7 Diwali Gifts for Kids

7 Diwali Gifts for Kids that Pay Homage to Indian Roots

By Manasa Mantravadi



Time to Read: 8 min

Diwali Gifts for Kids

I come from a very typical Indian immigrant story. I was three years old when my parents immigrated to this country. I didn’t speak any English. I learned from watching Sesame Street. My father worked long hours as a resident physician, and we lived in a small, one-bedroom apartment in Staten Island. 

I grew up in the USA in the 80s. I lived in two worlds. One at home where we ate traditional Indian food like Dosa and Idli on stainless steel plates for Saturday breakfast, spoke our native language, listened to and watched endless Bollywood movies (and practiced the choreographed dances we saw on the screen), prayed daily at our in-home altars and kept ancient beauty rituals alive with weekly coconut oil hair treatments. The other life was outside of the home—at school, at soccer practices and hanging out with friends gossiping about New Kids On The Block over pizza—living a very typical “American” life. 

My parents always maintained our traditions at home so I would understand, respect and love my roots as an Indian. They always let me explore and engage in a culture they knew little of so I would understand, respect and love my future as an American.

Now that I am a mother, I want to pass on those Indian traditions and help my children love and embrace their roots as well. I am proud of my roots. It is what inspired me to launch a company with traditions and philosophy stemming from India. And as an entrepreneur, I have been fortunate enough to meet other founders that also launched companies that pay homage to our Indian roots. 

So this Diwali—a very important holiday in India in which we celebrate light over darkness, enlightenment over ignorance and joy over sorrow—I’m sharing my favorite Indian-inspired Diwali gifts that I have given to my own children. This inspiration to share my culture is the same inspiration that drives me to learn about other cultures—and teach my kids about the beauty in the diversity of all the children in their communities. When we celebrate our differences and connect over our similarities, it provides the opportunity to teach our children about kindness, compassion and empathy for others. Check out our limited edition holiday offering for Diwali and many other beautiful holidays celebrated this season at Ahimsa. Together let’s expand little minds and palates over mealtime!

Ok, now get your shopping carts ready for some Diwali gift shopping!  

About Ahimsa

Founded by a pediatrician and mom of three

Stainless steel is the only kid-friendly material recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics 

We are guided by a Scientific Advisory Council comprised of environmental and medical experts, guiding us in creating the safest products, following the latest science and promoting policy to protect human health and our planet

Want to know more? Check out our story and our products


Safe, sustainable, healthy AND fun? How often do those go together? Children love these colorful stainless steel dishes that encourage healthy eating while making mealtime engaging. As a Pediatrician Mom, I learned about the harmful chemicals in plastic, so I created a line of stainless steel dinnerware for kids—inspired by my own mom and our dining table filled with steel tableware when I was young. Steel is the material of choice for dinnerware in India, so I added a fun, modern twist with color and pediatric-nutrition-infused, intentional designs to share with families across the USA for happy and healthy mealtime! Our limited edition Holiday Gift includes 7 interactive mealtime placemats to help children learn about various holidays and traditions. It also includes upcycled sari material so you can gift wrap easily (and sustainably since you can reuse this material forever!). Our aim is to expand little minds and palates this holiday season.

Ahimsa Gifts

Modi Toys

Spiritual songs with Hindu deities in plush form with matching books to teach children about their religion is something that simply did not exist before founder Avani Modi brought it to life. Now, children across the globe snuggle with loveable snuggable versions of familiar faces like Ganesha and Saraswati. The brand shares on their site that “Admittedly, no single product can bridge the paradoxical gap between wanting to assimilate with the American lifestyle, yet still retaining our culture. But we can certainly try. We want to create a (modi)fied version of what you and your kids already know and love. By introducing these toys at an early age, we hope to spark curiosity about their culture. The gift of knowledge may last a day, but the gift of wonder lasts forever.” I can attest that my children love and cherish their Modi Toys and snuggle nightly with them.

Kulture Khazana

Mompreneur Akruti Babaria, founder of Kulture Khazana, gave birth to her son, Ayaan and realized the diverse places she lived in had no sign of her culture or community in children’s products. She searched for Indian toys, Diwali gifts, stories that explain Holi and Navratri, anything that would teach her son about South Asian culture and all its treasures, but found nothing. Hence the birth of Kulture Khazana.

Her goal of sharing Indian cultural stories with children through educational and play activities is now seen in their collection of affordable and accessible books, toys, games and online story albums. My kids especially love the floor puzzle and this year, I purchased the Diwali Classroom Kit since I go to my kid’s school every year to teach in the classroom. This kit is a life-saver for parents who want to introduce Diwali to their children’s class.

Little Ladoo

Sindhu and Vaishali created this line of products that showcase Indian culture so parents can teach their kids about who they are. They offer toys, books and apparel for little ones, but my favorite is the Indian Fest Set—an assortment of plush toys that mimic traditional Indian foods! Ladoo is an Indian sweet often served at holidays, weddings and other big events. All of their products are meant to tell the story of our culture and traditions in the cutest of ways.

InKidz Bond Bands

Child Psychiatrist Dr. Zabina “Zee” Bhasin, MD, is a diversity and inclusion expert who believes that cultural differences unite us rather than divide us. So she created InKidz, a line of culture-focused toys and products to give families everywhere access to the world’s varied and rich traditions and engaging resources that make understanding DE&I simple for anyone. I love the bond bands—they feature three beads representing guidance, protection and love. The black thread is auspicious and bonds the beads together. When wearing the bond bands, we commit to evoking compassion and being protectors of one another in a sleek style!

Holi Chic by Megha

This is an amazing women-led brand that echoes their love for South Asian culture and advocating century-old artisanal craftsmanship. Fun prints and design draw from traditional roots and modern hipster vibes—it is such a fun blend of old meets new! From clothing to bags, this is a great gift for your teenager. My favorite is the Rani clutch. Rani means “Princess” in Hindi, and I love this depiction of a beautiful and strong woman rocking a bindi and sunglasses—it exudes girl power and a nod to Indian roots!

Mango and Marigold Press Books

With titles like Bravo Anjali and Super Satya Saves The Day, my kids LOVE seeing characters that look like them and stories of family traditions and cultural practices that they can relate to! This award-winning independent publishing house that shares the sweet and savory stories of the South Asian experience has been a hit with my kids! My go-to gift has now become the Indi-Alphabet. With whimsical verses and vibrant images, it brings to life an India both familiar and unfamiliar.

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a board-certified pediatrician whose dedication to children’s health drove her to launch Ahimsa, the world's first colorful stainless steel dishes for kids. She was motivated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings on harmful chemicals in plastic affecting children's well-being. Ahimsa has gained widespread recognition and been featured in media outlets such as Parents Magazine, the Today Show, The Oprah Magazine, and more.

Dr. Mantravadi received the esteemed “Physician Mentor of the Year” award at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019. She was also named a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur in 2021, with her inspiring story showcased on Good Morning America. She serves on the Council for Environmental Health and Climate Change and the Council for School Health at The American Academy of Pediatrics. She represents Ahimsa as a U.S. industry stakeholder on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, led by the United Nations Environment Program. Dr. Mantravadi leads Ahimsa's social impact program, The Conscious Cafeteria Project, to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard student health as part of a national pilot of the Clinton Global Initiative.

She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to make healthier, more environmentally friendly choices at mealtime. Her mission remains to advocate for the health of all children and the one planet we will leave behind for them through real policy change within our food system.

More Diwali Gifts from Ahimsa

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use stainless steel instead of plastic? Is stainless steel better for health?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in July 2018 suggesting ways that families can limit exposure to certain chemicals at mealtime, including “the use of alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.” The report explained that “…some additives are put directly in foods, while “indirect” additives may include chemicals from plastic, glues, dyes, paper, cardboard”. Further, “Children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing.” While stainless steel items meet the recommendation to avoid plastic products in children, Ahimsa® products have the obvious advantage of not breaking like glass.

Is stainless steel better for the environment than plastic?

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel can be recycled over and over and over again without losing its integrity and requires less energy to recycle than to make anew. Most plastic unfortunately ends up in landfills and it is estimated to take 700 years to decompose. Our special coloring process that allows Ahimsa® products to be fully metal is environmentally friendly, so it does not produce toxic run-off into the ecosystem.

Will Ahimsa products break or peel?

No. Our steel is durable, so it won’t break or shatter with everyday use, like glass. And it won’t peel, like other colored stainless steel products you’ve seen. We use a special process that allows the colors to naturally occur in the metal.

Which Ahimsa products are best for my little one(s)?

Our products are meant to last, you can use Ahimsa at ages 1, 8 and 18! We thoughtfully design our products to be safe for little ones and our planet while reducing consumption. Once your child outgrows the Starting Solids Set  and can use regular cups and utensils, the training cup is the perfect size rinse cup in the bathroom, the infant spoon doubles as a tea stirrer and the bowl is great for snacks or as an additional compartment to our modular divided plate. Our plates are great for any age as they encourage choosing a variety of healthy foods at each meal and help visualize portion sizes easily. It’s the lasting beauty of stainless steel - grows with your child and reduces waste.

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