Best Cookbooks for Children

For the Love of Cooking

If your kids are like my grandkids, they don’t just like to eat-they like to cook. So, how does a parent safely teach cooking skills to a two year old? This is a dilemma that many parents are faced with. It isn’t enough, for those interested, to sit idly by and watch mommy make supper. Toddlers are inquisitive and mimic their parents in everything they do. It is part of their developmental stages of growth. One day they will become adolescents-another stage of their growth; only this one is where rejection of everything you do will rule. So, my advice to parents, young, and old alike is to enjoy the attention and bonding while it lasts. You may just have the next Emeril or Julia in your home.

Typical cookbooks to choose from

There are hundreds of children’s cookbooks in libraries, bookstores and online, to help you in your role as teacher and culinary supervisor. After viewing many of these books I realized that there are a few categories that cookbooks for kids fall into: well known household names, such as Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Better Homes and Gardens; television celebrity chefs, such as Rachel Ray, Emeril, or Paula Deen; famous characters, like Dora, Sesame Street, and Barbie; and other cookbooks that are just great books to teach new cooking skills.

What to look for in a child's cookbook

There are hundreds of children’s cookbooks in libraries, bookstores and online, to help you in your role as teacher and culinary supervisor. After viewing many of these books I realized that there are a few categories that cookbooks for kids fall into: well known household names, such as Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Better Homes and Gardens; television celebrity chefs, such as Rachel Ray, Emeril, or Paula Deen; famous characters, like Dora, Sesame Street, and Barbie; and other cookbooks that are just great books to teach new cooking skills.

With the plethora of cookbooks to choose from how does one select a cookbook that is appealing, easy to use, and loaded with great recipes? I selected several for these reasons: the colorful photographs; the simplicity of the instructions; the addition of ‘how-to’ or other helpful tips; interesting recipes; or the intriguing title. Here are my selections:


Books for Young Cooks

DK Children’s Cookbook by Katharine Ibbs is a kid friendly, brightly photographed cookbook with step by step instructions; plus tips for kitchen safety.

The Children’s Quick and Easy Cookbook , by Angela Wilkes, is also a high quality, well photographed and easy to follow cookbook published by DK.


Cookbooks for kids

The Everything Kids’ Cookbook by Sandra K Nissenberg. Nissenberg is a registered dietician, who specializes in child nutrition. The book presents a full range of foods from the food pyramid; along with a chapter on special occasions, such as Valentine pizza, and a Fourth of July cake. Plus, there are food related crafts and activities. Another point I like about this book is the rating scale of each recipe, which depicts the level of difficulty.

Children's Cookbook

Cooking with Children, by Marion Cunningham, is a cookbook aimed at the ‘serious’ future chef, and is filled with a progression of cooking lessons. One drawback I found from this book was the age. Published in 1995 it does not appear to have had any revised editions.


Cooking is fun!
Cooking is fun! | Source

Dora Cookbook for kids

Dora and Diego, Let’s Cook, by Nickelodeon is a cookbook for Dora fans. Both English and Spanish terms are used throughout and there are plenty of photos. My four year old granddaughter and two year old grandson love Dora and her friend Diego as well as helping mom in the kitchen. I would consider buying this book for them.

Harry Potter Cookbook for older teens

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, by Dinah Bucholz, is filled with a sampling of the foods introduced in the many Harry Potter books.

For a complete review of this book visit hubber, SweetMarie83 and read her hub:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Cookbook-Review-The-Unofficial-Harry-Potter-CookBook-by-Dinah-Bucholz

The last two books that I felt would be worthy of mentioning and adding to my cookbook collection focuses on geographical cuisine.

The United States Cookbook, by Joan D’Amico, is an absolute gem. It has recipes from the four regions of the United States, as well as quick facts about the individual states of the region.

Passport on a Plate by Diane Simone Vezzon and Susan Greenstein, is a cookbook focusing on foods from around the world.  The authors add interesting facts about the country. 

Culinary Classes for Kids

When my grandson, Marco, began helping his mother with meals, and could accurately identify different flavors and herbs in dishes she was making, similar to Remy, the epicurean rat in the Disney movie Ratatouille , she enrolled him in a class for budding chefs. This interactive, hands on class provided them with cooking lessons and a can of Campbell’s soup with a personalized label at the completion of the class. He is now seven and still enjoys being the food critic in the home. If you find that your child takes a real interest in cooking there are children’s franchised cooking schools nationwide, such as Batter Up, Kids, or the Young Chefs Academy. Check out the ones in your neighborhood and register your child for a class.

With so much support to teach your child to cook there is hardly an excuse not to let her into the kitchen. As your child acquires and practices this skill she will be serving you a meal or two. Bon Appetit!


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Comments 25 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

I am presuming that is your daughter and she is adorable with that beautiful smile. I think it is important to teach children to cook. Very nice hub.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you, Pam, for placing me so 'young'. No, that actually is my youngest granddaughter. My oldest grdd is almost 11. This little mama's helper with the beaming smile just turned 4 and her mother is a hubber! Cara, my daughter is a grade school teacher and just joined in Dec. (see my hub: A circle of women) She notified me last night that one of her hubs A Lesson for the Teacher has been nominated for the hubnugget award. So, I'm giving everyone I know nudges to get over to the forum and vote. Cara's hubber name is cardelean. Thanks Pam for reading. I have two more to go and I am finished. Just in time, my deadline is tomorrow. :)


Spider Girl profile image

Spider Girl 5 years ago from the Web

Quite nice hub! Rated useful!


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

This is definitely cool. I had no idea they actually had cookbooks for children. (Who knew?) Thank you. Rated useful as well!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Spider Girl and Genna. I appreciate the read & the rating. Have a blessed weekend.


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

Children just love to cook but alas parents have such busy lives and opportunities such as these pass them by. I would love to cook with my grandma and that early experience has developed my passion for cooking now.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

You're right,Acaetnna-everyone seems to be on the fast track. But, it is important that kids learn and get familiar with the kitchen, kitchen equipment and self sufficiency if mom or dad is unavailable and they need a nutrutious snack. My grandkids help my daughters with meals, and my oldest granddaughter (photo in A Circle of Women) who is the writer, just wrote a story in school about 'Responsibility'. She described having the responsibility of cooking tacos for the family dinner one night. It was a great story. She writes with clarity, organization and wit-a great combination! Thanks for reading. I've got one more for the 30 in 30 challenge and then I will be back to reading other hubs. :)


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Fantastic hub, I love this hub, and I am going to send a cook book to my 9 year old granddaughter. Rate you upup and good luck love & peace darski


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Darski. Thanks for reading the hub. I am sure she will love it.


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Denise, cute little girl. Great suggestions for cookbooks for kids. One of the things I do is to teach cooking to middle school students. I will definitely look into these books.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Wow! I didn't realize that you are a cooking (home ec?) teacher for students. How wonderful for you. That little one is Miss Grace, my now four year old granddaughter. Thanks for reading and commenting.


katrinasui profile image

katrinasui 5 years ago

Fantastic hub and what a great gift for children.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you Katrinasui for reading the hub and commenting. It is a fun activity with kids.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

The smile on your granddaughter's face says it all- cooking is great fun for young kids! Thanks for sharing these resources.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Gail-Oh my gosh, does she just beam out or what! Cara sent me this one to add to the story. All of my grandkids love to help in the kitchen. Thanks for reading. Happy Valentine's Day.


francis_editor profile image

francis_editor 5 years ago from Philippines

thanks denise in this cool hub ... i was envy foe those kids that i watch in the children chef in Australia... how i wish that my kid will learn that stuff too. your daughter is adorable... she really enjoy what she doing.!!!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Francis-I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. My little cutie here is my youngest granddaughter. She is 3 in this photo and just turned 4 this January. All of my grandkids enjoy making things in the kitchen. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)


bellawritter23 profile image

bellawritter23 5 years ago from California

Denise, I will have to definitely check out some of these cook books I got three little ones of my own. Thanks for sharing

smiles :)

bella


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello Bella, nice to see you here. Yes, do check the cookbooks out. I'm sure the kids will have much fun. I just finished another 'cooking' hub called: Food Adventure... Thanks for your comment.


GermanDelight 5 years ago

Hi Denise,

Thank you for this lovely hub. Your granddaughter is adorable and reminds me to my own kids , who absolutely love to cook also.I will look into some of the books you suggested.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi GermanDelight-so nice to see you visit this hub. :) Thanks for your comments including the one about my cutie pie, Gracie. Enjoy the book discovery.


SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

This is a great list Denise! Thank you so much for including my Harry Potter Cookbook review, I really appreciate it. I'm going to check out the other cookbooks you've mentioned and see which my nephew would like. :-)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Marie-thanks for reading it. I am happy to include your site. :)


holyjeans30 profile image

holyjeans30 5 years ago from Mostly in My Own Little World

So I came straight over after I read your comment on my hub and this is a great one. My 11 year old is the one who used to want to be a chef...loves to cook, but now he's talking about going to the military when he groes up. But I don't want him to :( I love that United States cookbook. His birthday in in a few weeks so maybe I can get it for him and get his interest back to cooking lol. Great Hub! Now I'm off to find your teaching kids how to do laundry hub lol...


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

LOL Glad you enjoyed the hubs, HJ30 I can't help but laugh out loud with your comments.

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