Cook Books for Kids Cooking

This is an annotated bibliography of some of the cookbooks available for kids.  There are books that are either geared toward kids or for parents who are cooking with kids.  All have good photos and illustrations to help kids get the idea clearly.  Some are for older kids (teens) and are clearly marked. Some, whose recipes are full of junk food but have a few saving graces, are also marked as such.

Please be careful to avoid cookbooks that over-emphasize sweet foods or that market products to kids. Once you establish unhealthy eating habits, you are guaranteed that your children will suffer the consequences–weight gain, bad complexion, and difficulty undoing a bad habit.

Start them out with healthy, whole foods and they will develop habits for that! Once in awhile treats are great and kids will know that they are “treats,” not the way we eat every day.

Cookbooks for Kids

Best of Family Fun Cooking and Parties. NY: Disney Enterprises, Inc. c 2003.  ISBN: 0-7868-5901-6.

“600 Creative Recipes and Party Plans for You and Your Kids,” from the publishers of Family Fun Magazine.  More than any book, my daughter learned to cook from this book and returns to cook recipes from it often in her teens. She found many recipes in it that are well explained, well illustrated, delicious, and easy to cook! Great photos and cute ideas to stimulate imaginations.  It has recipes for both sweet and protein-rich, healthy recipes.  A whole section on parties has tons of creative party ideas.  See a much larger collection of FamilyFun Cookbooks here.

Gillies, Judi, and Jennifer Glossop’s [The Kids Can Press] Jumbo Cookbook. Kids Can Press, c 2000.

Jumbo Cook Book by Kids Can PressThis is a true kids’ cookbook that emphasizes healthy, fresh ingredients, and super-simple prep. Grade 3-5-Kids, and adults who cook with them, will enjoy this collection of over 100 recipes.  All have simple, step-by-step instructions, call for commonly available ingredients, and range in difficulty from boiled rice to sushi and shepherd’s pie. The author rates the level of skill required for each dish, so budding chefs can build their skills along with their repertoire. Old standards such as meatloaf and tuna-noodle casserole are here, and for more adventurous and ambitious cooks, vegetarian, Middle-Eastern, Japanese, Mexican, and Indian dishes are also included.

Carle, Megan and Jill with Judi Carle. Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, c 2004.

Teens Cook Cookbook: How to Cook what you want to eat

Teens Cook Cookbook

Geared toward teenagers, it has great photos that look delicious (and are), simple explanations, and easy-to-follow recipes. It’s a little more sophisticated so older kids relate. Challenges kids to make interesting food that they want to eat. Our book is covered with food stains, which means it gets used!
D’Amico, Joan and Karen Eich Drummond.  The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids.

Geared toward teenagers, it has great photos that look delicious (and are), simple explanations, and easy-to-follow recipes. It’s a little more sophisticated, so older kids relate. Challenges kids to make interesting food that they want to eat. Our book is covered with food stains, which means it gets used!

Cooking For Kids. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, Ltd., c 2002. ISBN: 0-7853-5427-1

Children's Cookbook: Cooking for KidsNicely presented book with attractive photos and simple recipes.  Its downside is that it uses packaged mixes and advertises too much for corporations, like “2 ripe, medium DOLE® Bananas,” when any banana will do. Also uses VELVEETA cheese, when a healthier cheddar suffices. Still, the recipes are clear and well illustrated and kids will learn a lot about presentation being an important part of cooking.

Gerasole, Isabella and Olivia. The Spatulatta Cookbook. NY: Spatulatta, Inc. c 2007. Published by Scholastic.  ISBN-13: 978-0-439-02250-7;  ISNB-10:  0-439-02250-9

Spatulatta Cookbook: Recipes for kids, by kids“Recipes for kids, by kids, from the James Beard award-winning Spatulatta web site.” Very nice book, well laid out with simple and attractive recipes. Pitched at kids from about 6-12.  Includes sections on basic skills, tools, measurement equivalents and vegetarian meals. Lots of pictures of interesting and tasty food to cook. Both savory and sweet recipes like pesto pasta and meat loaf with mashed potatoes are sure to win kids’ hearts.  Find it at

Karmel, Annabel. Mom and Me Cookbook [Hardcover].  DK Children, c2005

Ages 4-8. DK really makes wonderful children’s books and this one is worth checking out.  Presents basic cooking techniques and tips, simple first recipes, and tasty, nutritious meal ideas. DK books are superbly illustrated to draw kids and adults in.  You won’t be disappointed.

Cook, Deanna. Disney’s Family Cookbook: 250 Irresistible Recipes for You and Your Kids. Reed Business Information, Inc., Copyright 1996

A whole-family, breakfast-to-dinner resource filled with creative advice and healthy, quick recipes that include Oven-Baked Home Fries, Three Bears Porridge, Breakfast Pizza, and Peanut Butter and Jelly Surprise Muffins.

Cook, Deanna.  FamilyFun Cooking with Kids. [spiral bound]. NY: Reed Business Information, Inc.The Mom and Me Childrens Cookbook

From School Library Journal:  PreSchool-Grade 4—This visually appealing cookbook presents 300 recipes for adults to make with a child’s help, rather than recipes that kids can successfully complete independently. Loaded with tips on making the kitchen and the experience kid-friendly, many of the recipes have an “art project” slant—some as simple as assembling assorted raw vegetables on a plate to look like a cowboy boot in “Rancher’s Delight,” and others more complex, such as “Edible Eagles,” which turns marshmallows, coconut, Oreos, cashews, and black decorators’ gel into upright eagle heads. Bright color photos of the finished dish illustrate each recipe, with ingredients and preparation steps clearly presented at the adult’s level. Unfortunately, the recipes frequently call for high-fat ingredients …with no suggestions for making healthier versions of the dishes… —Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS

Rosenbaum, Stephanie. Williams-Sonoma Kids in the Kitchen: Fun Food [Hardcover]  Free Press, c2006. ISBN-10: 0743278569

Ages 8 to 11. Twenty-five thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ recipes for beginning chefs with clear, step-by-step, fully illustrated directions for easy-to-prepare recipes. Classic recipes to veggie dishes for young vegetarians including stuffed baked potatoes; spring peas with mint; roasted carrots; and sauteed green beans.
Silly Snacks. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, Ltd., c 2002. ISBN-13: 0-978-1-4127-2050-2;  ISBN-10:  1-4127-2050-8
Silly Snacks CookbookRecipes like nachos, kids’ wraps, Fruit Freezies, and pizza snack cups that kids will love. All about making food attractive to kids so they will want to be involved in the preparation and eating!  Pushes specific brands rather than just “strawberry syrup” or “whipped topping.”  Emphasize to your kids that any brand will do.
Just for Kids. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International, Ltd., c 2004. ISBN: 1-4127-2049-4
Just for Kids Cookbook for children cookingSame publisher as Silly Snacks and Cooking for Kids above. Geared toward younger kids, 6-12, with clever presentation ideas sure to stimulate a kid’s imagination but may be over the top in unhealthy eating. Pushes specific brands rather than just “grape jelly” or “creamy peanut butter.” Still, it is full of ideas that can be expanded upon and which will set the stage for creative cooking and preparation in the future. Treat it like the “Silly Snacks” book–it’s not how we eat every day.

About mary

Mary is a retired digital librarian and is a mother of boy-girl twins. She got her kids cooking early, when all they made was a mess! Today, they are both very proficient in the kitchen and are great cooks! It was a relatively painless process getting to where they are now. She shares her strategies in this website.
This entry was posted in Cook Books, Easy Kids Recipes, Recipes for kids to eat., Recipes that kids can prepare, Tips on how to teach children to cook. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Cook Books for Kids Cooking

  1. mary says:

    We are using the Twenty-Ten (2010) theme with 5 widgets. Do you need more info?

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