If you ever cook with or for children, chances are you’ve noticed that many recipe books aimed at kids and families are of the smiley face sandwich or hiding spinach in mac’n’cheese variety. While there’s certainly a place for fun kid food (Star Wars Pancakes anyone?), if you eat a diverse diet and love ethnic food there’s no reason you can’t share those worldly flavors with smaller diners. So we thought we’d round up our favorite cookbooks for children and families that are world inspired, or just inspired – enjoy!
- The Gastrokid Cookbook
Written by a two fathers – one of whom is a Bon Appetit editor, this is one of our very favorite books on family cooking. With 10 Gastrokid Rules, including “Don’t cook down to your kids” and “Never call a child a picky eater”, this is a fascinating must read for any parent.
- The River Cottage Family Cookbook
A refreshingly real cookbook full of easy recipes, and engaging projects including growing tomatoes, making your own sausages, sourdough bread, butter and even marshmallows. We love the fact that this book is child-friendly without being condescending, and the photography is earthy and wonderful.
- Jamie’s Dinners: The Essential Family Cookbook
The lively chef and crusader for healthy school meals, serves up a collection of quick, healthy yet elegant dishes with a little British flair. Preview some of the recipes here.
- Tyler Florence: Family Meal
Chef, father and co-founder of an organic baby food company (Sprout) offers up his trademark “haute-homey” recipes for family mealtime, whose worldly origins and flavorful result often belies their simple preparation. Book will be released on October 12th, 2010, but you can download preview recipes for lamb shank(pdf), seared salmon(pdf) and chocolate tart(pdf).
- Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook
Comfort food recipes collected from Asian grandmothers in this beautiful book, inspired by blog of the same name. They also have an “Asian Ingredients 101” iPhone/iPad app which is fun to use when shopping in Chinatown!
- Food Adventures: Introducing Your Child to Flavors from Around the World
With 100 recipes from around the world, this book is a refreshing antidote to the bland baby, toddler and preschooler food offered up by so many others. Also included, a fascinating insight into what little ones are fed in countries around the world.
- Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures
Chef Rick Bayless and daughter Lanie cook their way across the world, in this charming father daughter cookbook that mixes the perfect blend of food, travel and family.
COOKBOOKS FOR COSMOPOLITAN KIDS
- The Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes
Children’s version of the Italian classic.
- Handstand Kids Cooking Kits
Mexican, Chinese, Italian – we love that these books teach children a little of the language as they learn the cuisine.
- Kids in the Kitchen Series
Books on African, Greek, Caribbean, Indian cuisine and more.
- The Multicultural Cookbook for Students
Includes recipes from 150 different countries!
- The Kids’ Multicultural Cookbook
Recipes, customs and games help children learn about other countries in this fun cookbook.
- Around the World Cookbook
Less detailed than other books – food is grouped by region instead of country – but colorful and engaging with lots of interesting facts.
- Kids Around the World Cook: The Best Foods and Recipes from Many Lands
Fun recipes and facts on foods from Ethiopia, Egypt and closer to home (e.g. learn the origins of the ice-cream soda).
- Fun with Asian Food
A gentle introduction to Asian food – 14 Asian recipes (with some maybe a little Americanized), arranged by difficulty.
- The International Cookbook for Kids and The 2nd International Cookbook for Kids
Good for younger kids, ages 4+.
- Get Cooking: Mollie Katzen
A wonderfully written cookbook, good for older kids 12+ who are learning to cook, or parents who are new to the kitchen!
- Kawaii Bento
For adults, but fun to read with your kids.
FAST AND FABULOUS ETHNIC COOKBOOKS
- Vij’s At Home
This follow-up to the award-winning Vij’s cookbook, focuses on quick and flavorful Indian food. If you’re ever in Vancouver, BC we highly recommend a visit to Vij’s restaurant.
- Simply Ming
An “East meets West” cookbook with lots of make-ahead components like spice rubs and sauces, so you can prepare dinner quickly on weeknights. This book is not so novice friendly as others, but a joy if you love to cook.
- Jacques Pepin: Fast Food My Way
From the PBS show of the same name, the legendary Jacques Pepin’s book of fast, simple food includes speedy versions of classic French dishes, like Thirty-Minute Cassoulet and Bouillabaisse. Sample recipes from accompanying TV show available here.
- The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook
With the tagline “Fast, Fresh, Simple”, this book eschews the Asian-fusion trend and stays true to the cuisine of each country (China, Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand). The book is written by Jaden Hair, of the wonderful Steamy Kitchen blog, which is a treasure trove of even more fast Asian recipes.
- Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day
There’s nothing like the smell of baking bread, and it’s fun to make too. This book offers up speedy versions of favorite ethnic breads ranging from baguettes and brioche to pita, babka and limpa.
- Lidia’s Family Table
Another companion to a PBS series, this book shares the homey Italian recipes that the author prepares for her large family, accompanied by some invaluable and well illustrated advice on technique.
- Hungry Monkey
Our favorite book on raising adventurous eaters! Check out the first three chapters for free(pdf).
- My Two Year Old Eats Octopus
Don’t let the braggy-sounding title put you off – this is another great book on broadening the edible horizons of your little ones.
Stay tuned for more, in our roundup of Blogs and Apps for adventurous families…
Do you have a favorite cookbook, blog or app for cooking with kids? Which ones did we miss? Leave us a comment and share it with the whole HipTravelMama family!