Cookbooks for Young Chefs

Learning to prepare simple but tasty meals can be a catalyst for children of all ages to inquire about nutrition, gardening, chemistry, or the daily life and customs of other cultures. However, finding age appropriate titles can be daunting if you aren’t familiar with the way catalogs organize books by subject. To search for cookbooks appropriate for children in the UIUC online catalog, start with the “advanced search” option. Enter “cookery” in the “search for” box, and select “subject words” from the drop down box to the right. In the next row down, enter “juvenile literature” in the “search for” box, and select “subject words” from the drop down box to the right. Be sure to include “literature” with “juvenile” in the second box, or your results will also include fiction books about cooking. This strategy should give you a fairly wide selection of cookbooks for kids of all ages.

We encourage you to explore our extensive collection, but to get you started, we list below a few of our favorite cookbooks for young chefs:

Brennan, Georgeanne.
Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Dr. Seuss! 2006.
Recipes inspired by the stories and characters of Dr. Seuss.
[Education S-Collection Q. S.641.5 B75g]

Dahl, Roald.
Roald Dahl’s Even More Revolting Recipes. 2001.
The author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory presents fun and easy recipes, accompanied by creative illustrations and photographs.
[Education S-Collection S.652.5 D137r]

Gold, Roseanne.
Kids Cook 1-2-3: Recipes for Young Chefs Using Only 3 Ingredients. 2006.
Don’t let the title fool you; using 3 ingredients does not have to be bland or boring. Dishes like farfalle pasta with broccoli or roasted chicken are delicious and simple.
[Education S-Collection S.641.5123 G563k]

Gunderson, Mary.
American Indian Cooking Before 1500. 2001.
Part of the Exploring History through Simple Recipes series, this cookbook includes cooking help and recipes. Organized by regions of the United States.
[Education Storage Q. S.394.108997 G955a]

Hardesty, Constance.
Grow Your Own Pizza. 2000.
Provides plans and instructions for growing twenty-six different gardens, with recipes for using what is grown. Gardens and recipes are divided by difficulty level, from easy to advanced.
[Education S-Collection S.635.083 H218g]

Hughes, Meredith Sayles.
Flavor Foods: Spices and Herbs. 2000.
Describes the historical origins, uses, and growing requirements of various spices and herbs, such as pepper, vanilla, nutmeg, horseradish, licorice, and ginger. Includes recipes.
[Education Storage S.633.83 H874f]

Kalman, Bobbie.
Lunch Munch. 2003.
Explores why and how to have a delicious and healthy lunch through nutrition facts and easy recipes for nourishing foods.
[Education S-Collection S.641.5 K126l]

Keller, Thomas.
What’s cooking? A Cookbook for Kids. 2007.
Featuring Disney’s small and unlikely chef, the character Ratatouille, this cookbook shows children how to cook a variety of simple dishes and desserts.
[Education S-Collection S.641.5 W5584]

Lagasse, Emeril.
Emeril’s There’s a Chef in My World! Recipes that Take you Places. 2006.
The popular television chef takes young cooks on an international tour of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
[Education S-Collection S.641.59 L135e]

Parnell, Helga.
Cooking the South American Way. 2003.
An overview of South American cookery, including information about the continent’s holidays and festivals. Features simple recipes, menu planning, and information about low-fat cooking and vegetarian options
[Education Storage S.641.598 P242c2003]

Pearce, Q.L.
Experiments You Can Do In Your Kitchen. 2004.
Less of a cookbook and more of a chemistry manual for beginning scientists, this title features over 60 experiments using common household ingredients.
[Education S-Collection Q. S.507 Exp718]

Smithsonian Institution.
Food and the Kitchen. 1993.
Provides instructions for a variety of experiments and activities involving food, including the making of cheese, the growing of leaves from cut vegetables, and the testing of different foods for their fat content.
[Education S-Collection S.641.5 F739]

White, Linda.
Cooking on a Stick. 1996.
Describes the basic procedures and equipment needed in preparing and cooking simple foods in an outdoor setting. Gives instructions for preparing two dozen foods while outdoors. Includes safety guidelines and basic campfire instructions.
[Education S-Collection S.641.578 W584c]

Yu, Ling.
Cooking the Chinese Way. 2002.
Includes instructions on special ingredients, eating with chopsticks, and low-fat and vegetarian options.
[Education S-Collection S.641.5951 Y9c]