It’s never too early to get kids interested in baking and cooking. It not only teaches them essential life skills, but it’s a great way to bond and plant the seed for a hobby that studies show can benefit a person’s mental health. If you aren’t sure how to get started, a cookbook can help you choose recipes that are fun and simple enough. Here are the best cookbooks for kids:
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook For Preschoolers and Up
Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson
The New York Times called this cookbook “the gold standard” for kids’ cookbooks. It comes from the mind of Mollie Katzen, author of the iconic vegetarian cookbook The Moosewood Cookbook. With educator Ann Henderson, Katzen designed Pretend Soup for kids as young as 3-years old. There are lots of illustrations and easy instructions, so kids can quickly learn skills and take charge in the kitchen, even if they can’t read yet! With 19 recipes in total, it won’t intimidate you or your kid, but it doesn’t feel limited either.
Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cook Book
For kids 5-12 years old, this cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens is great for giving kids a firm foundation in the kitchen. There’s a whole section on cooking terms, tools, kitchen safety, measuring, and how to read recipes, so kids can start learning important skills that will serve them well their whole lives. Then, it’s time to put that fresh knowledge to work with 65 recipes divided into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To keep kids interested, the book’s design is very colorful and there are tons of illustrations.
Cook Me A Story
One of the most creative cookbooks for kids, Cook Me A Story: A Treasury of Stories and Recipes Inspired by Classic Fairy Tales lays out recipes (which Kozlowski calls “stories”) in fairy tale form, so as you and your kid learn how to make something, you’re reading a story at the same time. It’s the perfect strategy for kids who have trouble paying attention and aren’t engaged by the traditional recipe format. Learn how to make fairy-tale inspired breakfasts, snacks, dinners, desserts, and even drinks, like Sea Foam Blue Lemonade.
MasterChef Junior Cookbook
If your kid(s) are fans of “MasterChef Junior” this is the best cookbook you could give them. With 100 recipes inspired by MasterChef Junior contestants, kids can feel like master chefs themselves and learn new skills and techniques. Dishes are divided up into categories like Snacks & Starters, Pasta, Meat & Poultry, Desserts, and more.
Baking Class: 50 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Bake
Deanna F. Cook
Written for kids 8-12, this is one of the best cookbooks for kids that’s all about baking. There are 50 recipes with step-by-step photos and easy instructions, as well as tips on measuring, tools, and essential skills. NPR named it one of the Best Books of the Year for 2017, while it also won the Mom’s Choice Gold award. Recipes include muffins, savory quick breads, cinnamon rolls, cookies, pies, and cakes. Difficulty level is marked by rolling pins: one rolling pin is the easiest, followed by two, and then three.
There are countless cookbooks out there for every skill level and taste. Some are stranger than others. Click here to read about the most unusual cookbooks ever.