Healthy Cookbooks for Kids

By Charles Platkin, PhD

There is very strong research to indicate that the best way to get your kids to eat healthy foods is to start by getting them to cook (and to plant a vegetable garden). Here are a few kids’ books to choose from.

ChopChop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family (Simon and Schuster)

Author: Sally Sampson

Year: 2013

From the publisher: “ChopChop, The Fun Cooking Magazine for Families, has introduced families to the joys and benefits of cooking together since 2010. Now, we’ve expanded the boundaries of the magazine in a new cookbook: CHOPCHOP: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family. Complete with family-favorite recipes from the magazine plus dozens of new recipes, the ChopChop cookbook will inspire home-cooked meals like never before.”

Website: http ://www.chopchopmag.org/cookbook

Where to Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChopChopmag.org, Walmart
Cost (on Amazon): $16.71

Fanny at Chez Panisse: A Child’s Restaurant Adventures with 46 Recipes (William Morrow Cookbooks

Author: Alice Waters

Year: 1997

From the publisher: “Opening up the magic world of cooking to children, Alice Waters describes, in the words of seven-year-old Fanny, the path food travels from the garden to the kitchen to the table. Teaching kids where food really comes from not just from the market but from farms and people who care about the earth, Fanny at Chez Panisse has lessons on the importance of eating with your hands, of garlic and of composting and recycling. It is also a delightful beginner’s cookbook with 46 recipes that will tempt children into the desire to cook and eat with whole hearts, alert minds and all the senses. From banana milkshakes and green apple sherbet to cherry tomato pasta and black beans and sour cream, as well as spaghetti and meatballs, french fries and pizza, there is something here for every child to prepare and enjoy.”

Website: https ://www.harpercollins.com/9780060928681/fanny-at-chez-panisse

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Harper Collins Publishers, Indie Bound

Cost (on Amazon): $14.79

Lidia’s Family Kitchen: Nonna’s Birthday Surprise (Running Press Kids)

Author: Lidia Bastianich

Year: 2013

From the publisher: “It’s Nonna Mima’s birthday, and Nonna Lidia and her grandkids are determined to throw her a surprise feast! While planning the evening’s menu, Nonna Lidia shares her memories of growing up on the farm during each season of the year, gardening her own fruits and vegetables, and being surrounded by animals of all kinds. After a trip to the farmers’ market, Lidia and the kids prepare a pasta primavera, perfect for a family celebration!

“Renée Graef’s warm, heartfelt illustrations capture Lidia Bastianich’s love for her family and the food that they share. Included are eighteen recipes that emphasize the ingredients abundant during each season and the use of leftover ingredients, while “Kids Can” suggestions note ways that kids can participate in the making of the meals.

“Whether you are looking for an intergenerational family story or are a fan of America’s favorite Italian chef, Nonna’s Birthday Surprise delivers a savory treat.”

Website: http ://www.runningpress.com/book/lidias-family-kitchen-nonnas- birthday-surprise/9780762451371

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Running Press

Cost (on Amazon): $13.77

Kids’ Fun and Healthy Cookbook (DK Children)

Author: Nicola Graimes

Year: 2007

From the publisher: “Put the fun back into healthy eating with this bright and colorful cookbook. This lively collection encourages kids to consider what they eat and how it affects their bodies, without preaching. Yummy interpretations of old classics, as well as new recipes destined to become classic help turn eating into a delicious treat.”

Website: http ://www.dk.com/us/9780756629168-kids-fun-and-healthy-cookbook/

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Dorling Kindersley

Cost (on Amazon): $10.16

The Mayo Clinic Kids’ Cookbook: 50 Favorite Recipes for Fun and Healthy Eating (Da Capo Lifelong Books)

Author: Mayo Clinic

Year: 2012

From the publisher: “The Mayo Clinic Kids’ Cookbook is much more than just a fun and colorful recipe collection. It teaches the basics of good nutrition with a short, illustrated introduction written at kids’ reading levels. Kids will learn how the pieces of a healthy diet fit together in the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid. They’ll learn that snacking can be a very good thing ­ provided they choose the right snack. They’ll learn how to plan a meal, using the simple idea of dividing a dinner plate into four quadrants (for vegetables, fruits, protein and grains). They’ll even learn how to create proper portion sizes without counting calories or using a scale. There’s even a brief kitchen equipment list of about two dozen items, plus a dozen safety tips, all to help make the kitchen kid-friendly. In addition, specific safety tips are included with recipes as needed, to remind kids when to ask for adult help (such as when working with knives or hot water). The editors have even included subtle tips to help kids “unlearn” old kitchen habits that aren’t healthy, such as adding salt to the water when cooking pasta.”

Website: https ://store.mayoclinic.com/products/bookDetails.cfm?mpid=139

Where to purchase” Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Mayo Clinic Store

Cost (on Amazon): $15.47

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up (Tricycle Press)

Author: Mollie Katzen and Ann L. Henderson

Year: 1994

From the publisher: “Get ready to help with dinner for real! Are you a kid? Then this book was written especially for you. With it, you can become a fantastic cook and amaze your friends with pita spirals and creamy corn soup or cinnamon swirl sticky buns and best hot chocolate. Or you can fill your lunch bag with a wedge of spaghetti pie, a plateful of not-from-a-box macaroni and cheese, a tall glass of homemade excellent soda, a bowlful of maple yogurt fruit dip, and a handful of honest pretzels that you made yourself.

Are you a grown-up? Then welcome to another very special cookbook by Mollie Katzen. In these pages she speaks directly to children through 65fully kid-tested, illustrated recipes that require only a little adult assistance. It’s not just a cookbook full of yummy recipes–it also gives young cooks, ages eight and up, a chance to practice reading, math, and logic skills. And think of the sense of accomplishment they will feel as they grow into creative, confident home cooks.”

Website: http ://www.molliekatzen.com/books_pretend_soup/index.php

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Penguin Random House

Cost (on Amazon): $11.70

Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up(Tricycle Press)

Author: Mollie Katzen

Year: 2005

From the publisher: “In the much-anticipated follow-up to Pretend Soup, celebrity chef Mollie Katzen cooks up 20 new vegetarian recipes that kids six and under can prepare themselves (with a little help from their adult assistant). The last decade has seen unprecedented demand in healthy eating for kids. Taking this interest one step further, Mollie Katzen presents kid-friendly recipes that will inspire joyful kitchen adventures and food appreciation. With Salad People, children will enjoy a lifelong love and playful respect for nutritious food from Tiny Tacos, Counting Soup, Salad People, and beyond. Complete with kitchen tips, safety and behavior rules compiled by actual kids, and thoughtful observations on what children gain from cooking, Salad People is the model children’s kitchen guide for a new decade. All-new recipes make the perfect companions to Pretend Soup recipes.”

Website: http ://www.molliekatzen.com/books_salad_people/index.php

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Penguin Random House

Cost (on Amazon): $13.45

The River Cottage Family Cookbook (Ten Speed Press)

Author: Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Fizz Carr

Year: 2008

From the publisher: “A distinctly educational cooking primer for the whole family with more than 100 recipes that can be made by children. Written by a father of three and a mother of five who perfected the recipes with help from their kids and their kids’ playmates. Ideal for passionate parents who want to instill in their children a love of healthy food handmade from fresh, natural ingredients.”

Website: https ://www.amazon.com/River-Cottage-Family-Cookbook/dp/1580089259

Where to purchase: Amazon, Bares & Noble, Thrift Books

Cost (on Amazon): $21.93

The Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes (Phaidon Press)

Author: Amanda Grant & Harriet Russell

Year: 2009

From the publisher: “Following the huge success of The Silver Spoon (the most influential and successful Italian cookbook of the last 50 years), this edition, adapted especially for children, presents 40 authentic, quick, wholesome and easy-to-make Italian recipes that kids 10 and above will love to cook and eat. The recipes have been chosen for their simple instructions, fresh and healthy ingredients and delicious flavor, and are guaranteed to appeal to the fussiest of children.

A specialist in the field of children’s food and nutrition has selected the recipes to ensure they are well balanced, safe and perfect for children to use. The book is fully illustrated throughout, using specially commissioned illustrations to add a lively and charming feel as well as photographs of the finished dish. The Silver Spoon for Children makes cooking fun, clear and accessible for children aged 10 and up.”

Website: http ://www.phaidon.com/store/childrens-books/the-silver-spoon-for-children-9780714857466/

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Phaidon

Cost (on Amazon): $16.34

Sylvia’s Table: Fresh, Seasonal Recipes from Our Farm to Your Family (Knopf)

Author: Liz Neumark and Carole Lalli

Year: 2013

From the publisher: “Every year children flock to the Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm in upstate New York to learn firsthand about where fresh food comes from, how to grow it, how to harvest it, and how to use it to prepare great-tasting meals. Now Sylvia’s Table brings these lessons and recipes straight from the farm to your kitchen in a deliciously unique cookbook for families. From Hudson Valley Corn Bisque to Butternut Squash Bread Pudding and from Grain-Stuffed Peppers to Cilantro-Chile-Spiked Cod Burgers to Shakshuka, here are almost 200 recipes that you and your family will enjoy. Featuring recipes from the friends of Katchkie Farm, chefs like Michael Romano of Union Square Cafe and Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto; culinary experts including Food & Wine’s Dana Cowin; cookbook authors Giuliano Bugialli, Rozanne Gold, Deborah Madison, and, Sara Moulton; and many others, this is a family cookbook guaranteed to be loved by cooks (and kids) of all ages.”

Website: http ://www.greatperformances.com/the-dish/sylvias-table

Where to purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play

Cost (on Amazon): $25.84

[Research by Alexina Cather, MPH]
Tags:  healthy cooking for kids




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