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Get Young Chefs Fired Up With 13 Inspiring Cookbooks for Kids

Maybe they’ll win a Michelin star one day. For now, you can settle for some help with dinner.

Margo Gothelf · 19 days ago

  • cooking

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Have a little shadow following you around the kitchen? Feed their curious mind with these inspiring, kid-friendly cookbooks. These cookbooks are written specifically for kids who want to learn how to cook, bake, and master kitchen skills. With these books, maybe they’ll pick up enough skills to win a Michelin star one day. For now, you can settle for some help with dinner.

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

This cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen translates their award-winning formula and scientific method of cooking just for kids. The cookbook includes over 750 recipes with step-by-step instructions and detailed techniques to make any young cook feel comfortable in the kitchen. The recipes, which were developed alongside the cooks from America’s Test Kitchen, also include lots of fascinating facts about nutrition, ingredient chemistry, and food science.

Super Good Baking for Kids

When you’ve outgrown slice-and-bake cookies and are ready to take your baking skills to the next level, Super Good Baking by Duff Goldman is a must-have. The celebrity chef and host of Ace of Cakes and the Kids Baking Championship series has put together over 200 pages of recipes filled with creative bakes. Each recipe channels Goldman’s inner motto that each bake should be “super fun, super delicious, and super creative.”

Milk Bar: Kids Only

Christina Tosi is basically the queen of desserts, so if you're starting a cookbook collection, it only makes sense to start with hers. In Milk Bar: Kids Only, Tosi shares her signature style of putting wacky twists on classic combinations. Some highlights include apple pie waffles, s’mores pancake cake, and donut shakes. Not only will the book teach you about different food combinations and techniques, but it will also inspire you to create some oddly wonderful creations of your own. 

American Girl: Around the World Cookbook

Thanks to the American Girl: Around the World Cookbook, you can learn all about global cuisines and tour the world without leaving your kitchen. The cookbook, co-written by Williams-Sonoma, opens with a map to show where each recipe originates. After you make mini meatballs from Sweden, spring rolls from Vietnam, pad thai from Thailand, tikka masala from India, kiwi and berry pavlovas from New Zealand, or sticky toffee pudding from Great Britain, you may never want to order takeout again.

MasterChef Junior Cookbook

Can't watch enough MasterChef Junior? This cookbook is the next best thing to binging an entire season of the show. The cookbook shares a collection of over 100 recipes from the first five seasons of the beloved cooking challenge for kids. Along with the recipes, you’ll find different tips, techniques, and tricks for sharpening your kitchen skills. Who knows, maybe with the help of this cookbook you’ll find yourself competing on MasterChef one day!

The Forest Feast for Kids

Learn about delicious vegetarian cooking with The Forest Feast for Kids. The New York Times-bestselling cookbook reinvents classic dishes and turns them into vegetarian meals that are truly irresistible — mouthwatering highlights include pesto pepper pizza, watermelon smoothies, and kale tacos. Along with fabulous vegetarian recipes, the cookbook also teaches young chefs about kitchen safety and culinary terms, and even throws in some great ideas for future dinner parties.

Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls

Sometimes you’ve got to go back to the classics to get a true education. That's the case with Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls, first published in 1957 and updated for today's young home chefs. But don't worry, there's plenty of old-school deliciousness in this modernized take, including timeless classics like sloppy joes, macaroni and cheese, and apple crisp. Sometimes you just can’t beat nostalgic cooking.

The Complete Baking Book For Young Chefs

Want to learn how to bake from scratch? Like without the box mixes and premade doughs? Then you’re definitely going to want to check out The Complete Baking Book For Young Chefs from America’s Test Kitchen. The baking cookbook highlights over 100 recipes, both sweet and savory, and includes step-by-step instructions with pictures to help beginning bakers be successful in the kitchen. Don’t worry about the recipes being too complicated either. Each recipe channels the patented America’s Test Kitchen science-driven approach, and has been kid-approved for tastiness!

The Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes

The Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes shows you how you can make traditional Italian food right in your own kitchen. The book has a kid-friendly layout full of bright pictures and step-by-step instructions. With this cookbook, you can say goodbye to your takeout menus and hello to fresh pasta and pizza. 

Kid in the Kitchen

Once you’ve mastered the basics and want to take your cooking skills up a notch, check out Kid in the Kitchen. The cookbook, written by New York Times Food columnist and mom Melissa Clark, explores over 100 recipes and breaks each one down with a detailed step-by-step process. The book also teaches how to be flexible in the kitchen and cook with what you have on hand. No matter what you are craving or looking to make, this book has it all!

Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie

This might not be a traditional cookbook, but it's definitely one to add to your collection if you want to learn about southern cooking and natural foods. Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie tells the story of Edna Lewis, a Black female chef who pioneered southern food and the natural food movement. The book details Edna’s love of cooking with the seasons and shares delightful stories and songs about the chef’s life. At the end of the book, you’ll find five kid-friendly recipes based on Edna’s cooking techniques.

The International Cookbook for Kids

You probably love eating tacos, pizza, and egg rolls, but have you ever thought about making your own? The International Cookbook for Kids will teach you how to make your favorite international dishes and more. The introduction for each recipe comes with a small history lesson sharing the recipe origin and some culture about the country. You’ll be a world-renowned chef, all without leaving your house with this book!

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes shows you're never too young to get involved in the kitchen. The cookbook, which is geared towards kids as young as three, is full of big and bright illustrated recipes making it easy for kids to follow along. The colorful illustrations teach kids about reading recipes, following directions, and how to have patience in the kitchen. It also stresses how to be safe while cooking, which is important at any age!