest thing is not to have sharp knives around. We get [children] to start chopping with butter knives or special kids’ knives that you can buy. Keep them away from sources of heat, and make sure to have an adult with them at all times if using a stove.”

Experiment with recipes

Baking and breakfast recipes are great for kids starting out in the kitchen, according to our expert. Image Credit: Shutterstock

When they’re ready to cook, there are a few tried-and-tested recipes you can introduce to your kids that are guaranteed to be a hit.

Jammal said: “The easiest meals to begin with are baking recipes, because you have to measure the ingredients, and it’s a great, easy way to start. There are many different kinds of breakfast recipes – from Mexican breakfast to homemade granola to blueberry pancakes – that are really easy and exciting for children to start the day with, as well.”

You could also think of fun, seasonal meals, snacks or desserts. Jammal said: “Now that it’s summer, I think popsicle recipes [would do well], like frozen yoghurt bars, any leftover fruits that you kind of blend up with yoghurt, or ice lollies… these are all great recipes to start with.”

Ready for exciting but safe moments in the kitchen with your kids? Jammal shared her recommendations for the best products on Amazon that you can buy, to cook with your little sous chefs. We’ve added them to our curated list of top-rated items. Buy them with Prime so that you can look forward to a fun, flavourful summer.

1. Best for Ice Cream: Lékué Classic Creamy Ice Cream Moulds (4 Units) 

Mamalu Kitchen has a shelf full of “cute accessories and kitchen gadgets”, where Lékué Classic Creamy Ice Cream Moulds take prime place. Jammal said it essentially is “a popsicle maker that you can add milk chocolate to, and make creamy or fruity ice creams with. It’s quite popular with the kids.” The stackable moulds save space in your freezer, and they’re made with silicone material, so it’s easy for kids to pry out their ice cream once it’s ready. The moulds come with a recipe book to get you started!

2. Best for Dumplings: Kuchenprofi Ravioli Former, Small 

If there’s one kitchen tool that’s going to provide kids with heaps of fun, this is it. Kuchenprofi’s ravioli maker is always a big hit with little ones, says Jammal. She added: “It can double up as a dumpling maker, and kids love dumplings, whether they’re made with mushroom or chicken. It’s fun for them to use.” You can also make pierogis, turnovers, and pot stickers with this single tool, which folds to cut, seal and crimp the edges of the dough to make the perfect little package. We chose the smallest size (you also have options of medium and large) for kid-sized dumplings that they’re sure to love.

3. Best Food Processor: Zyliss Easy Pull Food Processor 

When you have to chop vegetables or fruits, don’t dump them into an electric food processor. Let kids burn off their energy and turn the process into a game, by pulling the handle of the Zyliss food processor! Our expert recommends it for chopping and blending all kinds of foods. Pulling the handle about five times generates a coarse chop, eight times yields medium or fine results, and 12 times results in soups and smoothies. The appliance’s twin blade design cuts through even root vegetables and frozen fruits. Both the bowls and blades are dishwasher-safe.

4. Best for Pancakes: Pritzker Pancake Griddle Pan with Animal Shape Moulds 

Pancakes with animal shapes on them? It’s a winning combination. Jammal said this pancake griddle is the most beloved of all her kitchen tools for kids. You can make adorable three-inch blinis, crepes and pancakes in this pan, and even swap them out for eggs or vegetables. The griddle is coated with perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA-free, non-stick coating, making it easy for you to flip the pancakes. Reviewers say, however, that it’s best cleaned by hand washing, since the dishwasher can dull the exterior of the pan.

5. Best for Tortillas: Victoria Cast Iron Tortilla Press 

Another tool that has kids flexing their muscles and having fun, the tortilla press is an excellent kitchen helper when you’re making Mexican fare, from empanadas and quesadillas to arepas and tostones. All you need is a ball of dough that you can place in the centre, and then press down with the lever. Victoria’s tortilla press uses heavy-duty cast iron for easy, even pressing, which results in completely flat, delicious tortillas.

6. Best Oven: Siemens Ceramic Cooker 


  • Fast pre-heating
  • Five burners included
  • Splash protection glass-top lid


  • Knobs are low, in reach of children

The cooking range is a hazardous zone when kids are around. Whether you’re baking a cake or boiling pasta, an induction or electric stove and oven combination is ideal. Jammal said: “I would always recommend an induction oven, since it’s the safest to have in your home for kids. Otherwise, I would go for an electric oven.” Siemens’ ceramic cooker has an electric cooktop that offers centralised heat. The 60cm appliance has several smart functions, like fast pre-heating, and 3D Hotair Plus technology, which evenly distributes heat across all three oven shelves. Its ecoClean feature uses a special coating on the rear wall that disintegrates dirt and significantly reduces odours. Reviewers praise the quality materials and safety measures in this appliance, and say they’ve been using it for years with no issues.

Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh245.83 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers one-year warranty.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.