Looking back on my childhood, I wish I had spent more time in the kitchen. I always enjoyed the fruits of my parents’ mealtime labors (whether it was my Dad’s famous steamed mussels or my Mother’s lemon chicken) but I didn’t take the time to stand by their sides and learn their tricks for myself. I do remember my mother used a very special Peter Rabbit cookbook once to convince me to get in the kitchen…I made an orange-glazed carrot dish and felt overflowingly proud of myself.
To create more of those overflowingly proud moments for all our kids and inspire them to take those first steps into the kitchen, here are our top 5 cookbooks for kids to get them by our side, enjoying diverse foods, and cultivating a lifetime love of cooking:
Kids Cook 1 – 2 – 3: Recipes for Young Chefs using only 3 ingredients
The Best Part: With recipes like Magic Coffee, Bacon Candy, and Carrot Fries with Mint, the recipes are easy, yet “grown up”, letting the little ones play a food version of dress up.
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up
The Best Part: Not only does each recipe have reviews from kids, but each comes with a recipe for the adult and then one just for the kiddos that shows each step with sweet illustrations. I absolutely love the imaginative spirit of this cookbook!
The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time
The Best Part: This cookbook is chock full of recipes for parents, tips for how to have kids join the cooking routine, plus actual recipes just for kids – the wisdom in each tip and tidbit is ideal for anyone looking for a comprehensive plan for creating family dinner traditions.
The River Cottage Family Cookbook
The Best Part: This is the cookbook I needed when I was young (heck, I need it now!) because it explains the “why” of cooking. Why use that kind of flour in that kind of bread? Why are there so many different shapes of pasta? Why will using seasonal vegetables get your kids to eat more veggies?
Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook
The Best Part: These recipes start with a basic step (buttering a bagel, popping popcorn, etc.) and then let kids choose-their-own adventure with variations of toppings, spices, etc. giving them a lot of control over their own creations. This approach can also be a great first step to kids cooking, by bringing options to the dinner table where each member of the family can then build their own meal (think tacos, pizzas, triple-decker sandwiches, etc.) right there at the table.
And a few Runners-Up Kids Cookbooks for those little ones with special interests
Thanks! And please share the tips or recipes you’ve used to get your kids in the kitchen? There is so much more to learn!