Discover: Our Favorite Kids Cookbooks for Young Chefs

Do you remember using cookbooks when you were little? I had three favorites that instantly spring to mind, conjuring strong memories of afternoons measuring, stirring, rolling, and kneading alongside my parents in the kitchen. A beloved Kinder-Krunchies snack book that had a recipe for peanut butter balls that I *still* use to this day when I need a satisfying little treat.

The Better Homes and Garden Step-By-Step Kids’ Cookbook (with a complimentary microwave cooking book – ah, the eighties). And my mom’s Betty Crocker Kids Cookbook, with simple kid concoctions that included clever ideas for DIY food accessories and party decor. Although I wouldn’t recommend it for kids today (some of the themed foods of the fifties are as culturally insensitive and cringe-inducing as you might expect) it featured a cool Mid-Century illustration style I relished as a kid and am still a sucker for in modern cookbooks.

Our Top Kids Cookbook Picks – Table of Contents

I didn’t realize it at the time of course, but those simple cookbooks were a fantastic tool for life skill development. They offered a different, more technical form of reading than I was used to with picture books. A foundation for instruction and order understanding. And they provided my first introduction to math in everyday practice. They were core to my sense of confidence and helped me to become an independent learner.

Kids’ cookbook options have changed a lot even since my own childhood. With so many beautiful choices, I knew I wanted to pull together a collection of favorites as part of our kids’ kitchen practical skill series. Whether your kiddo is very young and just getting started in the kitchen, or older and looking for more specific kinds of recipes, there’s something here for every kind of cook! I’ve even found a few “extra credit” books kids can explore for more information on food sources, food science – even sustainability, and the ethics of our supply choices.

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains Woodpeckers Crafts, Etsy, Blick Art Materials, and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

Kids Cookbooks for Younger Chefs

Perfect for kids aged 1-6, these cookbooks are a great place to start teaching little ones about kitchen work.

Our favorite kids cookbooks for young chefs of all ages! | via barley & birch

Kid Chef Junior by Anjali Shah

Look I’m a Cook by DK Press

The Tickle Fingers Toddler Cookbook: Hands-on Fun in the Kitchen for 1 to 4s by Annabel Woolmer

Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook: Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes to Cook Together by Heather Wish Staller

Cookbooks for Ages 6 and Up

This group of kids’ cookbooks offers a variety of themes for kids who can be a bit more independent in the kitchen. From classic recipes to vegetarian options, to world foods, there is a cookbook for every kid here.

Our favorite kids baking cookbooks for young chefs of all ages! | via barley & birch
Our favorite kids baking cookbooks for young chefs of all ages! | via barley & birch
Four of our favorite kids baking cookbooks for young chefs of all ages!

Cookbooks for Kids Who Enjoy Baking

Do you find your kiddos constantly quoting Mary Berry, obsessed with achieving the perfect dough, or competing against you for star-baker? If so, you’re sure to find inspiration they’ll adore amongst this set of kids baking cookbooks. On your mark, get set, BAKE!

Our favorite kids baking cookbooks for young chefs of all ages! | via barley & birch

Extra Credit: Books with Culinary Themes for Engaged Young Chefs

These books are wonderful for kids who have logged more time & experience in the kitchen and developed a genuine interest in food and cooking. Though some themes are a bit more advanced, each book does a great job of using pictures or kid-friendly phrasing to share its message.

Our favorite kids cookbooks for young chefs of all ages! | via barley & birch

More Kids Cooking and Kids Recipe Resources

I hope you’ve found some helpful resources your little chefs can use among this set! I know that I had so much fun pouring through the playful recipes and delightful food pictures! I’ll be sharing a printable resource to help your kids create their very OWN cookbooks shortly, so be sure to check back for the final part of our kitchen practical skill series!

Putting together book collections is a hobby of mine, so I’ve created a few others! For more reading recommendations, visit my definitive guide to children’s art books, print a collection of our favorite modern picture books, or visit a list of classics that I read as a kid.

Our favorite kids cookbooks for young chefs of all ages! | via barley & birch

*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Blick Art Materials, Amazon, Etsy, or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Amanda Eldridge
Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.


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