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Cookbooks for Kids

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Eating > Cookbooks for Kids


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Veggie Cookbook for Kids

March 2011

My niece would like to be a vegetarian for many reasons, and while her largely carnivorous parents are open to it, they don't know where to start, so have told her that if she learns to cook vegetarian, they'll eat it. I would like to help by sending her a good accessible vegetarian cookbook for kids that uses easy to find ingredients--meaning ingredients that can be found in a supermarket in Kansas (most of mine have too many recipes for quinoa and amaranth). All-American flavors would be helpful, since this is a family that favors burgers and fries, mac 'n cheese. thank you, cbw


How about 'Honest Pretzels' by Mollie Katzen? I don't remember how old your niece was, but it's a good introductory cookbook for kids (complete with illustrations and step-by-step instructions) for simple dishes that kids can cook. And they all happen to be vegetarian dishes. My 9-yr-old likes it. Cooking Mama
While not strictly for kids per se, the Moosewood cookbooks by Mollie Katzen (particularly the first 2 - The 'Moosewood Cookbook' & the 'Enchanted Broccoli Forest') are terrific. Great hand-written recipes with charming pen-&-ink drawings - generally pretty accessible, yummy food, and a nice range of different types of recipes, and different degrees of complicatedness to prepare. Fun! I guess you could skim through it and see if there are any ingredients that might be hard to find there (tho I don't think so, at this point) and mail that with the book (tamari sauce, possibly?? But standard soy sauce will work, too.) I LOVED those books when I first started dabbling in vegetarianism/cooking in my early teens (and still do.) Note they are NOT vegan - they're vegetarian, so many recipes do use eggs, cheese, etc. Cheers!
Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' isn't specifically for kids, but it's a great reference for novice cooks. The instructions are clear, the recipes aren't fussy, and most of them use pretty straightforward ingredients. Also, it's food for the whole family... I got it because a couple of my kids were requesting healthy meals with more veggies, and it's been a great resource. Bittman really does explain 'how to cook everything' -- there's a recipe for every veggie and grain you can think of, and lots of helpful hints for the kitchen. Jennifer

Healthy vegetarian cookbook for kids?

March 2007

my 5 year old has announced he wants to be a vegetarian and i'm trying to find things which have protein but not too much salt and/or fat (ie not too much cheese!) for him--is there a cookbook out there for things that he or we can make with/for him that take the place of the lean meats and fish that he doesn't want to eat anymore? more generally a recommendation for a kids' cookbook that isn't only for super salty/sweet/rich things kids like to eat but also things that are good for them? thanks! jc


I don't think you really need a cookbook, Albertsons.com has lots of recipes, for cooking with kids and vegetarian, just sort of mix and match ingredients between the two sections and invent your own family favorites. My daughter and I eat vegetarian most days, mainly because I am too lazy to deal with meat. We just throw together whatever vegetables are on sale that week with a grain/starch and have beans or eggs or nuts on the side. -- no stress dinner
I didn't see your original post so I don't know how old your daughter is, but if she's 8 and up, try Honest Pretzels by Mollie Katzen (who wrote Moosewood Cookbook). If she's younger, check out Pretend Soup, as well as Salad People. Have fun cooking together! Happy Cooker

Kid-friendly Vegetarian Cookbook

Jan 2004

I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for a cookbook(s) with good recipes for kids (can be a cookbook for kids palates exclusively or not) that is vegetarian friendly (in other words, some meat recipes are OK, but has to have lots of veg recipes too). Its been awhile since I've last looked and maybe there are some new ones out there. Thanks. Hilary


Check out ''Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes - A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up'' By Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson. It's a great book to have in your kitchen and makes a great gift. There are step by step instructions in text and pictures. Jeanne
A lot depends on whether your kids are adventorous eaters or not. We have had consistently good luck with the Moosewood cookbooks, in particular the Moosewood Cooks at Home. Recipes that seem as though the kids would like, they generally do. My kids particularly love the potato-cheese soup, which you can "lighten" quite a bit. Another cookbook that is fun for cooking WITH your kids is Honest Pretzel, which is a cookbook for 8-12-ish age kids. It's vegi, the recipes are totally kid friendly, and the recipes are not difficult. A surprisingly fun hit in our house was popovers. Good Luck.
The Whole Foods Cookbook has a chapter on kids' food, that has been surprisingly well-received by my kids. It has a recipe for home-made chicken ''nuggets'' with dipping sauces. All the things I have made from this cookbook have been very tasty. eve
I missed the original post, but you may like Whole Foods for the Whole Family, by La Leche League. They also have Whole Foods from the Whole World. Don't worry, none of the recipes contain breastmilk!!! ;) hope this helps

Cookbook for 9-year-old beginner

Dec 2003

I'm looking for recommendations for a good beginning cookbook for a nine-year-old. She's very interested in cooking but hasn't got much experience. She's also very ''crafty'' so would like something challenging but not too advanced (does that make sense?). A good, well-written and interesting cookbook would be great for her. vs


Our now ten-year-old daughter was has used the the Better Homes and Gardens ''New Junior Cookbook'' for a couple of years now, and it remains her favorite. It's well organized, recipes require relatively few ingredients, the instructions are clear and the needed utensils are listed for each recipe; our chef now makes almost everything in it on her own and it's taught her some very useful fundamentals. She's moved on to more complicated books, but this was a great beginning the one she still turns to when she just wants to have some fun in the kitchen. I'm always on the prowl for good cook books for her, and this one is easy to find in stores and hard to beat for ease and quality of recipes. Deborah
One thing I discovered with kids cookbooks is the emphasis on sugar laden recipes (and graphics) that do little to teach basic cooking skills. Luckily, good cookbooks are out there and the books below are favorites with kids I know.

Honest Pretzels by Mollie Katzen offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes presented as step by step colorful illustrations. Sometimes the directions are a bit lacking but the illustrations seem to really engage kids and get them into the idea of cooking.

Cooking with Children by Marion Cunningham is an excellent introduction to cooking. The recipes are standard: cooking with eggs, biscuits, vegetable soup, and the like. But her directions are detailed; she offers suggestions on how to chop a carrot as opposed to simply listing chopped carrots in one recipe and she offers nice sidebars such as ''Learning to Use Your Stove''. This book also has simple illustrations.

Fanny at Chez Panisse by Alice Waters starts with stories and illustrations about life in the restaurant business. It then goes on to offer recipes that are unusual for a kids cookbook. These recipes teach simple yet versatile skills such as roasting red peppers or preparing gremolata. Our family particularly likes the pizza recipe! Kristin


Take a look at ''Honest Pretzels'' by Mollie Katzen (of Moosewood Fame). The recipes are illustrated and divided into very clear steps and the results taste good, too. Lauren
''Fanny at Chez Panisse'' is a great kids cookbook with simple, easy recipes and great illustrations. Rebecca Harrach
I love the book Elliot's Extraordinary Cookbook by Christina Bjork and Lena Anderson. It's by the same authors who wrote the Linnea books. This book not only has some fun kid friendly but substantial recipes, it's also story about Elliot, talks about food science (how cows ''make'' milk from grass), the history of foods (the potato), nutrition and the digestive anatomy, etc... It even has some food art history, food politics, and at least one arts and crafts project thrown in. And all of this is presented in a fun way that is accessible to the young reader. I hope you take a look at it. An Elliot (and Linnea) Fan
Two thoughts; I just bought three cookbooks for my husband, who is a beginning cook (and that's putting it nicely...). They are all ''easy'' and yummy, but they are all vegetarian. Student's Vegetarian Cookbook (Raymond), Quick Vegetarian Pleasures (Lemlin) and Better than Peanut Butter and Jelly (Muldawer and Mattare). They have a broad variety of recipes and I think would all be great. The other thought is to buy a classic Pillsbury cookbook. I don't know if they sell them anymore, but as a kid, I learned to cook from them. Easy easy recipes with easy ingredients and lots of instruction (they were made for housewives, I believe, who were not necessarily at the cutting edge of culinary endeavors). I still use my Pillsbury cookbook to make pies -- best recipes around. Great you are teaching your kids to cook!!
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