Head to the kitchen with these easy recipes for kids to make inspired by popular children’s books! Read a book and cook, for hours of fun and learning in the kitchen with your young chef.
Here are our top picks of ways to cook with books!
One of my favorite things to do is to bring my kids into the kitchen for some fun with cooking, especially when we’re on a break from school! We work together to make all sorts of things from baked goods to even main dishes. I love watching how it builds their confidence and their love for a variety of food.
There are so many benefits to cooking with your kids. Reading, Math, Science, Healthy Eating Habits, and even Geography are all happening in the kitchen while you’re cooking.
It’s even more fun when you include books in your plans that inspire you to make recipes together that bring books to life!
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1. Growing in the Garden
Encouraging your kids eat vegetables and fruits from your own garden is the easiest way to get them to try new things. Find books that are themed around growing vegetables and fruit!
- 30+ Blueberry Recipes using Blueberry Mouse by Alice Low
- Zucchini Bread Muffins using Wilbur the Zucchini Eating Dragon by Justine St. John
- Eating a Rainbow using I Can Eat a Rainbow by Annabel Karmel
- Make a Fruit Parfait reading the book The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood
2. Discovering Animals
Choosing to create a recipe about a character from a book can be tons of fun!
- Bunny Bread using Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
- Owl Pizza using Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Spider Meatballs using The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
- Teddy Bear Biscuits using Where’s My Teddy By Jez Alboruough
- Teddy Bear Rice Krispie Treats using Corduroy
3. Traveling the World
We’ve written an entire series called Around the World in 12 Dishes that you could spend the whole summer doing! Each country we select books to read about the country and then choose which dish we’ll create.
Here are some of our favorites.
- Baklava from Greece
- Bangers and Mash from England
- Celtic Knot Butter Cookies from Ireland
- Coconut Bread from French Polynesia
- Crepes from France
- Empanada from Mexico reading Round Is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
- Rossunmuner from Sweden
- Salad Oliver from Russia
- Samoan Panikeke from Australia
- Samosas from India using Wheels on the Tuk Tuk
- Sushi from Japan using the book Yoko by Rosemary Wells
4. Celebrating Holidays
Any time there is a special occasion we turn to books to learn about it and to see if we can make something special for the holiday. You’d be surprised how creative your kids can get!
- Edible Fourth of July Flag using Fourth of July Sparkly Sky by Joan Holub and Amanda Haley
- Various Holiday Shapes Pizza
- Earth Day Fruit Snack using Weezer Changes the World by David McPhail
- Heart Shaped Bread using My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
5. Planning a Party
Getting your child involved in party planning can make your special occasion so much more meaningful and memorable. Cakes, snacks, beverages, there are lots of ways to include them.
They could even write out the menu and shopping list to build literacy in the experience.
- Host a Tea Party using Miss Spiders Tea Party by David Kirk
6. Learning the Basics in Cooking
There are a few tasks that every child should experience in the kitchen. Baking a cake, cookies and bread are my top picks.
- Learn to Bake a Cake using Five Little Monkeys Bake a Cake
- Learn to Bake a Pie using I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson
- Baking Bread using a version of The Little Red Hen
- Making Cookies using If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
- Baking Muffins using If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
- Make Pasta using the book Noodles from Scratch by Harold P Gershenson
7. Learning About Food Groups Nutrition
We’ve shared an entire series on the Food Groups that we’d love for you to use during your summer! Each food group has a list of books to use and learn with.
- How do you Get your Kids to try New Foods
- Healthy Heart Foods & Printable
- Let’s Eat a Rainbow
- Let’s Talk Nutrition using Good Enough to Eat by Lizzy Rockwell
8. Let’s Make a Snack
Books can inspired snacktime with the ingredients you choose or the shape you make them in. A ball can become a beach ball or a moon, a coffee cake can become a Grufflo crumble, you never know. A few sliced apples or cucumbers can make wings or a bird or a sun on a plate.
Smoothies can combine all sorts of ingredients for a special magical potion, you get the idea the ideas are endless.
9. Learning to Read in the Kitchen
One of my biggest tips is to label things in your kitchen! Whether it’s a menu, a recipe card or even the tools and foods you’re using. You can always have them reuse the labels in their play kitchen too.
Having your child surrounded by print will help to build confident readers and awareness that print has a purpose.
10. Making a Main Dish
Once your child has mastered the basic levels of assistance in the kitchen it’s time to encourage them to create a Main Dish. Look for recipes with minimal ingredients and procedures precooking. Casserole and Crock pot recipes work well for this. Then it’s off to read a chapter book while it’s cooking.
- Turkey Casserole using The Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty and Kirsten Richards
- Alphabet Vegetable Soup using Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
- Make Tacos using Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
- Bake a Pizza using The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges
Where to start?
The first author I would start with is Laura Numeroff! Cupcakes, Cookies, Pancakes and Muffins are all pretty basic items to make with your kids and even come in boxes forms so you can focus more on following directions.
Need more inspiration for Cooking with Kids in the Kitchen?
BONUS! We share ideas we find on our Cooking with Kids Pinterest Boards by The Educators’ Spin On It
Plus we have a few other favorite Pinterest Boards for Cooking with Kids we’d like to share with you to follow!
- Cooking with Kids a Collaborative Board hosted by Rainy Day Mum
- Cooking with Kids by I Can Teach My Child
- Cooking with Kids Fun by Fun a Day
- Homeschool: Cooking with Kids by House of Burke
- Inner Child Food
- Kids in the Kitchen by Nuture Store
There you have it, My Top 10 Ways to Cook with Books!
Anytime during the year, they are easy to use too but now you have more than 10 Recipes and Books to use EACH WEEK during Summer Vacation OR for your very own Cooking Camp!
What are you going to Cook with a Book?
Want more ideas for your child to learn to cook? Try these kid friendly recipes…