Cooking with your children not only creates fun memories you’ll cherish forever, but also provides them with valuable skills for later life (think of all those delicious mother and father’s day meals you can look forward to).
We’ve selected five of the best child-friendly cookbooks covering everything from growing your own vegetables to choosing the right cooking utensils, guaranteed to inspire even the most unwilling of mini chefs…
The Silver Spoon for Children by PHAIDON
Purchase from: Luna and Curious Library
If you enjoyed The Silver Spoon, dubbed ‘the most influential and successful Italian cookbook of the last 50 years’, you’ll love this edition created especially with children in mind. Packed with authentic Italian recipes, selected by a specialist in the field of children's food and nutrition, this book will get any budding chef excited about cooking. Suitable for ages 10 and above, the dishes are simple, easy-to-make and delicious to eat, packed with fresh ingredients that will appeal to the fussiest of eaters. Beautiful illustrations throughout add a delightful edge and show children just what can be created with a little inspiration!
"A successful children's cookbook is not an easy thing to do but Phaidon has managed in spades. This charming book hits exactly the right note: childlike but not childish and neither intimidating nor patronising... The design is enchanting with colourful step-by-step drawings. A fabulous gift." - The Bookseller
"Set to inspire budding cooks of 10 and over... Shows that it's never too early to start cooking... Just the job for bored children on rainy half-term afternoons." - The Daily Telegraph
The Kew Gardens Children's Cookbook: Plant, Cook, Eat! By Caroline Craig and Joe Archer
Purchase from: Blackwells
This charming book, produced in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, is guaranteed to encourage children not just to get more involved with cooking, but to take an interest in where their food comes from too.
Demonstrating just how easy it is to grow your own fruits and vegetables, The Kew Gardens Children's Cookbook provides clear step-by-step instructions and information on everything from sowing seeds to harvesting, all broken down into manageable chunks with bitesize hints, clear photography and illustrations throughout. Whether you have a large allotment or tiny window box, children will relish the opportunity to watch seeds become shoots and finally edible delights, ready to use in one of the book’s many delicious recipes.
Created by food writer Caroline Craig and Kew Head Horticulturalist Joe Archer, the book also contains sections covering insects and their important role in the garden, encouraging children to learn more about the natural world and its importance to our food production.
“Colourful and beautifully illustrated, it is a great aid for fostering a love and understanding of fresh produce and an awareness of a healthy diet”- The Lady
“If your small child is even vaguely interested in helping you in the garden, or on the allotment, then I'd urge you to get him/her this great book...” - Judy Bown, Dig my Veg
Jolly Good Food: A children's cookbook inspired by the stories of Enid Blyton by Allegra McEvedy
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Purchase from: Wordery
It’s sometimes hard to find a children’s book that will also interest parents, but Jolly Good Food, inspired by the dishes in Enid Blyton’s beloved stories, will strike a nostalgic tone with grown-ups of all ages.
Put together by English chef and Junior Bake Off judge Allegra McEvedy, the book draws on many of Enid Blyton’s most famous tales and the mouth-watering food and drink they featured. Be transported to The Faraway Tree with google buns and clementine treacle tart or enjoy lashings of ginger beer like the Famous Five. Whip up a batch of perfect porridge like The Naughtiest Girl or recreate the midnight feast at Mallory Towers with sticky piglets and peppermint creams. Recipes are straightforward yet fun to make, perfect as an afternoon snack or packed up ready for your next picnic and enhanced throughout by playful illustrations and extracts from Enid Blyton’s best loved stories.
“My 10 year old and I had great fun making lashings of gorgeous ginger beer and rock buns (with story time in between). Truly scrumptious!” — Sunday Post
“Start 'em young with this colourful and nostalgia-infused beginner's book themed around Enid Blyton favourites ... written by Allegra McEvedy, so you're in safe hands.” — Waitrose Food
Ella's Kitchen: The Big Baking Book
Purchase from: Amazon.co.uk
One of the fastest growing children and baby food companies in the UK, Ella’s Kitchen was established by Paul Lindley in 2006, when trying to wean his reluctant daughter Ella. The company’s ethos of creating healthy humble dishes using natural ingredients extends to their highly successful cookbook range which includes The First Foods Book, The Easy Family Cookbook, The Cook Book and now The Big Baking Book.
For those who struggle to find baking recipes that aren’t high in refined sugar, salt or artificial ingredients, The Big Baking Book will be a breath of fresh air. Containing over 100 wholesome sweet and savoury recipes suitable for all occasions from snack time to feeding a crowd, you’ll find yourself reaching for it time and time again. All recipes are set out in colourful easy-to-read sections, while added extras such as a healthy eating guide, which recommends helpful substitutions for salt and refined sugar as well as information on counting, weighing and measuring mean this book will become a firm favourite on the kitchen shelf.
The Big Baking Book proves tasty food can also be healthy food, while encouraging little ones to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.
Cooking Step By Step by DK
Publisher: DK, A Penguin Random House Company
Purchase from: Waterstones
With Cooking Step By Step, children will learn how to chop, mix, and stir their way to kitchen magic, and put their skills to good use with more than 50 healthy and tasty recipes.
Each easy-to-follow recipe is beautifully illustrated with clear, step-by-step images and simple instructions to guide young cooks through every stage of preparing a dish. The recipes use just a few ingredients which can be easily sourced, and with tips and shortcuts throughout the book, kids will learn new skills and gain confidence all while having a great time making scrummy snacks, balanced meals, and delicious sweet treats and bakes.
Mouth-watering recipes include fluffy pancakes, baked falafel, minty kebabs, squash and coconut curry and lemon muffins. With fun twists on classics like pizza muffins and chocolate mug brownies, young cooks will love eating their fresh, healthy and delicious creations! Cooking Step By Step also includes helpful advice on hygiene and safety, key equipment and top tips for getting started in the kitchen.
All cover images courtesy of publishers.
Prices correct at time of writing.