Favorite Kids Cookbooks


Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson (Tricycle Press) Ages 3 and up One of My Absolute Favorites! Pretend Soup has become something of a classic. You might remember the famed Moosewood Cookbook author Mollie Katzen from pre food network days of cooking shows! This lady is a culinary Veteran! Chef Katzen teamed up with educator Ann Henderson and the two of them have collaborated to create comprehensive, simple, and surprisingly delicious recipes suitable for even the youngest chefs. Each of the seventeen vegetarian recipes appears twice, once in words and once in full-color pictures. The drawings allow small children to grasp the sequencing behind cooking. From Zucchini Moons to Carrot Pennies to Pretend Soup (a yogurt parfait), the selections are nutritious, straightforward, and toddler-proof. This is a great first cookbook for the curious chef.

The Silver Spoon for Childrensilverspoon
by The Editors at Phaidon  Ages 10 and up. A great kids’ companion to the “Grown-up” Silver Spoon ( one of my favorites since I was a young culinary student) which has been a bestseller and called “The Italian Joy of Cooking,” Anyway, this mini version is gorgeous and compiled with recipes that are easy to follow and amazing. Kids will get a worldwide intro to the kitchen without baby talk. Honestly, The Silver Spoon for Children- Favorite Italian Recipes, will make your aspiring chef feel like an authentic. A serious cookbook for serious young chefs.

fannyFannie at Chez Pannise by Alice Waters-I’m a FAN! Chez Panisse is a restaurant in Berkeley, California, local to my home. Alice Waters is my hero. She is the Founder of The Edible School Yard and notorious for placing California Nouvelle Cuisine on the world’s map!  Her daughter Fanny’s stories of  growing up in this busy, beautiful place are so playful — this is a friendly and funny introduction to the delights of real restaurant life and the people who work and dine there! Chef Alice Water’s recipes show how easy and inexpensive it is to make good food with basic ingredients and simple techniques. This book is a staple to opening up the magic world of cooking to children.  Alice Waters describes, in the words of seven-year-old Fanny, the path food travels from the garden to the kitchen to the table. This is where, “Farm to table”began in the culinary industry. Teaching kids where food really comes from not just from the market but from farms and people who care about the earth, Fanny at Chez Panisse has lessons on the importance of eating with your hands, of garlic and of composting and recycling. A great beginner’s cookbook.

salad peopleSalad People and More Real Recipes: Another hit by Mollie Katzen!  A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up. We all know how much I admire Chef Katzen! What can I say, I’m starstruck.  Hands down my favorite Cookbook author for preschoolers and early elementary age kids! Salad People was the much-anticipated follow-up to Pretend Soup! I remember wanting more from this writer. Chef Katzen cooks up 20 new vegetarian recipes that kids six and under can prepare themselves (with a little help from their caring-adult ).Packed with kid-friendly recipes that will inspire a positive kitchen adventures. Children will definitely drop an anchor to nutritious food, from Tiny Tacos, Counting Soup, Salad People, and beyond. Complete with kitchen tips, safety and behavior rules compiled by actual kids and thoughtful observations on what children gain from cooking. I just love Salad People!

gastrokidThe Gastrokid Cookbook: Feeding a Foodie Family in a Fast-food World by Hugh Garvey & Matthew Yeomans.  The Gastrokid Cookbook , while not a kid’s cookbook to cook from -this is an eating guide for parents who have a definite distaste  for fast-food diets. This book helps demonstrates how to encourage healthy eating in children without resorting to trickery or nagging, explaining how to broaden a child’s palate and overcome fussiness . A book after my own heart! The Gastrokid is a great place to start to broaden kid’s food horizons. Its a great guide for foodie parents out there that want to raise passionate and adventurous diners. 

Well here is a classic cook book author. Marion Cunningham is probably best known for her work on the Fannie Farmer books, but in Cooking with Children she shares her culinary prowess with the next generation of cooks, teaching both children and parents the basic skills everyone should have in the kitchen.marion cunningham Intended for children age seven and older. Marion’s book is designed partly to instruct and partly to provide an opportunity for parents and children to share in preparing and eating meals. Marion knew this imports component to family life was being to quickly vanish. A visionary, she was right. In this age of busy schedules and microwave meals consumed on the run. Marion was all about the kitchen and you can feel her covering all bases. She was an amazing person who made great contributions in the culinary industry, as well as our local Bay Area community. Her instructions for each recipe are clear, detailed, and easy to follow. Cooking with Children is a terrific introduction to the culinary arts for kids–and makes a pretty nice gift. Contains 35 recipes. A great book for your budding Chef!

teensRoxanne Golds Eat Fresh Foods. For pre teens and teen- Grade 6–10. This attractive title includes 80-plus recipes, with a strong emphasis throughout on fresh food. Some of the dishes are remarkably simple. For example, “Sun-dried Tomato and Carrot Meatloaf” has just 5 ingredients. Others are imaginative and healthier variations on classics, like “Eggless Caesar with Toasted Pecans and Green Apple Croutons.” Delicious! Roxanne Gold is a teen cook genius ! Included you will find a veggie-burger recipe, “Chickpea Burger with Fresh Mango Salsa,” it is delicious!  Step-by-step instructions are clear, with just the right amount of detail. The introduction includes general nutrition and safety information as well as advice about choosing organic ingredients. Important for this age group to anchor.  The book concludes with suggested menus and an extensive index. Many of the recipes are vegetarian (and some are vegan), although they are not designated as such.

ratatoulleRatatouille – What’s Cooking. One of my favorite movies, however I cannot say the same for the cookbook. Although it does have some good points. Definitly a cookbook that is short and focused on attracting new little cooks. Always a plus. Taking a decidedly French cooking stance, it is comprised of many standards, such as French Toast, Grilled Cheese and Mac ‘n Cheese. However, it also offers Croque Monsieur, Cheese Fondue, Baguette, Vicchysoise and, of course, Ratatouille. The introduction by Thomas Keller offers encouragement that all cooks have to be new cooks who start somewhere and one of the simplest ways to do that is to learn to cook eggs. The only Thomas Keller recipe offered is “Chocolate Bouchons”. The plus for this book is that it lies flat, due to a covered spiral binding. Very Helpful with the littles when you are in the mix of things! The recipes are simple, full-color and easy to read. Many questionable ingredients suggested for my taste (i.e., American cheese, Ritz crackers, and vegetable shortening). There is not a feature on food smarts or hints for making better food choices. Although- could be a great choice for shy cooks who are inspired by the movie Ratatouille. I like this book because it will get kids in the kitchen. Especially if you watch the movie first! 

rozanne goldKids Cook 1-2-3  by Roxanne Gold – What can I say. Roseanne Gold did a Book Campaign with us at Kids Culinary Adventures. We loved her book and so did many of our students. Recipes contain three ingredients, many of which are in the panty. There are some nice twists on standard fare, such as Shrimp Cocktail with Tomato Sorbet, Banana Frullato and Chicken Oh-la-la, which have fancy names but are not so difficult to prepare. Kids Cook 1-2-3 is definitely aimed towards older kid chefs. Many recipes call for cooking on a stovetop, using knives, or kitchen appliances. This would be a good starter cookbook for tweens/teens. Lots of variations offered for Peanut Butter & Jam, Smoothies, Apple Slices, Eggs. Many recipes are classic kid’s food, such as Mac ’n Cheese, Tuna Salad, Burgers, Wings, Drumsticks, etc. A number of recipes call for “not so” great ingredients, such as chocolate sprinkles, canned baby corn, cola, American cheese and a number of them use prepared or “Ready food”, like canned or jarred ingredients. Organic foodies, this maybe not the right choice for you.