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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.
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 a few Woodpeckers Crafts and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
COOKBOOKS FOR YOUNGER CHEFS
Perfect for kids aged 1-6, these cookbooks are a great place to start teaching little ones about kitchen work.
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
COOKBOOKS FOR AGES 6 & 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.
The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
The Vegetarian Cookbook by DK Press
Adventures in Veggieland by Melanie Potock
The World in My Kitchen by Sally Brown and Kate Morris
Bean Sprouts Kitchen by Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen
Super Foods for Super Kids Cookbook by Noelle Martin
Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!) by Deanne F. Cook
Good Housekeeping Kids Cook!: 100+ Super-Easy, Delicious Recipes by Good Housekeeping
The Young Chef: Recipes and Techniques for Kids Who Love to Cook by Mark Ainsworth
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!
Baking Class: 50 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Bake! by Deanna F. Cook
The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
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 their message.
Food Anatomy by Julia Rothman
The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition by Michael Pollan
Gardening with Emma by Emma Bigs
Other Resources for Kids Recipes
- Kid-Friendly Recipes from PBS Kids
- Cuisine for Kid Chefs from Chop Chop Family
- Recipes from diverse picture books about food (we love this collection from Pragmatic Mom)
- Kids Cook Monday Recipes
- The Kids Cooking with Zoe YT Channel
- Jamie Oliver’s Recipes for Kids
- Simple Recipes Kids Can Make from Cooking Matters
I’ve 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.
*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 Amazon or Woodpecker 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!