Cooking isn’t really something which happens in schools much these days, so it’s even more important to get children cooking at home. I learned to cook by “helping” my Grandma in her kitchen. She was a school cook and a pâtissier, so I learned to love cooking and baking from her. I’m as keen as mustard to pass on some of that love to my son. Thankfully he loves cook books almost as much as me, he likes to go through them with me and pick out things we can make or bake together. Here are five of our favourite cook books for kids…
Five fabulous Cook Books for kids
Jolly Good Food: A children’s cookbook inspired by the stories of Enid Blyton by Enid Blyton and Allegra McEvedy. This gorgeously jolly cook book for kids contains 42 recipes designed by chef Allegra McEvedy; each inspired by Enid Blyton’s stories; do you fancy a picnic with the Famous Five or a midnight feast with the Malory Towers girls? This is an easy to follow, fun cook book, perfect for Blyton fans young and young at heart!
I Can Cook by Sally Brown and Kate Morris is the spin-off book from the popular CBeebies series I Can Cook. I Can Cook and presenter Katy Ashworth have been inspiring pre-schoolers and their parents for years. The series and this book are a great way to get children and families talking about food and cooking up a few recipes of their own. The book contains over 50 recipes to try at home. Packed with simple step-by-step pictures and easy to follow the instructions; kids can learn to make all kinds of delicious meals, such as cheesy lasagne, breakfast muffins and chunky banana bread. It’s the perfect first cook book for little ones!
Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipesby Julia Donaldson andAxel Scheffler. My friend Liz recommended this book to me, her girls love to cook up a Gruffalo themed feast. This book contains 24 recipes, each inspired by the goings on in the deep, dark wood. If you’ve always wanted to try Gruffalo Crumble, then this is the book for you!
The River Cottage Family Cookbookby Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fizz Carr is one of my favourite cook books full stop. It’s written for slightly older children and contains easy to follow recipes which are family friendly. The fish pie recipe is the best one ever and my family will happily devour it in one sitting! The book explains a little more about food, where it comes from and gives some tips on getting the best out of your ingredients. I’ts the perfect gift for cookery curious kids!
Children’s Cookbook: Delicious Step-by-Step Recipesby Katharine Ibbs and Catherine Saunders is an excellent and comprehensive cook book for children. This book contains over 50 simple recipes and helpful tips and tricks, which will have you whipping up brilliant meals in no time at all. This children’s cook book has a lovely varied selection of recipes, it might be just the thing to get children to try new things and explore different kinds of food!
What areyour favourite cook books for kids? Do you cook with your family? What’s your favourite recipe?
We love reading in our house. Before our son appeared in our lives I’d happily devour an entire book in an evening. I do that less often these days, but we wanted to pass on our love of books by reading to the boy right from the start. We even read to my growing belly when he was living in it.
One of my favourite things about being a Mummy is bedtime stories. We have three a night (and unlimited during the day when he fancies a read). We all snuggle in bed and transport our family to faraway lands, following the fantastical pen of children’s writers like Julia Donaldson and Lynley Dodd. The boy loves us doing funny voices, (my reading of The Gruffalo is a triumph). I especially love the rhythmic writing and wrapping my tongue around some of the great words in children’s books, (Lynley Dodd is particularly good at throwing in great words guaranteed to make you giggle).
For his Christening, we asked if people wanted to give him their favourite childhood book. We got some great ones, Rupert Bear, Harry Potter, some Alan Garner and Spot the Dog amongst other great reads.
I thought it’d be nice to share our love of reading, and some of our favourite children’s books in a bit of a mini-series. The boy has chosen his current favourite bedtime story, Dandylion by Lizzie Finlay.
Dandylion is a wonderful book about being different, finding acceptance and making friends. It’s the perfect tale to tell any child. The moral being it’s really ok to be different and wouldn’t the world be a dull, gloomy old place if everyone was the same. Admittedly it’s for older readers (he’s 2 and a half) but we love the beautiful illustrations and the story telling.
As Dandylion (who is ‘delightfully different, bright yellow and rather scruffy’) joins Miss Gardener’s organised and tidy class, the illustrations become more vibrant and colourful. This reflects the delightfully warm impact Dandylion has in his classmates.
At first he doesn’t fit in (he is a weed, but remember a weed is just a wildflower growing in the wrong place). After one particularly messy incident he is sent home and becomes despondent about his differences. But soon his classmates (including Basil and Tulip) realise that being too organised and tidy isn’t always a good thing. A plan is soon hatched to get Dandylion to return to school and to make him feel right at home. At last, scruffy, wild and free-spirited Dandylion feels like a wildflower growing in the right place!
Aside from its heartwarming message, it’s just a good book. Beautifully illustrated, visually appealing and lovely to read out loud to your child. Lizzie Finlay is a talented illustrator and I hope she writes more lovely books along these lines.
EDIT: Lizzie Finlay has also written the equally lovely Little Croc’s Purse which is well worth checking out too.