Kids cookbooks for your little one’s culinary ventures

by Mother & Baby |

Cooking is a great life skill - so it is good to get your little ones started early and allow them to see what types of foods they are eating. Whether it's baking a cake together on a rainy afternoon or helping you cook up a family feast, cooking together is a great bonding experience.

A good kids cookbook will be a gateway for your children to get started in the kitchen, plus it's a fantastic way to get them to learn about nutrition, ingredients and where food is sourced.

We have compiled a list of all sorts of cookbooks, from themed story cookbooks to books created by well-known celebrities and books for vegetarians. So you and your mini chef can create some culinary magic together.

Here's our pick of the best cookbooks for kids…

The Tickle Fingers Toddler Cookbook: Hands-on Fun in the Kitchen for 1 to 4s

The Tickle Fingers Toddler Cookbook: Hands-on Fun in the Kitchen for 1 to 4s

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Author: Annabel Woolmer

Suitable age: 1-4-year-olds

This practical, hands-on toddler cookbook has been created for mini chefs and makes it as easy as possible for parents and carers to have fun cooking.

Recipes: 60 step-by-step recipes

Dietary requirements: There are special sections on allergies, intolerances and for fussy eaters.

Mum review: "Absolutely fantastic. My 2-year-old daughter has been interested in helping in the kitchen. This book has recipes which, once I had the right sized spoon measured, she can actually cook by herself. Not only has she made biscuits, cakes and overnight oats, she just made herself her own tea!"

The Official Harry Potter Baking Book

The Official Harry Potter Baking Book

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Author: Joanna Farrow

Suitable age: 9 +

Calling Harry Potter fans - parent or child, if you know a Potterhead, then they will absolutely love this book. This baking cookbook inspired by the films is a must-have if you love the Wizarding World. With recipes like Pumpkin Patch Pies to Owl Muffins to Hogwarts Gingerbread, you can transform your dining room into a Great Hall feast. Plus you can make these recipes at Halloween as many would fit perfectly into a spooky party.

Recipes: Packed with 45 themed recipes.

Dietary requirements: This baking cookbook is a good pick for everyone and includes many gluten-free, nut-free and vegan recipes to suit all dietary needs.

Review: "What a fun book! I bought it for a friend who LOVES Harry Potter but might have to get another copy, so many things to make here; everything is really well laid out and easy to understand if you're making it with kids, perfect for adults too, though!!"

Cooking Step By Step: More than 50 Delicious Recipes for Young Cooks

Cooking Step By Step: More than 50 Delicious Recipes for Young Cooks

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Author: DK

Suitable age: 5-9 years

This cookbook will give children a chance to learn some kitchen fundamentals and cookery terms . It features many easy and accessible recipes from soups and quesadillas to pasta and pancakes.

Recipes: Packed with 50 mouth-watering recipes

Review: "Easy, clear recipes with step by step pictures. We were looking for a book with "real food" recipes, and this one was just perfect."

Start to Cook (Usborne Cooking)

Start to Cook (Usborne Cooking)

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Author: Abigail Wheatley

Suitable age: 7+

If you are after a cookbook for your children covering the basics, this handy book will help your kids learn the fundamentals. The recipes range from beef stew, chilli con carne to fish cakes. It also is designed with a practical ring binder collection. There are also helpful guides on tasks like beating butter and sugar together to get a clear understanding.

Recipes: 150 jargon-free recipes for an intro to cooking.

Dietary requirements: There is allergy advice on recipes.

Parent review: "Get your children excited to get into the kitchen and get cooking with this colourful and practical book from Usborne Books. It is a practical design, with a spiral binding allowing the pages to lie flat; tabs mark each section, and the pages are sturdy enough to withstand a few splashes."

"Each section is introduced with basic principles and then there are plenty of tasty recipes with step-by-step instructions and pictures showing every stage of preparation. The inclusion of allergy advice is helpful. An accessible and encouraging book for young cooks who will find they can produce results of which they can be proud. It would make an excellent gift."

Joe's Family Food: 100 Delicious, Easy Recipes to Enjoy Together

Joeu0026#039;s Family Food: 100 Delicious, Easy Recipes to Enjoy Together

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Author: Joe Wicks

Suitable age: 6+

Joe Wicks, also know as The Body Coach, is the UK's favourite healthy cook and fitness celebrity. As a dad of two kids, Joe understands the realities of life as a busy parent. From frying-pan pizzas to Mexican chicken burgers, this cookbook would be best suited to older children with more adventurous taste buds and want to learn kitchen skills.

When we asked Joe what his favourite recipe was from his cookbook, he said: "One that stands out is my one-pan mushroom and kale mac and cheese. It takes about 10 minutes to prep this in the oven for 30 minutes, but essentially, it's mac and cheese but with mushrooms and kale, and it's sort of cheesy and burnt and crispy on top."

Recipes: 100 family-friendly recipes

Review: "We received the book a few days ago, and my children (aged 9 and 7) flicked through it and picked out a number of recipes that they not only wanted to eat but actually cook for themselves. The first few meals have gone down and treat with clean plates at the end. Great family-friendly food!"

Nadiya's Bake Me a Story: Fifteen stories and Recipes for Children

Nadiyau0026#039;s Bake Me a Story: Fifteen stories and Recipes for Children

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Author: Nadiya Hussain

Suitable age: 4-9

The Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has created a cookbook that is a unique mix of stories and recipes. For example, you can cook up very-berry muffins while reading about Ruby Red and the three bears.

Recipes included: 15 as it is a mix of stories and recipes.

"Includes 15 stories and a host of easy-to-follow recipes for young chefs" - Scottish Daily Express

Review: "I bought this as part of a birthday present for my five-year-old niece; she absolutely loves it and made one of the recipes within a week! Nadiya's recipes are very varied - it's not just cakes; there's risotto and bean burgers as well, for example. The recipes range in difficulty, with some needing more adult help than others, but are clearly labelled accordingly. The stories are retellings of fairy tales and other well-known stories, but Nadiya gives them little twists, making them that bit more exciting."

Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes: The Gruffalo Cookbook

Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes: The Gruffalo Cookbook

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Author: Julia Donaldson

Suitable age: 3+

The tale of the Gruffalo is an absolute classic enjoyed by all ages. This Gruffalo cookbook is made up of simple meals and sweet treats inspired by the much-loved story. Choose between inventive meals such as scrambled snake, fox’s sandwiches and toadstool pizzas. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow. Plus, if you like this book, check out Julia Donaldson's range of children’s cookbooks, such as The Room On The Broom Cookbook and What The Ladybird Heard Cookbook.

Recipes: 24 fun themed recipes included

Mum review: "A fun cooking book for the little ones. My nearly 4-year-old is very fussy, so I’m trying to win him round with some of his favourite character meals. Mummy and daddy also liked poisonous warts... I used cheddar instead of feta worked very well."

The World in My Kitchen: Global Recipes for Kids to Discover and Cook (from the co-devisers of CBeebies' My World Kitchen)

The World in My Kitchen: Global Recipes for Kids to Discover and Cook (from the co-devisers of CBeebiesu0026#039; My World Kitchen)

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Author: Sally Brown, Kate Morris

Age: 8+

This is the perfect cookbook for your little adventurer. If your child is interested in international foods, then The World In My Kitchen will be a great hit. From the co-devisors of CBeebies' I Can Cook' - this book was created to encourage children to go on a trip across the world from their kitchen.

Through this book, kids can try out different tastes and flavours as they go and also features tons of exciting information about the geography and history of different cultures and cuisines. Try dishes such as ricotta and spinach lasagne from Italy or cardamom bread from Finland to a Moroccan tagine. This book will surely capture the attention of your future world explorer.

Recipes: It doesn't state, but the book has 144 pages in total.

Review: "Given as a gift to a very enthusiastic 10-year-old. She loved the book on sight and immediately started planning menus from around the world. The book is nicely laid out with a colour picture for each recipe plus some interesting facts about the countries/continents in question and the food itself."

Fantastic Eats! (u0026 how to cook them) - fabulous recipes for children to make by Angellica Bell

Fantastic Eats! (u0026amp; how to cook them) - fabulous recipes for children to make by Angellica Bell

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Author: Angellica Bell

Suitable age: 8+

The Celebrity Masterchef 2017 winner and children's TV presenter, Angellica Bell, created a children's cookbook for budding chefs. The recipes in this cookbook are a little trickier than others mentioned in this list, so this would be great for older children or those adventurous taste buds.

It features recipes such as hummus and flatbreads, lamb koftas and parmesan wedges with garlic sauce. These recipes would be perfect for cooking together for a family gathering or a little party. There are also classics such as shepherd’s pie which your child will be making for years.

Recipes: 30 fun creative recipes to make together.

Parent review: "Loving this amazing cookbook. Aimed at children but good for adults too. Some great recipes and super easy to follow. I had great fun with the kids making Jamaican Rock Buns at the weekend. Traditional favourites like shepherds pie and lemon drizzle cake plus more varied dishes such as Teriyaki Salmon Parcels and Nutella Cheesecake (my two favourite things in one dish!!). Great tips too! At last a cookbook the whole family can use. Thanks, Angellica, now we are all getting involved in cooking."

Ella's Kitchen: The Big Baking Book

Ellau0026#039;s Kitchen: The Big Baking Book

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Author: Ella's Kitchen

Suitable age: 2-5

This must-have cookbook for toddlers is packed full of fairly healthy recipes that are easy to follow and feature basic ingredients that will be no issue to find in your supermarket. We love how the Ella's Kitchen books use simple icons which show how long the recipe will take and how much it makes. It is a nice touch and is suitable for cooking with toddlers with a short attention span. There are a variety of recipes to try, from veggie scones to lamb pie to plum cobbler.

Recipes: Packed full of 100 savoury and sweet treats.

Review: "These books are so helpful. They are filled with so many easy to do recipes that are super easy to follow and healthy. My little boy loves trying all the new food."

First Cookbook (Usborne First Cookbooks)

First Cookbook (Usborne First Cookbooks)

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Author: Angela Wilkes, Stephen Cartwright (Illustrator)

Suitable age: 4+

The iconic and hugely popular Usborne First Cookbook has been in households for decades. The cookbook teaches beginner cooks to master basic cooking techniques through various popular recipes, including spaghetti bolognese, chocolate brownies, sausage rolls and pancakes.

Every recipe contains simple instructions in both word and picture form and is illustrated beautifully by Stephen Cartwright. Plus, the concealed spiral binding makes this book practical and easy to use in the kitchen.

Recipes: Not stated, but has 72 pages.

"I still treasure The Usborne First Cookbook, whose stained and crusty pages tell the story of my son's first attempts at pancakes, fudge and spaghetti bolognese." -The Times

Review: "Bought this for my 10-year-old niece's birthday, and it is such a lovely quality book for first cooks. We have both made some lovely plates of food from this, and she easily understands it. I love the little people in the book. It really adds character, and it’s just lovely."

The Vegetarian Cookbook: More than 50 Recipes for Young Cooks

The Vegetarian Cookbook: More than 50 Recipes for Young Cooks

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Author: DK

Suitable age: 9-11

If you live in a vegetarian/vegan household, this will be the most suitable cookbook for your child. There are many easy recipes inside and information on how to maintain a balanced diet as a vegetarian. They can make plenty of recipes by themselves, such as avocado on sourdough toast, while others may require a little help, such as lentil burgers with halloumi and veggie goulash with herby dumplings.

Recipes: Around 50 veggie recipes

Dietary requirements: Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free recipes available.

Review: "I bought this well-illustrated book for my 10-year-old granddaughter, who has just started cooking and baking. She enjoys vegetarian food. A good variety of recipes with clear instructions which are easy to follow, and she will have no difficulty recreating them. I like the way it is laid out and the useful information about hygiene, knife skills, nutrition and the different categories of ingredients—good value for money."

Joe Wicks' tips for involving children in food 

We talked to Joe Wicks' about his cookbook, Joe's Family Food and he answered some of our questions on how to get your kids interested in cooking:

Cook in front of your kids
'With exercise, the more you do it in front of your kids, the more they realise, "This is good, this is what we do, it's a family thing. It's good for us." And it's the same with cooking.'

Don't worry about the mess
'Cooking is stressful and it can be chaotic, so just let go of the fact that it's going to be messy.'

Have fun!
'Just let them have fun with it. Stirring porridge is one thing Indie started with and then she sprinkles, nuts or coconut on top, little things like that.'

Involve your children where you can
'You're not going to do it seven days a week, of course, you're not, but just try to incorporate them as much as you can. Like doing things on a weekend, maybe make little flapjacks or little oatcake muffins, basic things that are really simple that they really love when they make it because they feel so happy and so proud to cook it and taste it.'

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