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Cookbooks for Kids: ParentDish's Top 20
Sure, popping some ready-to-bake cookie dough on a baking sheet works in a pinch, but children love being part of the process, as well. From yummy appetizers to tasty entrees to sweet end-of-meal treats, here are 20 cookbooks filled with recipes your whole family will enjoy. Bon appetit!
1. Fanny At Chez Panisse by Alice Waters: This fun and elegant cookbook narrated in the voice of Fanny, daughter of legendary restauranteur Waters, offers sweet stories of life at her Berkeley, Calif., eatery, along with fancy, yet easy-to-make recipes including quesadillas, peach crisp, risotto and gingersnaps.
2. Emeril's There's a Chef in My Soup! by Emeril Lagasse: Subtitled, "Recipes for the Kid in Everyone," these dishes are tasty for parents and children alike. From French toast to pasta salad to spaghetti pie, it's a great way to involve the kids in the cooking process.
3. Williams-Sonoma The Kid's Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dogde: Written for kids ages 9 and up, this beautifully illustrated book includes more than 40 recipes, cooking techniques, instructional photographs and a glossary of terms to help introduce kids to food preparation.
4. Betty Crocker Kids Cook!: More than 60 easy-to-prepare recipes are included in this cookbook that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks, sides and desserts. Indoor S'mores, French Toast Stix and Totally Terrific Tacos from the Betty Crocker editors will have your children begging to don their aprons.
5. The Everything Kids' Cookbook by Sandra K. Nissenberg: The subtitle says it all: "From Mac ' N Cheese to Double Chocolate Chip Cookies -- All You Need to Have Some Finger Lickin' Fun." Find recipes, puzzles, cooking tips and more in this practical guide. Kids will be happy to whip up Bananaberry Smoothies, Nutty Caramel Corn or Cinnamon Breakfast Cake.
6. Kitchen for Kids by Jennifer Low: Boasting "100 Amazing Recipes Your Children Can Really Make," future bakers and chefs will impress with such dishes as Oatmeal Cookie Granola, Wee Shepherd's Pies and Triple-Tier Fudge Cake. Low wants the kids to be in charge while making these recipes that require no sharp knives, stove-top cooking or small electric appliances. Adult tasting, however, is definitely permitted.
7. Cooking Rocks! 30-minute Meals For Kids by Rachael Ray: Divided into age-specific categories, this cookbook from the Food Network and talk show star features snacks, make-your-own-takeout meals, sandwiches, sweets and more. Yum-o!
8. The Toddler Cookbook by Annabel Karmel: This is fun food -- pita pizzas with faces on them, cutout cookies and peanut butter bear treats. Photos help illustrate the simple directions.
9. Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes by Mollie Katzen and Ann L. Henderson: You don't need to know how to read to make recipes from this book: Each recipe is displayed in pictures, as well as words. Cute kid quotes, safety advice and an emphasis on having a good time in the kitchen make this a modern classic.
10. New Junior Cookbook Better Homes & Gardens: Kid-tested and tasted, these 65 recipes each feature an illustration, photo and step-by-step instructions. Created for 8- to 12-year-olds, your kids will soon be whipping up breakfast pizza, fajitas, turnovers and more. You'll also find a special celebration section, as well as diabetic exchanges.
11. Mom and Me Cookbook by Annabel Karmel: Kids ages 3 and up can get started in the kitchen by helping make these tasty recipes. From scrambled eggs and crepes to pizza and pasta to cookies and smoothies, these are dishes kids -- and grown-ups -- never outgrow.
12. The Cheerios Cookbook: Tasty Treats and Clever Crafts for Kids: Who knew the classic breakfast cereal could be used in so many kid-friendly recipes? Learn to make parfaits, muffins, pancakes, caramel corn and other treats, as well as craft projects such as picture frames, string-and-eat necklaces and crayon holders, all with Cheerios, of course.
13. Red Robin's Kids Cook-Off Cookbook: With 50 gourmet burger recipes created by kids nationwide, the burger chain's cookbook is free to download. Try the winning Holy-Peno Burger (with jalepenos and Cajun spices), the Oh So Gouda Burger (with Gouda and apples) or the Cheesy Pizza Paradise Burger (with pizza sauce and pepperoni). Did we mention it's free?
14. To Every Season: A Family Holiday Cookbook by Jane Breskin Zalben: Baking with your family is a holiday tradition in many households, and this book offers fresh recipe ideas for special dates throughout the year. Think corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day, Cupid Cupcakes for Valentine's Day or potato latkes for Hanukkah. Pretty watercolor illustrations and a little holiday history add flavor to this must-have title.
15. Southern Living Kids Cookbook: Featuring "124 Recipes Kids Will Love to Make and Love to Eat," this cookbook, from the editors of the popular magazine, offers dishes kids actually like with simple ingredient lists and easy-to-follow numbered steps. Nutritional info is also provided, so you can start to teach your children about making good food choices early on.
16. Kids' Fun and Healthy Cookbook by Nicola Graimes: Bright and colorful, this cookbook features more than 100 recipes, along with food facts and healthy tips. We think even the pickiest of eaters will still enjoy Yogurt Swirl with Dippers, Mini Pizzas or Fruit Sundaes.
17. Pillsbury Kids Cookbook: Food Fun for Boys and Girls: The Pillsbury editors have put together a guide to kids' cooking, featuring breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack categories, plus fun recipes for Halloween, tea parties and slumber parties. Oh, and of course, dessert.
18. The International Cookbook for Kids by Matthew Locricchio: Not only will your children learn cooking basics, but they'll learn about cultural cuisine, as well, with recipes from Greece, Brazil, Thailand and India.
19. Mermaid Cookbook by Barbara Beery: Is it birthday time? This cookbook offers fab recipes for mermaid, pirate, treasure island or other water-themed parties. Kids can help make Pineapple Fruit Dip, Goldfish Gorp, Treasure Island Trail Mix and more. Also look for Beery books themed around fairies and princesses.
20. Sesame Street C is for Cooking: Recipes from the Street by Susan McQuillan: When Cookie Monster, Ernie and Elmo introduce your children to making meals, you know you're in for a good time. Each recipe (there are more than 50), includes at least one "kid" step to get young ones involved. Hot Cocoa Float, Dutch Baby Pancake or Bagel Pizzas, anyone?
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