I’ve been on the lookout for good cookbooks for children. My oldest granddaughter is getting to that age. With a family full of people who love to cook and eat, it will be good for her to be able to hold her own. I find most children love to experiment with food. Even the youngest ones love stirring a bowl of something gooey.
I know some people think of cookbooks as a resource for listing recipes. But the best ones are those I can actually “read.” I wanted my children and grandchildren to grow up “reading” cookbooks too.
So, one day while sitting at a nice table in the juvenile non-fiction section of the library, I spotted a whole shelf full of cookbooks for children. I grabbed a few that appealed to me in the hope they might appeal to children as well.
The Boxcar Children Cookbook by Diane Blain
Back when I was in grade school this was one of my favorite books. It fired my imagination to think that these children, my age, could find shelter, earn money and cook for themselves without any grown-ups around. It seemed quite the adventure.
The Boxcar Children Cookbook sticks to the basic premise of the stories, using simple and each to read instructions. The author doesn’t talk down to children nor try to make it cute. The best part, for me, was at the beginning of each recipe. There is a quote from the book in which this food item was mentioned. (There were numerous books in the series.)
For each recipe there is a numbered list of What to Use and a list of What To Do. Very simple. The recipes range from beverages to main dishes to cookies, cakes and other desserts. This is basic food, nothing exotic. Just what you’d expect the Boxcar Children to eat. The cookbook should appeal to children age 8 and up.
I encountered a serendipity in this little book. I found a recipe I had lost. Years ago I would mix up my own hot chocolate mix. I liked it because it was low on sugar but still tasted great, especially on camping trips. And then I found it in this book. Here’s my shortened version:
Hot Chocolate Mix
- 2 cups non-fat dry milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 cup sugar
Save this mix in an air-tight container. To make one cup of hot chocolate:
- Put 1/3 cup of mix in a mug
- Add boiling water (about 1 cup)
Stir until everything is dissolved. Extra good if you can add one marshmallow.
Along the same lines as the Boxcar Children Cookbook is this one for those who love the Little House series. Pioneer, country cooking is a natural part of the story lines of these books. The Little House Cookbook includes the recipes for various dishes mentioned in the series.
This is more than recipes. It’s part history, especially concerning the preparation of food in the pioneer kitchen. I iked the chapters featuring where the food came from. For instance, one chapter is Foods from the Woods, Wilds, and Waters. Others are Foods from the Tilled Fields, Foods from the Garden and Orchard, and Foods from the Barnyard.
This is an excellent resource for children studying this time period as well as for those of us, whatever age, who love the Little House books and DVDs. This book is suitable for children 9 or 10 and older.
I found two more books I liked a lot but I’ll save them for another time. This post is getting too long as it is. I hope these books will be helpful, especially if you have young children you are trying to convince that good food and good books can go together.
I borrowed these books from the library but I gave you links to Amazon just in case you want to know more. I am an Amazon Associate.
Talking about food is a regular feature on my blog and others as well. Visit Beth Fish Reads for other bloggers who are participating in Weekend Cooking.