One way to get kids in the kitchen and get them cooking is to make it fun. Here are ten cool tools they'll love using while learning cooking basics - no dangerously sharp edges or moving parts, just good old-fashioned hard workers that every cook needs to have on hand.
1. Juicer. A wooden citrus juicer makes quick work of lemons and limes and drain every last drop of the juice. Let kids use hand-held juicers to help make fresh beverages, dressings, marinades, pie fillings or curds.
2. Rolling pin. Teach kids the business end of a rolling pin by getting hands-on experience with roll-out cookies, biscuits, pie crusts or homemade pasta.
3. Meat mallet. If you think boys won't want to learn to cook, put a meat mallet in their hands and let them whack away at a tough cut like flank steak. A tip: spray the mallet with non-stick cooking spray first and teach kids the importance of washing it thoroughly afterward for food safety purposes.
4. Whisk. One of the most necessary tools in the kitchen, a whisk whips everything from pie fillings and dips to omelets and frittatas - even dry ingredients for baked goods.
5. Garlic press. A garlic press is a must-have for every kitchen - let kids use it to smush canned peppers for adobo sauce, anchovies for a Caesar salad or garlic.
6. Flour sifter. A flour sifter is not only fun for a kid to to use, it's handy for sifting dry ingredients where a light texture matters (like a cake) and for evenly coating goodies with a dusting of cocoa, cinnamon or powdered sugar.
7. Biscuit cutter. Let kids use biscuit cutters to help make cookies, scones, tiny tea sandwiches ... and, oh yeah, biscuits.
8. Mortar and pestle. A mortar and pestle is as basic and useful a kitchen tool as they come and kids will have so much fun smashing and smushing herbs, nuts, olives, garlic, cocoa beans and more for pestos, pistous, tapenades and aiolis.
9. Egg beaters. Egg beaters are old-fashioned, fun and super handy to have around - sort of like a whisk on steroids. Kids will have a blast beating up fluffy omelets.
10. Nutmeg grater. You can't beat the taste of freshly ground nutmeg, and a nutmeg grater makes easy quick work of the task at hand. It's easy for kids to use and safe - you only grate in one direction and you only need a little at a time - but a little supervision with this one is a good idea.