Getting kids involved in the kitchen can be a great way to bond as a family! It also hones essential skills, such as math (measuring), reading (of recipes), and science (the chemistry behind cooking). Here are some of our fave picks for your junior Gordon Ramsey.
Pretend Soup (ages 3 +): Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson (Tricycle Press): Mollie Katzen, creator of the famous Moosewood Cookbook, teams up with Ann Henderson to produce this vegetarian cookbook for kids. The recipes are delicious, easy to follow, and very nutritious! We also love how the recipes appear in picture form as well as text, as they can be followed by younger kiddos.
C is for Cooking (ages 2+): Susan McQuillan (Wiley): Make cooking entertainment with Elmo, The Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, and Oscar! McQuillan, a registered dietitian, has partnered up with chef superstars like Emeril Lagasse, Mark Bittman and Rachael Ray to produce 55 mouthwatering yet healthy Sesame Street inspired recipes that your family is guaranteed to love! The recipes are very easy to follow, so even your toddler can help out.
A Zombie Ate My Cupcake (8+): Lilly Vanilli (Cima Books): Perfect for Halloween!!! Acclaimed baker Lily Vanilli has developed a delightfully horrifying cookbook, featuring 25 gruesome delicacies such as Meringue Bones, Zombie Snacks, and Bleeding Hearts. The recipes are relatively straightforward, and could be prepared easily by a teen/preteen without parental assistance.
Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes (4-10): Felicity Dahl (Puffin): I remember reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a ten year old and wishing so much that I could eat the delicious treats in the book. Well, now kids can! All of the 15 recipes are based on foods described in Dahl's stories. My personal favorite is Frobscottle!
The Silver Spoon for Children (6+): Editors of Phaidon Press (Phaidon): For more classic kid-friendly recipes, this book is a must! These 40 delectable, authentic Italian dishes have been adapted for kids from The Silver Spoon, Italy's best selling cookbook. The recipes are easy to follow, straightforward, and nutritious.
Simply in Season Children's Cookbook (6-12): Mark Beach and Julie Kauffman (Herald Press): This cookbook is great for families that are into gardening! It's organized by season, the idea being that kids are more likely to eat produce that they have grown themselves. The recipes are wholesome and scrumptious---but what I love most about this book is how educational it is. There is a ton of factual information about fruits, veggies, and herbs (how each is grown, how to tell if they are ready to consume, and how they are used in cooking).