The 8 Best Cookbooks to Buy for Kids in 2018

Inspire their creativity with fun in the kitchen

Mother and son baking, placing cookies in oven in kitchen
Caiaimage/Trevor Adeline / Getty Images

We are committed to researching, testing, and recommending the best products. We may receive commissions from purchases made after visiting links within our content. Learn more about our review process.

It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about cooking! Whether your children are in preschool or high school, they’ll love spending time in the kitchen, learning how to make delicious recipes and improving their cooking skills.

There are dozens of cookbooks for kids that you can use to teach your children, and they vary by age appropriateness, type of cuisine, and skill level. Whether you’re looking for a standard cookbook to teach your kids the basics or a collection of delicious, kid-friendly international recipes, there’s a cookbook you’ll love on this list!

 

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!)

    With the help of this best-selling cookbook, your kids will become masters in the kitchen! Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!) is ideal for children ages 6 to 12, as it includes detailed explanations of basic cooking techniques, plus more than 50 kid-friendly recipes.

    This award-winning cookbook is a comprehensive guide for cooking novices, explaining skills and recipes in kid-friendly language. Cooking Class includes step-by-step instructions for classic recipes like applesauce, French toast, popcorn chicken, pizza and more. Additionally, many of the recipes include healthy ingredients and fun presentations, such as mashed potato “clouds” — perfect for getting kids interested in healthy eating!

    Reviewers love everything about this cookbook for kids, from the spiral binding to the bright colors and high-quality pictures. Many write that it’s a perfect tool for introducing fundamental cooking skills and that their whole family enjoys the recipes. At a reasonable price, this kids’ cookbook would make a wonderful addition to your kitchen.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Learning Basics: Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook

    If you want to teach your kids cooking terms, tools and techniques, you need the Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook. This 128-page cookbook has more than 65 kid-friendly recipes, and it’s perfect for introducing kids age 5 to 12 to the wonderful world of cooking.

    The beginning of this revamped cookbook from Better Home and Gardens includes a detailed section on cooking terms, kitchen safety, tools (including pictures), and healthy cooking. It also addresses how to measure ingredients and how to read recipes. Once your children have learned the basics, they can then try their hand at the kid-oriented breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, which include dishes like “Football Meatloaf.”

    Reviewers love this cookbook’s bright pages and cute illustrations, writing that it really gets kids engaged in the kitchen. Many also like that there’s a photo to accompany every dish — something you don’t often find in standard cookbooks. Overall, the Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook is a good first resource for budding chefs.

  • 03 of 08

    Best Classic: Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls

    The first edition of this classic kids’ cookbook was published more than 60 years ago, and the Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls is still a favorite for kids and adults alike. The recipes are ideal for children ages 8 to 12, and you’re sure to feel a twinge of nostalgia as you read through the retro book.

    This cookbook is an authentic reproduction of the original 1957 edition, which many Baby Boomers learned from themselves! Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls contains ample kid-friendly recipes, from Pigs in a Blanket to Sloppy Joes and Ice Cream Cakes. The instructions are easy to follow, and your family is sure to get a kick out of the retro-style illustrations throughout the book.

    Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls has hundreds of 5-star reviews from users who love its timeless recipes and nostalgic appeal. Many older buyers write that they had the same cookbook growing up and love sharing the classic recipes with the next generation.

  • 04 of 08

    Best Vegetarian: The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kid

    If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you may want to teach your kids how to cook delicious, healthy meals that fit into your nutritional restrictions. In this case, you’ll want to purchase The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids, which features dozens of plant-based recipes, especially for kids.

    This vegan cookbook is best for children age 6 to 12, and its aim is to teach kids about healthy eating by involving them in the cooking process. The book features 60 plant-based recipes for you to make with your family, including meals, snacks, drinks and desserts. You’ll love trying dishes like Tomato Tornado soup or desserts like Chocolate Mousse made with avocados. The pages of The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids are filled with color, humor, cute animal characters and fun facts, promising to keep children engaged and coming back for more.

    Buyers say this book is fun for kids and beautifully made. Many write the recipes are easy to follow and a great way to introduce kids to plant-based cooking. However, some note that picky eaters may not like the more adventurous recipes.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Baking Cookbook: American Girl Baking: Recipes for Cookies, Cupcakes & More

    Want to skip dinner and go straight to dessert? You can teach your children the fine art of baking with the help of American Girl Baking: Recipes for Cookies, Cupcakes & More. This kids cookbook is ideal for young bakers ages 9 to 12, as it contains dozens of easy-to-follow recipes for drool-worthy desserts.

    The American Girl Baking book is a great way to introduce children to basic baking techniques. It contains more than 40 recipes, including kid-approved treats like brownies, a wide variety of cookies, cupcakes and more. The imagery in this cookbook is simply stunning, and the instructions are written in easy-to-understand language — perfect for kids!

    Reviewers say American Girl Baking makes a great gift for any young baker or American Girl lover. Many comment that the recipes are delicious and that baking is one of their favorite ways to spend time with their kids. However, it’s worth noting that this cookbook is a bit girly, so it might not be the best option for young male bakers.

  • 06 of 08

    Best International Recipes: The International Cookbook for Kids

    Turn your kitchen into a gateway to foreign countries! The International Cookbook for Kids lets you and your family explore the wide world of food with dozens of kid-friendly recipes from around the globe. It’s the perfect way to break out of your dinnertime rut!

    This kids’ cookbook is best for children 9 to 12 years old, and it contains 60 classic recipes from countries like Italy, France, China and Mexico. The recipes range from appetizers and meals to desserts, and the book is sprinkled with tips discussing ingredients, nutrition and cooking techniques. There’s also essential information on kitchen safety and a special “Taco Party” section. Yum!

    Parents write that The International Cookbook for Kids is wonderful for teaching basic cooking skills and vocabulary. Many say the construction of the book is sturdy (important for young chefs), but that the recipes are on the more advanced side, so it’s best for older children.

  • 07 of 08

    Best for Preschool: Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes

    For the youngest chefs, you’ll want to pick up a copy of Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes, a cookbook designed for kids as young as 3! This book is one of the best for preschool age children, as it’s filled with fun pictures and easy-to-follow instructions that will get kids interested in cooking while teaching them other essential skills.

    Pretend Soup is for children age 3 to 8, and it’s designed to “inspire an early appreciation for creative, wholesome food.” There are pictorial versions of each recipe, so even children who haven’t mastered reading can take charge in the kitchen. Naturally, many of the recipes in this kids cookbook require supervision and/or assistance from parents, but reviewers say kids can do much of the heavy lifting on their own! In addition to teaching children about cooking, this book helps them learn counting, reading, science, self-confidence and patience — all key skills for school-age kids.

    According to reviews, this cookbook is great for preschoolers, as it contains easy, kid-friendly recipes. Many parents write that their kids love taking charge in the kitchen, and several note that the healthy recipes are an added bonus.

  • 08 of 08

    Best for Teens: Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat

    Cooking in an important skill for teens to learn before they set out on their own, and you can help your older children master kitchen basics with this teen-focused cookbook. Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat is best for kids 12 and up, and it’s designed to help them “learn about conquering the kitchen without accidentally setting the house on fire.”

    This cookbook for teens has more than 75 recipes for every meal of day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks. Teens Cook also addresses important topics like kitchen chemistry, understanding recipes, adapting recipes, cooking safety and more. Overall, this cookbook is a great tool to help teens learn kitchen basics and start being more independent!

    Reviewers say Teens Cook is a perfect gift for tweens and teens and that the recipes look delicious. Many appreciate that there are plenty of healthy options in the cookbook, but a few say the directions are overly simple, especially for older teens.