There are so many great cookbooks for kids out there that we decided to keep rounding them up for you! This bunch will appeal to all different kinds of kid chefs: foodies, preschoolers, story-lovers, and family meal makers.
Cook Me a Rhyme
By Bryan Kozlowski | For kids 6-9
Cook Me a Rhyme is an innovative twist on a cookbook- each recipe is based on a classic children's rhyme like Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, or The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. The recipes are simple, and while the book recommends it for ages 6 and over I think the recipes are suitable for 3-year-olds and up (with grownup supervision of course)!
Each recipe step is accompanied by a line from the rhyme and fun illustrations of the story. This cookbook is wonderful for beginning readers or any kid who loves to rhyme! The same author also wrote Cook Me a Story, the fairy tale version of this book.
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up
By Mollie Katzen and Ann Hendersen | For kids age 3-7
Pretend Soup is the original cookbook for kids, published back in 1994. It's aimed at a younger audience, preschoolers. The secret sauce to this book is that each recipe is illustrated so kids who can't read can understand the instructions. Each recipe also has grown-up tips and instructions so adults can help young kids be safe in the kitchen.
The book was written by Mollie Katzen, of Moosewood Restaurant fame. Moosewood is a restaurant in Ithaca, NY (home town to my alma mater Ithaca College!), but Moosewood and Mollie Katzen are most famous for creating the canonical vegetarian cookbooks. The recipes in her children's cookbooks are all vegetarian as well.
Chop Chop: The Kids' Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family
By Sally Sampson | For kids age 8-12
Chop Chop is a wonderful cookbook that also supports a wonderful organization, Chop Chop Magazine. I love three things about this cookbook. First, it covers all the basics (and then some!). For first-time chefs, Chop Chop will teach them every thing they need to know to be successful grownup chefs (in fact, if you're a grown-up that never learned how to cook, this might be a great place to start!). Second, the photos of real kids cooking the meals are delightful, and echo the fact that all of the recipes were tested by real kids. Last, each recipe gives tons of ideas to help kids customize the recipe, helping kids begin to learn how to create a meal. They can learn how to swap different ingredients and become less dependent on recipes. For these reasons, I think Chop Chop is an awesome first cookbook for kids age 8 and up.
Chop Chop Magazine is a non-profit publication that aims to reduce childhood obesity and hunger by teaching families to cook together. It offers its magazine for free to families who need it, and so by purchasing this book you're helping other kids learn to cook too!
Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook
By Melina Hammer | For Kids 8-13
Kid Chef bills itself as the foodie kids cookbook, so if you've got an aspiring MasterChef Jr. in the house, this might be for you! What's great about Kid Chef is that the beginning of the book breaks down different culinary skills into lessons, which then all have a corresponding recipe. Kids can read about how to safely use a stove, and then how to make a fried egg to practice that skill.
Kid Chef's recipes are also designed to appeal to foodie kids who might love dishes like Minty Lamb Burgers and Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Tarts. There are some kid classics like pizza and mac and cheese too, but many of the recipes are for kids who have already branched out from the kiddie menu. The recipes themselves are very text-heavy, so younger chefs might need some reading support.
We love these great cookbooks for kids, and we hope your kiddos will too! Let us know if they try out any of these books in the kitchen.
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