Cooking with Kids Multimedia Bibliography
This bibliography is designed to provide resources for parents who are interested in teaching their children how to cook, or just spend time cooking together. These materials are collected primarily for parents, but could also work well for a teacher wanting to introduce cooking skills and food literacy to children. I gathered these resources through internet research and consulting Americorps members working with children as part of a Farm to School program. I was most successful in finding websites and books. There is an abundance of instructional videos for cooking projects involving children. The only area that proved to be difficult was Blogs. Although there are many blogs by mothers who talk about cooking and their children, there are very few who talk about cooking with their children.
PBS.org provides this excellent guide to cooking with children as part of their health and fitness website for parents and kids. The whole site is definitely worth a look for parents, as it deals with common topics such as how to encourage healthy eating habits, tips on winning over picky eaters, and how to shop for healthy food on a budget. But their information on cooking with kids is particularly helpful. They encourage parents to involve their children in all steps of a cooking project: from finding a recipe and making a shopping list to helping clean up. Most of all, this guide tells parents to make the whole process fun for kids. Cooking should not be a daily chore, but a fun adventure!
The Let’s Move! Initiative, championed by first lady, Michelle Obama, seeks to change American families’ eating and exercise habits by promoting healthy eating, cooking with fresh ingredients, and incorporating exercise through play every day. This website will be useful to parents who want to cook with their kids because it has extensive information about nutrition and how to plan healthy meals that kids will enjoy. For parents looking for easy kid friendly recipes, this site a perfect first stop. It includes many recipes that are actually devised by children that are fun, nutritious, and easy enough for kids to help out with.
This virtual cookbook is a fabulous resource for parents as well as teachers looking to introduce their children or students to cooking. It is a comprehensive guide to cooking, covering every aspect of the process. It explains how to select the best produce, and properly store it, as well as describing critical cooking skills. This book even offers suggestions for how to make clean up a fun activity in itself. The recipes are simple and easily adaptable which is ideal for parents with picky eaters or who don’t have time to run to the grocery for that one missing ingredient. This is the perfect book for parents just beginning to let their kids into the kitchen. They will be rewarded with delicious meals and wonderful memories.
The Edible Schoolyard Project is a growing movement in public schools where teachers and students work together to plant and tend a garden on their school’s grounds. This garden serves as not just a tool for teaching about horticulture, because teachers and students are actually able to harvest their produce and make delicious meals. The Edible Schoolyard Project’s website includes information not just about the program, but also teaching materials for educators and parents interested in introducing their children to new foods and recipes. This would be especially useful for parents who have gardens or would like to start gardens and use their homegrown produce. This is an inspirational source for kids and parents to see how food travels from the garden to the kitchen.
Better Together is a website that hosts a blog, recipes, and videos contributed by parents who love to cook with their kids. Better Together’s motto is “When you shop, plan, cook, eat, clean, it’s better together.” And the website provides tips and hard learned lessons for each of these steps. They believe that cooking should be a team effort from start to finish. The recipes available on this website are great, and perfect for including kids in the cooking process, but the blog and advice sections are also well written and full of handy information. This site is a fantastic resource for parents who are unsure of how to introduce kids to the kitchen.
Kitchen gadget and finer food purveyor, Williams-Sonoma has this guide for cooking with children on their website. This is a great place to go for tips on kitchen safety and teaching kids to cook. One of the most useful things here is the breakdown showing what skills children of different ages should be capable of performing. For example 2-5 year olds can help mix the pancake batter, 6-8 year olds can boil pasta, 9-12 year olds can start using the oven and so on.
This website is the winner of numerous awards including the James Beard Award in the webcast category and the ALA award for best website. Spatulatta is indeed worthy of such praise, it is a comprehensive guide to cooking aimed at kids not their parents, unlike many of these resources. There are lessons on basic cooking skills, a detailed index of recipes organized by food group and ethnicity, and a kid-authored blog. Each recipe is accompanied by a video, showing kids preparing the dish. This blog empowers kids to get cooking and make dinner for their families.
Dahl, R. (1997). Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes. New York City: Puffin Books.
Roald Dahl’s marvelous stories and characters are brought to life by this fantastic cookbook. The recipes are inspired by foods or characters in his books, such as Snozzcumbers, a vile vegetable from The BFG, Fresh Mudburgers from James and the Giant Peach, and of course many whimsical candy recipes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There is a wide range of recipes: from sweets, to drinks, to proper meals. Most of these recipes will require the help of an adult for chopping, cooking candy at high temperature or making complicated things like pie dough. But these recipes are so wonderful that children will want to make them again and again.
Garvey, H., Yeomans M. (2009). The Gastrokids Cookbook : Feeding a Foodie Family in a Fast Food World. New York City: John Wiley and Sons Co.
This cookbook sets out to do something that many parents struggle with when cooking with their children, walking the line between kid-friendly foods like mac and cheese and pizza, with food sophisticated enough that adults will want to eat it too. The recipes in this book do just that, by taking kid favorites and putting a spin on them. Instead of regular mac and cheese, it’s spinach mac and cheese. Instead of the typical bar-b-q, they suggest soy and ginger marinated tofu. This book is sure to appeal to both kids and their parents.
Jones J., Jones, E. (1998). Knead it, Punch it, Bake it! The Ultimate Breadbaking Book for Parents and Kids. New York City: Houghton Mifflen.
Knead it, Punch it, Bake it! Is the classic and perfect book for breadbaking. Baking bread can seem like a pretty daunting mission (even for adults), getting the mixture right, letting the dough rise, there is a reason most of us just buy it at the store. But Judith Jones (who was actually Julia Child’s editor!) does a wonderful job of making the art and science of baking bread approachable for children.
Katzen, M., Anderson, A.L. (1994). Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up. Berkeley: Tricycle Press.
This is a fabulous book for parents with kids itching to get into the kitchen. Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson, the authors of the Moosewood Cookbook have written this book specifically for adults and children to use to cook together. The introduction offers handy tips and advice about cooking with kids. Each recipe is repeated twice, the first copy is for parents, and looks like a normal cookbook recipe, and the second is for children and done completely in pictures. Even kids as young as three or four can follow these recipes and make delicious food like blueberry pancakes, quesadillas, and noodle soup. The authors goal is to let children be as independent as possible, just with a little gentle guidance. With this book, kids really will be able to cook for themselves.
Waters, A. L. (1997). Fanny at Chez Panisse: A Child’s Restaurant Adventures with 46 Recipes. New York City: William Morrow Cookbooks.
This book is the story of internationally renowned restaurant, Chez Panisse, as told by the chef’s young daughter, Fanny. Fanny takes the reader on a tour of the restaurant, introducing the people who work there and what they do to prepare the food. The second half of the books is filled with Fanny’s favorite recipes, recipes that drop words like crouton, gremolata, and mirepoix for your little chef de cuisine in the making. The beautiful watercolor illustrations by Ann Arnold add a wonderful depth to the story, as well as show how to prepare the recipes. This is not just a cookbook, it is a story that children will want to read again and again.
Yaron, R. (1998). Super Baby Food. New York City: F J Roberts Publisher.
Super Baby Food is the ultimate do-it-yourself baby food making guide. Given the long list of strange ingredients and preservatives so common in commercial baby food, along with the cost, it is understandable that many parents would look for an alternative. Super Baby Food gives recipes and instruction for making nutritional baby food at home. This book not only has great recipes, but also gives practical advice about how to choose the best high chairs, baby utensils, and so on. It also provides important information on babies’ development to help parents make the right choices about what types of foods their babies should eat at any given stage.
The Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes. (2009). London: Phaidon Press.
The Silver Spoon for Children is a great cookbook aimed at kids, complete with full illustrations and step-by-step photos showing how to prepare each recipe. This book has all the Italian culinary favorites from Pizza Margherita to homemade pasta. This book also highlights the economic value of these recipes, which is seems to be an emerging “recession-era” trend in cookbooks.
Weelicious is one mom’s project to share her cooking experiences with her children. Catherine McCord is a mom who loves to cook with her kids, and has made a series of videos to help other moms looking for ideas for fun, fast, and fresh recipes to make with kids. She focuses on using fresh and healthy ingredients, featuring recipes like homemade veggie nuggets, banana and spinach “green monster” smoothies, and homemade “Chinese takeout.” Her Youtube site has dozens of videos, many featuring her own kids helping her prepare the recipes. These videos are a great source for parents looking for recipes to make either with their kids as a fun project, or just delicious foods their kids will love.
The Pottery Barn Kids section has a surprisingly good selection of recipes and videos for cooking with kids. These videos come from mommy blogger and registered dietician Katie Morford, and feature her own daughters. Her focus is on healthy and seasonal but delicious foods that kids love. Some of the recipes include Strawberry Waffle Sandwiches, and Takeaway Taco Salad. These are fast and easy recipes, designed to make use of common ingredients that busy parents will already have in the fridge. These videos will inspire parents to try new things and get their kids into the kitchen.
Kids Who Love to Cook is a website founded by a group of young budding chefs who want to teach other kids how to cook. They have videos showing how to prepare simple dishes, videos showing their trips the farmer’s market and the cheese factory, and instructional videos on knife skills. This is an inspirational source for kids to learn where food comes from, gain the skills to prepare food, and the see that kids their own age can make delicious dishes all by themselves.
This blog from food writer, photographer and stylist, Beatrice Peltre captures her life and cooking endeavors with her daughter Lulu. Peltre chronicles her and Lulu’s adventures to places like the goat farm, the apple orchard, and the farmer’s market.
Each post talks about a specific day or trip and then gives recipes for the meals that they made together. The recipes focus on seasonal ingredients, a cherry and fresh thyme tart in the spring, a tomato gallette in late summer and so on. Owing to the author’s pedigree as a professional food photographer, the pictures on this blog a simply beautiful. This could be a wonderfully inspirational resource for parents looking for something delicious to make with their children.
This blog from free-lance food writer, and register dietician, Katie Morford, is a fantastic source for fast, fresh recipes, and cooking tips. The tagline of this blog is “raising fresh-food kids in a french-fried world.” The author’s pedigree as a dietician and nutrition specialist lends valuable expertise to her recipes. Besides the recipes (which are great), there is also a section of kitchen tips which includes information about how to include kids in cooking, best cooking utensils for kids, and how to raise “adventurous” eaters.
Portland Oregon mom Amy Karol started her blog, Angry Chicken to document her cooking and crafty pursuits with her children and their friends. This blog is pretty standard as far as mommy blogs go, but the recipes are unique and would be easy to make with kids. The posts are well written and draw the reader in and the photography is very nice too. There are also many posts about knitting and other crafty projects if that’s your thing.