In my opinion a great gift for the little one is a wire push type egg beater. You can see my original one above that I still use several times a week. And here’s the updated verson.
No, it’s not too early to get that little one comfortable with kitchen chores. I say chores because if you strip away all the baggage of cooking “celebrity” and gourmandise what’s left is the truth that knowing your way around the daily work of the kitchen is a big part of a satisfying personal life. Learning how to cook at a young age is like learning how to drive. The younger you are when you begin the learning process the more ingrained and effortless the moves will be as you mature. I use myself as an example. I don’t even remember being taught by my mother. A woman, by the way, who wasn’t by any measure a great cook. However, she did get dinner on the table every single night of my childhood with very few exceptions. So I learned the moves incrementally, effortlessly and naturally.
It started with pot banging. Raised in a household where a “toy” was anything that would entertain me, I was encouraged to open the doors to the lower cupboard that held the pots, drag them out and bang on them with a wooden spoon made available to me for this purpose. I don’t imagine mom understood that she was making a cook. She was just trying to give me something to do where she could watch me while she made dinner.
Pot banging gave way to egg beating and carrot peeling. Two tools were introduced to me as toys. The first was a simple egg beater made of a wood dowel handle with a sturdy spring attached. ( I still have it). Mom cracked the egg in a deep bowl and I was permitted to run amok with the egg beater. She didn’t care about the mess. Cleaning up after was easier than attempting to hem in my enthusiasm. Not much later a simple vegetable peeler and a carrot were handed to me. No, I didn’t stab myself (or others) in the eye. At first I just pretended to peel (imitation) then as grew a little steadier and taller a stool appeared so I could stand at the sink next to mom and peel along with her. Soon I peeled on demand, and beat the eggs for our breakfast scrambles.
Get the little ones in the kitchen early. There is always something they can do.