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Is a Kitchen Helper Worth it? The 7 Best Options

When I was still pregnant, I listened to parenting books like Bringing Up Bebe and Hunt, Gather, Parent that encouraged allowing toddlers to be part of cooking and meal prep. It made sense – the earlier they get exposed to something, especially when they want to mimic everything we do, the more likely they are to grow up with a desire to help out around the house.

After hating our original highchair, we upgraded to one that can easily switch from kitchen tower to highchair mode and I have to say, it was the best decision! He spends hours per day happily in the kitchen tower, and it’s a nice compromise for meals when he wants to run around, but also wants to join us without feeling locked in. He’s also genuinely curious about food and wants to be involved when I am meal prepping. It has felt like a win all around for us to have the kitchen tower.

Here’s everything to know before you buy a kitchen tower for your toddler, and the ones that I recommend:

Why Kitchen Towers are Great for Busy Toddlers

ergobaby high chair review

Kitchen towers are designed with one specific demographic in mind: busy toddlers who crave autonomy. With a kitchen tower, they can stand at the counter, eye-level with the action, and participate or just observe.

Kitchen towers promote sensory exploration and fine motor skill development as children engage in tasks such as mixing, stirring, and pouring. For my son, it’s been a way for him to feel included. It also means that I don’t have to come up with an activity for him to do while I cook or meal prep.

While my son isn’t quite mixing and ‘helping’ yet at 21 months, he loves being passed food I’ve already chopped so that he can interact with it by holding it, tasting it, and passing it back to me. We received a beaker and cup in our most recent lovevery play kit, so we are practicing pouring now as well. There are also toddler cooking helper kits so that they can help chop softer veggies like cucumbers with tools that will not hurt them.

While toddlers may not be all that helpful while they’re learning, nurturing that sense of wanting to be part of things will hopefully mean they are more engaged and helpful down the line.

The Power of Early Engagement: Insights from Studies

kitchen helper tower

Numerous studies extol the virtues of involving toddlers in food preparation from an early age. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior suggests that children who participate in meal preparation exhibit healthier dietary behaviors and are more likely to try new foods. Additionally, a study conducted by the University of Alberta found that involving children in meal preparation fosters positive attitudes towards food and promotes lifelong healthy eating habits.

The 10 BEST Kitchen Towers

From convertible highchairs to dedicated kitchen towers and those with extra bells and whistles, these are some of the best options out there:

1. Ergobaby Evolve 3-in-1 High Chair – $349

ergobaby high chair review

We have tried several kitchen towers at friend’s houses and vacation rentals and settled on the Ergobaby high chair with kitchen tower kit for our needs. It can switch from high chair to kitchen tower mode with the push of two buttons on the back. It takes just a few seconds and we honestly love this thing. (Read my full Ergobaby high chair review). It comes in a lighter and darker finish and can be used as a high chair from six months.

My son really likes being able to get in and out of the kitchen tower independently and had no problem with getting up and down safely from about a year old, but I have heard some other parents say that they aren’t sure about the open back of this one. Some also say it’s important for the kitchen tower and the highchair to be two separate things, but I have not seen that to be the case either. It’s really nice not having to have yet another piece of furniture, and my son is still an excellent restaurant guest in a high chair! You know your kid best, but the design of this has not presented a problem for us.

2. Guidecraft Classic Kitchen Helper Stool – $199

best kitchen helper towers

I absolutely love the aesthetics of this one. With a completely enclosed design that can be opened easily from the outside, little ones can be a part of the kitchen experience from the moment they can stand (we used an Inglesina hanging chair instead at the counter until he could handle the Ergobaby, which also worked), although the manufacturer suggests using from 18 months. This one folds up to be almost flat and even comes in a double wide version for two kids.

3. Little Partners Explore N Store Learning Tower – $149

best kitchen helper towers

This innovative tower doubles as a storage unit, providing ample space for kitchen essentials while offering toddlers a safe platform to observe and participate. The platform can adjust to four different heights without tools, and the bottom step can fold in for easy storage in smaller spaces.

4. Piccalio Mini Chef Convertible Helper Tower and Convertible Desk – $199

best kitchen helper towers

This kitchen tower can fold down into a desk that your little one can sit at, and comes in a pleasing array of colors like green, white, and black, if you’re not feeling the wood finishes. The step even serves as a little desk stool, so no extra furniture is required for this to become a desk and flip easily right back into a kitchen tower. It also has a removable back piece for when your toddler wants a little more independence at the kitchen counter.

5. Little Partners Learning Tower with Chalk Board – $229

best kitchen helper towers

What’s on the menu du jour? Your little helper can be even more involved by writing out the menu, French cafe-style. I love the idea of the kitchen helpers that have the extra chalk board as a way to involve yet another element of kitchen prep, as well as providing an art space without needing an additional easel.

6. My Mini Kitchen Step Stool + Slide and Puppet Theater – $449

best kitchen helper towers

This one may be a pretty penny, but it serves many purposes. The My Mini Kitchen Step Stool is a handmade, hand-painted, three-in-one kitchen helper, kid’s slide, and puppet theatre. We’re satisfied with our kitchen tower just doubling as a high chair, but if you’re looking to incorporate more play into mealtime, this could be a great 3-in-1.

7. COSCO 2-Step Kitchen Stepper – $60

best kitchen helper towers

The Cosco brand makes affordable baby and toddler gear that’s more bare bones, but functions well. We have their Cosco Scenera as our travel car seat and while it’s not as cushy and comfortable as its pricier counterparts, it’s lightweight and gets the job done. This kitchen tower looks much the same and is less than half the price of anything else on this list.

The Verdict: Kitchen Helpers are Worth It!

Kitchen towers represent more than just a piece of furniture—they embody a philosophy of empowerment and engagement. By providing toddlers with a safe and accessible platform from which to explore the culinary arts, kitchen towers enrich mealtime experiences, fostering a lifelong love of food and family. It’s a routine-changing investment for us, and it’s hard to imagine life without it!

*Some links in this post are affiliate links that support us at no extra cost to you when you purchase through them. We only recommend products we love and use ourselves. Your trust always comes first!

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