A wonderful and fun activity to carry out together is to cook. Children love to be creative, experimental and playful. Cooking together provides a great opportunity to develop valuable skills that you can teach your child, at the same time as life long lessons that will stay with them forever.
Currently we are spending a lot more time at home than we are used to and trying to keep the little ones entertained and active can seem like a never ending task. It can be easy to forget that you have a great resource in your home… the kitchen!
Cooking at home is fun, educational and an important life skill. Not only is it an excuse to make and taste lots of delicious treats, it is a chance to educate your children about their health, the nutrition that food provides and about the importance of food hygiene. Children don’t really need cookbooks that are written just for them. They can learn beside you, the way children have for hundreds of years. However, a good cookbook that sparks their interest, entices them to try recipes that they may not have discovered independently and provides a bank of tempting recipes is an invaluable resource. You can find recipe books to teach them about different places and cultures, festivals and celebrations and recipe books linked to their favourite stories.
We’ve gathered a few of our favourite cookbooks suited for children of all ages. So, read on to find cookbooks for your kid who wants to cook, the ones who have little experience in the kitchen and the mini Head Chefs in the making.
Toddler Chefs - Start Them Young
Investing time with your children when they’re young and impressionable is a wonderful opportunity to create confident cooks from an early age. It offers a chance to expose them to a wide variety of nutritious foods that they will not have tried before and at an age where they are curious about taste and textures. The more experience and food knowledge they can gather, the more confident they’ll become.
Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook by Heather Wish Staller
Rather than this being a cookbook advising mothers what to cook for their child this book is driven towards including your toddler in the process of preparing food. Cooking with your small children is made easy, healthy and fun with this toddler's cookbook. The great thing about using this cookbook as your guide to cooking together is that it has labeled its recipes by difficulty and has lots of advice and guidance on how to keep the kitchen a safe space where lots of fun takes place. With recipes that include Pumpkin French Toast Sticks and Chicken BLT Kebabs your toddler will be tasting and trying many new flavours. These can be moments that you can remember forever as each recipe includes space for you and your budding chef to record your experiences, making this toddler cookbook a wonderful keepsake of first cooking memories.
Four to Seven Year Olds - Creative, Curious Cooks
When your child reaches school age they have developed likes and dislikes and have more opportunities to make their own decisions about what to eat. They also are at an age where they grow quickly and become more active, so providing a healthy, well-balanced, varied diet is important. These books are a great tool in providing knowledge, fun and interest in their tastes and diets by introducing recipes through the stories that they know and love.
Cooking through storytelling:
Creating meals, snacks and treats linked and related to your children's favorite stories is a gloriously fun and creative way to cook together. Children and adults love to tell and listen to stories, so when they include tasty treats it's the best of both worlds!
Gruffalo Crumble & Other Recipes by Julia Donalsdson
Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes is packed full of sweet treats, healthy snacks and simple meals - all based on the bestselling picture book The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. With recipes named Owl Ice Cream, Scrambled Snake, Roasted Fox, and of course … Gruffalo Crumble you and your children will be joyfully cooking and baking whilst enjoying some storytelling too.
Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes by Felicity Dahl
This is an old classic by the wife of Roald Dahl, this collection of recipes will help bring to life the joy, and horror, of Roald Dahl's children's books. Rustle up Bruce Bogtrotter's humongous chocolate cake and feast on Willy Wonka's Nutty Crunch Surprise.
Nadiya's Bake Me A Story by Nadiya Hussain
Join chef Nadiya Hussain for scrumptious stories and delicious bakes that all the family can enjoy. This is a wonderfully unique combination of storybook and cookbook, with all recipes and stories devised and written by Nadiya herself. Nadiya's Bake Me a Story brings families into the kitchen to spend time together sharing stories and cooking.
Seven to Eleven Year Olds - Little Chef
From 7 to 11 years old, children are starting to function on their own in a variety of settings. They are running with friends, completing their classwork, and even doing simple household chores. Cooking together and with growing independence provides an outlet to develop sophisticated information processing skills and responsibility in a warm, supportive environment.
Cooking Step by Step by DK
This book is ideal for young chefs looking to cook with more confidence. Cooking Step by Step has recipes that are easy to make and includes meals the whole family can enjoy. Children will be able to learn, tips, tricks, and kitchen fundamentals from this cookbook, whilst having a great time making simple snacks, balanced meals, and sweet treats.
Cool Kids Cook by Jenny Chandler
Cool Kids Cook is a really lovely cookbook, wonderfully laid out, with very useful information, and sensible recipes that families will enjoy cooking and eating together. With lots of pictures, illustrations and very clear step-by-step instructions, including safety information and tips children can learn to cook delicious recipes.
Teen Chefs! Too Many ‘Young Cooks’ Spoil the Broth - Better leave them to it!
There’s a certain sense of independence and confidence that comes with learning to cook. Teenagers are often keen to show everyone that they’re independent and ready to be adults, and having a skill that allows them to feed themselves does exactly that.
Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook: Healthy Recipes and Culinary Skills for the New Cook in the Kitchen
This child-friendly cookbook will inspire a lifelong love of cooking delicious and nutritious food. Kid Chef doesn’t ‘dumb down’ its recipes and gets kids cooking nutritious meals that engage their skills and instill confidence in the kitchen. Covering basic techniques and featuring tutorials for tasty recipes, this kids’ cookbook is sure to turn any child into a chef, with recipes that include Homemade Granola, Mini Quiches, Minty Lamb Burgers, Rosemary Shortbread Cookies, we’re sure that you’ll be happy for them to take over in the kitchen.
Matilda & The Ramsay Bunch: Tilly’s Kitchen Takeover
Matilda & The Ramsay Bunch is a cookbook written by the famous chef Gordan Ramsay's daughter. This cookbook includes 60 simple, delicious and nourishing recipes to make at home for family and friends - plus tips and tricks from Tilly's superstar chef dad, Gordon. The book will encourage teens to start cooking recipes, such as, Surprise Rainbow Cake, Pulled Pork and Smokey American Beans, Fro-Yo Cooler, Lean Machine Chicken and Super Light Raspberry Macaroons at the same time as having some fun with easy-to-follow recipes that can be enjoyed by all.
The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
This cookbook is aimed at children that are beginning to take an interest in cooking and would like to learn more. Whether they’re planning on cooking for themselves, their friends, or their family The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs has delicious recipes that will impress! Recipes are right for cooks of all skill levels, with step-by-step photos of tips and techniques that will help young chefs feel like pros in no time.
MasterChef Junior Cookbook: Bold Recipes and Essential Techniques to Inspire Young Cooks
Now this cookbook is aimed at the mini foodie in your home that is up for a challenge. Beloved television competition show MasterChef Junior have created a cookbook that aims to give any aspiring young chef the tools he or she needs to hone essential cooking skills. This book is a fantastic compromise of taking real recipes and making them easy for a child/teen to read and follow. With 100 recipes, timeless techniques, tips, and advice this book can ensure that anyone can become an excellent cook.
Many families have either one or many dietary requirements in them. Some are by choice or in other cases they may be brought on by an allergy. Here are some cookbooks with those diets in mind, so that your child can create mouth-watering cuisine that's safe for the whole family.
My First Vegetarian Cookbook by DK
Cook up a storm with this first vegetarian cookbook for children! Children will love making these delicious veggie dishes including quesadillas, smoothies, soups, and stir-fries as well as treats such as muffins and cheesecakes. This cookbook also provides important information about food and nutrition. Teaching about vitamins, minerals and all the amazing things that fruit and veg do for your body.
Gluten-Free Recipes for Kids: Fun Eats from Breakfast to Treats
The Gluten-Free Recipes for Kids cookbook offers more than 85 kid-friendly gluten-free recipes that are nutritious, delicious, and sure to please growing children with and without gluten intolerance. The cookbook includes an introductory section filled with helpful tips and educational information to help parents understand celiac disease, including a description of the dairy-free and gluten-free (GFCF) diet, and recipes to fit. The wheat-free, gluten-free cookbook has six sections and a full-color photograph with most recipes. With recipes that include Chocolate Chip Scones, Chili Con Corny, Tuna Noodle Bake, Salmon in the Wild, and Tropical Chicken Wings children that may have been frustrated in the past about what they can’t eat will be looking forward to cooking all these meals that include the foods that they CAN eat.
Find out about the many educational Benefits of Cooking with Children on our blog.