Cookbooks for Kids
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Cookbooks for Kids
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.
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.
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!
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.
''Fanny at Chez Panisse'' is a great kids cookbook with simple,
easy recipes and great illustrations.
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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