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Get the Kids into the Kitchen



KidsCookIt seems like there are a million cooking shows on television now and it's not just adults wielding big knives and creating eye-popping dishes.  And even if you don't have the next MasterChef Junior at home, lots of kids are interested in cooking and there are more cookbooks than ever just for them.  Here are ten that I really like, covering a range of ages and skill levels (keeping in mind that age does not determine ability--I see 10-year-olds on TV that put me to shame somewhat regularly...).

 


 

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The Young Chef by The Culinary Institute of America
 
For the first time, the highly notable Culinary Institute of America shares it's expertise with junior cooks. My daughter has made a few recipes out of this one (she's nine) --stuffed shells, chicken parmesan--and these are not dumbed down versions but something you might find in a cookbook for adults. Use this cookbook to get the older kids happily doing dinner duty. Ages 10-14
 

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Cartoon characters travel the globe teaching kids about the food and sample recipes of various countries. In Mexico, kids learn the Scoville scale of chili heat and when visiting China they'll make the popular street food, Dan Dan Noodles. Kid-friendly information and recipes make this is a fun cookbook to read and use together. Ages 7-11
 

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A vegetarian cookbook for kids, that divides the recipes by color and describes the nutritional benefits of each group with easily digestible language. Dishes range from Fruity Raisin Granola to Spinach and Phyllo Tarts. Ages 8-12
 

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Kid Chef by Melina Hammer
 
Kid Chef is divided into two parts: culinary school and recipes. The first half is devoted to teaching kids the basic skills they'll need for success; the second half is recipes for a wide variety of dishes and snacks. The overall theme here is patience, practice and healthy eating--good advice for cooks of any age. Ages 10-up.
 

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 The Forest Feast for Kids by Erin Gleeson
 
The Forest Feast is already a best-selling, beautifully photographed and illustrated vegetarian cookbook and author Erin Gleeson applies that same care to The Forest Feast for Kids. Part of the book is kid-friendly recipes from her first book along with 20 new ones, plus ideas for parties and decoration.
 

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 Cook Me a Story by Bryan Kozlowski

The three bears' porridge isn't the only mention of food in fairytales and Cook Me a Story takes it's inspiration from some of the classics.  Making a story out of a recipe is a charming way to introduce cooking to kids through something familiar.  Ages 6-9
 

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 The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook by Rosanna Pansino
 
YouTube baking star Rosanna Pansino pens her first cookbook named after her show, Nerdy Nummies. Her creations are unique and while they do take some time and patience, kids who love math, science, or video games will have a lot of fun making baked treats that represent their interests. Ages 10-up
 

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 Cooking Class by Deanna F. Cook
 
When you have kids of varying ages in the house it's nice to have a cookbook they can all use. Cooking Class has 57 recipes that range from cooking bacon to making Nutella and banana crepes so there is something here that works for older and younger siblings alike. Ages 6-12
 

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Forget Rice Krispy treats when kids can make fun lunches or snacks using onigiri, rice formed into shapes and wrapped in nori. There are modern mix-ins as well as classic Japanese favorites and the result is a collection of finger foods that are as fun to look at as they are to eat. For kids and adults
 

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Sesame Street Let's Cook! by Sesame Workshop
 
For the youngest chefs, what can be better than learning to cook from Elmo and the gang? Perfect for little ones who want to help in the kitchen, Sesame Street Let's Cook! includes 50 recipes for breakfasts, main meals, and snacks designed with cooks ages 2-5 in mind.
 

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