Favorite Cook Books for Kids

Does your kid love to cook and help out in the kitchen?? Emily sure does, and she’s been known to create her own recipes, carry cookbooks around the house with her, and check out several kid cookbooks from the library! Here are her top 5 favorite “must own” cookbooks designed for kids.

5. Magic Kitchen by Disney — A gift from Mark’s parents, Emily made and prepared (with adult supervision) several recipes from this book, and many are healthy and delicious. Disney characters appear throughout the book, and each recipe is combined with step-by-step instructions. Emily could care less about the “characters”, but has a much higher interest in the recipes and photos. She can spend hours flipping through the pages! Designed for kids ages 4-8.


4. The New Junior Cook Book (Better Homes & Gardens Cooking) — A great basic cook book, this one is designed for kids ages 8-12, so it’s a good cook book for Emily to grow into, and we liked trying recipes from this cookbook together. Each recipe has step-by-step instructions and a photo, and I found the “cooking basics” section to be the most thorough out of the cook books listed here.

3. Cook It In A Cup by Julia Myall — At first glance, I thought this cookbook was rather “gimicky” because it comes with a set of silicon muffin cups. I was completely wrong, and I’m SO glad this cookbook found its way to Emily’s collection! First of all, any recipe that can be made in muffin cups = instant cuteness!! Emily can make almost all of these recipes with very little help on my part. (Ages 4-8)


2. Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen — Buy. This. Cookbook. If you have a preschooler-3rd grader, you MUST add this cookbook to your collection. Emily could not get enough of it! This book has been very well-loved. Each recipe is illustrated with step-by-step instructions and simple wording making it easy for kids to prepare tasty and healthy meals. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this one!! (Preschoolers-3rd Grade)


1. Honest Pretzels by Mollie Katzen — Another treasured cookbook in our home is Honest Pretzels. You’ll notice this is by the same author as Pretend Soup, Mollie Katzen, and that was no accident. Emily instantly recognized Katzen’s style, and this cook book is designed for kids ages 8 and up, so the recipes are just challenging enough, but not too difficult that she can’t participate in the process. A real winner!!!

Have a favorite cook book for kids that’s not listed here? We’re always looking for new ones to try! Leave a comment and share it with us!!


  1. My son Griffin (11) loves to cook, we have a gazillion recipe books, but his favourite is the Junior Masterchef cookbook (ours is the australian version) I get you guys is the U.S would have an equivalent. It has good recipes, that are not kiddie type food (eg hot dogs and pizza!) but food we all want to eat, Rissotto, pastas, baking etc. It also is very good on explaining methods and about everyday ingredients. Big thumbs up from us!

  2. Thanks for posting these…Nathan loves helping me in the kitchen, more so with baking than cooking though.

  3. Thanks for this! I can’t wait to take a look at some of these cookbooks. ­čÖé I love kid cookbooks because I can usually actually cook the recipes…as opposed to some “adult” cookbooks where I don’t even know what the ingredients are!

  4. We LOVE Mollie Katzen around here. She has another preschool cookbook called Salad People–just as good as Pretend Soup. I’ve been known to use them even when the kids are not around!

  5. Thank you for posting this. My boys are almost grown, but I have several friends with small children and love the ideas you post. I’ve been trying to come up with birthday gifts for a couple of friend’s daughters (I try to give something other than toys) and LOVE the idea of giving a cookbook. I never would have thought of it without this post though, so thank you. I think “Pretend Soup” will be my gift of choice this time around. ­čÖé

  6. William Sonoma has a cookbook for kids that we received as a gift and the kids love it! From easy recipes of Purple Cow Smoothie to harder ones like making guacamole and homemade spaghetti and meatballs (even making your own sauce), they’ve made and enjoyed almost every recipe in there.

  7. Thanks for this post. I was just discussing with my husband about getting a cook book for our 4yo, as he really wants to help out in the kitchen.

  8. Thanks for this post! We are just building up our cooking with kids collection, so I’ll make sure to look for Pretend Soup book.

  9. This is such a great resource! I have added the books to my wishlist. Thank you!

  10. Erin Zackey says

    This is a stellar list thanks! Lucky for me most of these are available at our library so I just put a bunch on hold!
    Also, another I’ve checked out that we regularly use recipes from is the surprisingly good Sesame Street “C” is for Cooking cookbook!


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