In search of a gift for your culinary-minded kiddo? Making efforts to foster a growing kid’s healthy relationship with food? Looking to have some fun? Take advantage of one of our favorite literary genres—cookbooks for kids. These seven books offer up everything from kitchen basics and simple recipes to advice for starting a culinary arts career.
Kids Cook! Fabulous Food for the Whole Family
A cookbook written by kids and for kids, the pages of Kids Cook! is laced with kid-accessible recipes (around 150, in fact), safety notes, illustrations and nutri notes, which suggest healthy substitutions for common ingredients. Siblings Sarah and Zachary Williamson offer up straightforward kitchen advice on different tools and techniques, making this book an ideal choice for kids who are serious about their time in the kitchen.
Cooking Rocks! Rachel Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids
We’re all familiar with Rachel Ray’s concept for creating delicious family meals in 30 minutes, but with Cooking Rocks! 30-Minute Meals for Kids, the Food Network star takes that concept and re-works it with little chefs in mind. Written with the intention for kids to work alongside a “GH” (grown-up helper), this book is a great one for making cooking fun—and for reminding those in the GH category that learning to cook as a kid is about experimenting, and yes, making mistakes, too.
So, You Want to Be a Chef?
Geared towards older kids that are serious about the possibility of a career in the culinary arts, So, You Want to Be a Chef? by J.M. Bedell is an excellent resource for culinary-minded kids and their parents. Readers are introduced to the hierarchy of a professional kitchen, recipes, fun activities and profiles of professional chefs and up-and-coming chefs alike.
Noodlemania! 50 Playful Pasta Recipes
It’s difficult to think of a more across-the-board crowd pleaser than pasta—especially when it comes to kids in the kitchen. Melissa Barlow’s Noodlemania harnesses the crowd-favorite quality of noodles and presents her favorite kid-friendly recipes with vibrantly colored graphics and illustrations. The whole family will love recipes like Barlow’s Mini Spaghetti Pizzas, featuring crusts made entirely of tangled pasta.
The Kids’ Multicultural Cookbook: Food & Fun Around the World
Illustrations, activities, and traditional recipes from around the world rated based on difficulty level for young cooks—what more do you need? Deanna F. Cook’s The Kids’ Multicultural Cookbook allows the whole family to explore different cultures through the most universal language of all—food. If your kids enjoy this one, they may also want to explore The Kids’ Multicultural Art Book and The Kids’ Multicultural Craft Book.
The Batali Brothers Cookbook
Ever wonder what it would be like to grow up with a chef in the house? Benno and Leo Batali found out first-hand, growing up front and center in the kitchen with their dad, James Beard Award-winning Chef Mario Batali. The Batali Brothers Cookbook, curated in honor of their dad’s 50th birthday, is made up of two parts—favorite recipes from the brothers, and a section reserved for classic family favorites, courtesy of Chef Batali himself.
EAT THE WORLD: Good-for-You Food for Families
Offered up by Common Threads—a non-profit organization that works to introduce children in underserved communities to healthy cooking and eating—Eat the World offers up simple step-by-step tutorials for re-creating the Common Threads staff’s favorite international recipes. Inspired? Read about Common Threads’ volunteer opportunities available in major cities across the country.