Where did Christmas come from? Seriously, I know we all know it’s coming and it’s the same date every year but does it not feel like someone’s stolen half of November and a week in October? Was August not just 5 minutes ago? Time for me to get my skates on with the whole present buying malarkey before someone “borrows” a couple of weekends in December and leaves me totally panicked and presentless!
In the meantime, I want to help you with your present buying (never mind my own!). I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite foodie things for gifting your little ones. I’m all about mixing (food) education with fun as a way to encourage better eating habits so I hope you find something suitable here to either encourage them to cook or teach them more about food!
PS. I’ve tried to work with as many Irish companies as possible.
PPS. to bring the count up to 10, I’m asking you for your brilliant suggestions! What gifts have you come across that might encourage children to cook or explore food or plant or learn more about food? Please add your suggestions in the comments!
Happy (foodie) shopping!
1. Food books:
Kevin and Kate’s Food Adventures
This is a series of 3 lovely books, written and illustrated in Ireland, all about food. There is a story about vegetables (my favourite!), a bread one and one all about milk. They talk about the origin of food in a child-appropriate, fun way with lovely illustrations. Born out of Olivia Goodwillie’s passion for showing children where food comes from. Free shipping in Ireland when you buy all 3 for Christmas. Retail for €9.99 each at https://kevinandkatesfoodadventures.com
2. Cooking voucher:
Bring your child on a food adventure in the gorgeous Kids Cook kitchen in Clonee. It’s the kitchen I want in my home - it’s so cute! You can send the kids on their own or you can do an adult and child class - lovely gift for a grandparent perhaps? Gift vouchers available from €10 at www.kidscook.ie
3. Younger kids:
Melissa and Doug Cutting Food
The lovely Suzie at Toys and Games Ireland has this gorgeous wooden food set that can be “cut” open - great for children aged 18 months up. They can learn the names of the foods and see what they look like inside without destroying your house! Available from Suzie for €24.99 on https://www.toysandgames.ie/product/melissa-doug-cutting-food/
4. Safety first
Kiddies Food Kutter and Safety Food Peeler
These tools allow children to chop and peel real food safely from age 3 + (after they finish with the wooden food!). They nurture independence, teach hand-eye co-ordination and encourage better eating habits - who’s not going to taste what they’ve chopped and peeled themselves?! Where can you get these amazing tools you ask? Luckily for you, I sell these on my site www.thecoolfoodschool.ie/shop and because I’m so nice I’m going to give you €2 off your purchase using the code THANKS18! Order by Dec. 18th to get in time for Christmas.
5. Soft toy
Kevin the Carrot from Aldi
Aldi have reintroduced Kevin the Carrot again this Christmas. This cute carrot character comes in many guises - as a giant plush toy for €24.99 down to my favourite - decorations for the tree for €3.99. There’s even carrot wrapping paper! The reason why I love Kevin and friends is not only because they makes carrots fun and attractive for children but also because them make carrots familiar to children. Available in your local aldi (while stocks last!). https://www.aldi.ie/kevin-%26-family-blue-gift-wrap/p/010014249120600
6. For older kids
Eat Your Way through 100 Foods Wallchart
This is a brilliant one if your kids like a challenge! This wall chart lists 100 healthy foods that kids have to munch their way through - you can set the time scale and it really encourages them to be adventurous! They can rate how much they liked each food - a great one for the whole family to get involved in! Available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Healthy-Foods-Poster-family-children/dp/B007Q0TII2 for €11 plus p&p (approx.)
7. Sowing kit
Children’s Vegetable Garden Kit
This fab container has everything the kids need to start their own little vegetable garden from a Sligo company, www.quickcrop.ie . Getting kids to grown their own food is another great way to get them to try the things they grow! This kit costs €42.50 with shipping all over Ireland coming in at only €3.95. Tell Diarmuid I sent you! Also check out www.giy.ie for their planting kits (recently featured on the ＃latelatetoyshow).
Taf Toys Mealtime Monkey Hide and Eat
This clever plate is the face of a monkey and the mouth can be shut closed for a fun peek-a-boo effect, giving smallies the curiosity and enjoyment they need to try new foods during the important weaning stages. A great way to introduce new tastes - crucial at this stage of development. Available at www.jojomamanbebe.ie for €11 plus p&p. Thanks to @tots_2_toddlers for the tip!
9. Cook book
The World in my Kitchen by Sally Brown and Kate Morris
These 2 ladies are at the fore of kids cooking in the UK and they have created a lovely cook book combining food and other cultures to really capture children’s imaginations! They journey around the world, offering children lovely, healthy recipes from many different countries, throwing in food explanations and language lessons along the way. Not all cookbooks for children are created equal, some of them can be very focused on the sweet end of things but this one strikes a nice, healthy balance. Available on https://www.amazon.co.uk/World-My-Kitchen-Recipes-Discover/dp/1848992971/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1499695714&sr=8-2 for £9.17 plus p&p
10. Your suggestion! ……………………