Most of the time, a cookbook for kids, or for cooking for kids, is a watered-down version of something else.
Most ‘cooking for kids’ books I’ve owned are just terrible. They’re often filled with sugary, colorful garbage that isn’t nutritious. Or worse, are so set on being nutritious, that they lack flavor.
No kid these days is fooled by broccoli trees and ranch ponds. Let’s face it. Kids are small people, with unique needs and wants. They want flavor, you want flexibility. You can have it all!
You don’t have time to weed through thousands of cookbooks to find ones that fit your needs.
Now, you don’t have to. We’ve narrowed down the immense selection of kid focused cookbooks to 12, and (drumroll, please!) here they are!
Table of Contents
Recipe and Meal Inspiration for the Whole Family
- 'But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!' by Kristy Turner
- 'Forks Over Knives Family' by Alona Pulde
- 'Easy. Whole. Vegan.' by Melissa King
- 'Vegan Lunch Box' by Jennifer McCann
- 'The Plantiful Table' by Andrea Duclos
- 'How to Eat a Rainbow' by Ellie & Sabrina Bedford
- 'Mayim's Vegan Table' by Mayim Bialik
- 'Plant-Powered Families' by Dreena Burton
- 'The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids' by Ruby Roth
- 'Gluten-Free & Vegan for the Whole Family' by Jennifer Katzinger
- 'Vegan Cookbook' by Vesela Tabakova
- 'The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur' by Kelly Peloza
- Wrapping Up
Recipe and Meal Inspiration for the Whole Family
‘But My Family Would Never Eat Vegan!’ by Kristy Turner
Kristy Turner ate her words, “I could never eat vegan!” and turned them into her own personal challenge. The result is two beautiful cookbooks and a gorgeous blog, “Keepin’ It Kind.”
Her desire is to “make the world a kinder place, one delicious meal at a time.” This is an aspiration that hits deep within my mama soul. Her recipes entice and please even the pickiest palate.
Her latest cookbook promises “125 recipes to win EVERYONE over” and she delivers.
Focusing on easy to follow recipes that appeal to all members of the family. Yes, that includes the “must-have-meat-at-every-meal” relative we all have. Kristy creates plant-based upgrades for all your favorites.
There is something for everyone in this cookbook. I especially love that the recipes use little to no oil, and whole food ingredients. So not only are the recipes delicious, they are nutritious too!
Some of my fam’s faves are:
- Vanilla French Toast with Strawberry Sauce
- Jackfruit Crabless Cakes
- Beer-marinated Portobello Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa
- Vegan Gingerbread Cookies
As a busy mom, I found myself enjoying this as more than a mere cookbook. Kristy has a charismatic voice throughout that feels like a personal cheerleader. It’s fun to read, fun to look at, and best of all, fun to eat!
‘Forks Over Knives Family’ by Alona Pulde
Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD have made names for themselves with the revolutionary Forks Over Knives brand. From the visionary documentary to the myriad publications – FOK is synonymous with the Whole Foods Plant-Based lifestyle.
Forks Over Knives Family focuses on the youngest members of your fam. It aims to help you tackle all the roadblocks common to this transition. It’s more than an average cookbook. It’s also a comprehensive guidebook to growing a plant-based family from birth.
This cookbook boasts a variety of crowd-pleasing recipes. Some are quick and easy, others more complex. The variety gives your family opportunities to try new and exciting flavors, as well as familiar comforts.
With sections like “meat and potatoes” you’ll have no problems finding the recipes to suit your family’s tastes. Before you know it, you’ll be venturing into more exotic flavors and textures!
Some of our favorites from this book are:
- Chickpeazella Sticks
- Thai Vegetable Soup
- Spiced Sweet Potato Tacos
- Orange ‘n Berry Ice Pops
You’ll find yourself referencing this book for more than the amazing recipes. It also gives sound advice in regards to nutrition and health. Forks Over Knives is backed by medical studies and nutritional science.
It’s a great place to start if you you’ve got questioning relatives. Is this diet healthy for kids? Are they getting enough protein? Vitamins? Calcium? What about allergies? What about taste? Does plant-based food TASTE good? Absolutely, yes! Dig in!
‘Easy. Whole. Vegan.’ by Melissa King
Melissa King is the backbone of the blog “My Whole Food Life” and author of two cookbooks. She is the devoted mama of two sweet girls whom have had a difficult start in life.
Reading her cookbook is like sitting down with a close friend over coffee. With the help of this cookbook, you may be able to find time to do that again.
“100 Flavor-Packed, No-Stress Recipes for Busy Families.” Does this sound like something you need? Me too. Melissa sets up her cookbook in easy-to-reference sections. You can find what you need without wasting your precious time.
Easy. This section focuses on slow cooker meals. Or, as I like to call them, sanity savers.
Make Ahead. In this section, you’ll find wonderful dishes you can prepare with your kiddos and refrigerate for later.
Entertain. Got potluck? My worst nightmare. Don’t fret. Melissa is here to save the day with these crowd-pleasing plates.
Pick-Me-Ups. Juices and smoothies for yummy snacks, anytime.
There are so many delightful recipes in this book, it was hard to choose favorites. But here goes:
- Cinnamon Roll Muffins
- Veggie Enchilada Soup
- Southwestern Quinoa Casserole
- Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
Melissa also shares her tried and true tips for saving money and for dealing with picky eaters. We can all use a little help there!
This cookbook delivers what it promises and will fast become a favorite for you and your entire fam!
‘Vegan Lunch Box’ by Jennifer McCann
Jennifer McCann is the author of two cookbooks and a blog, all with the same concept, The Vegan Lunch Box. Her recipes focus on what I consider one of the most difficult meals to deliver. Lunch.
I’m a homeschooling mom, so lunch boxes have never been a thing in our home. But the thought of them gives me anxiety, to be honest. Lunch is always a slowly revolving door of boring and bland and fend-for-yourself.
Never fear! Vegan Lunch Box is here – “130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches.” And not just for kids! Rejoice! Your kid will be eatin’ good in the neighborhood, and the other moms will be begging for your secrets.
I love the way this cookbook plans out menus according to your individual needs. There are quick and easy menus (for when you woke up late, or spaced on making lunch), special occasion menus, adventure menus.
So many ways to make lunch fun, delicious, and nutritious. Whether your kids are at home, or on-the-go, lunch will never be boring again!
Some ideas we couldn’t get enough of:
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
- Almond Sweet Potatoes
- Heart Beet Salad
- Autumn Leaf Pies
Jennifer’s Vegan Lunch Box makes me yearn for a cute Bento box and to take my kiddos out on more picnics!
With this book, we have more fun picking out lunches together and trying new things. It’s a great tool to gently ease your family into a plant-based lifestyle.
‘The Plantiful Table’ by Andrea Duclos
Andrea “Drea” Duclos is the inspirational mama behind the elegant and honest blog, “ohdeardrea.com”. It is filled from cover to cover with poignant photos, personal experiences, and, of course, amazing recipes.
I love how Drea advises that her book isn’t necessarily “for kids” because she doesn’t think “kids need separate meals.” This rings so true! As a mom, your time is already spread so thin!
You don’t have time to make 3 complicated meals a day, much less 6! Give yourself a break! Read this book, mama!
There are over 125 tasty creations on these pages, categorized in a simple, organic fashion. From “Things on Toast” (I love it!) to “Sweet Treats.”
Prepare exotic new flavors to stimulate your family’s sense of adventure, or keep it real with foods you know they already love. It’s easy to do both, and often within the same meal, with Drea’s recipes.
With all these scrumptious dishes, it was difficult to narrow down a few to rave about!
- Tropical Waffles
- Indian Mango Pizza
- Mushroom Pot Stickers
- Warm Berry Galettes
This cookbook is beautiful. Drea’s voice is patient, gentle, and engaging. You can hear her whispering encouragement in your ear, as though she is sitting at your kitchen table.
See her sipping chamomile and smiling through the chaos whirling around you? You can feel her presence and her passion on every page. Breathe. You’ve got this.
‘How to Eat a Rainbow’ by Ellie & Sabrina Bedford
Ellie and Sabrina Bedford created something really special with this raw vegan cookbook. Ellie is a home-schooling mama of two, and creator of Ellie’s Recipes on Facebook.
She is also the writer of this delightfully illustrated cookbook. Sabrina is Ellie’s sister-in-law. She is the masterful illustrator of this unique and charming book.
I’ve never seen a cookbook quite like this. Part picture book, part guidebook for raw eating, part cookbook. All delightful. Eating raw vegan has always been something I want to do more of, but it seems so daunting. Not so at all, and the Bedford’s will help you see the light.
I know what you’re thinking. There is no way my kids will eat raw veggies. Ellie shows you how to make raw foods more prominent in your child’s (and your own, darnit) daily life. Not by hiding them, but by making them the main focus.
“Children need to see what these foods look like and to hear them being celebrated,” says Ellie. Simple dips and veggies to dip them in is an easy way to get your child to eat their veggies, without fuss or meltdown.
Try these magical munchies:
- Jewelled Chia Seed Pudding
- Garden Guacamole
- Ancient Pinewood Pesto
- Peppermint Cream Clouds
Okay, but… no buts. The adorable fairies that grace the pages in this book won’t allow for that!
The main key to success is getting your kiddos involved in the kitchen. Let them choose what they want to make from this book, and then, gasp!
Let them help you make it, or better yet, make it themselves. When kids are part of the process, they are more likely to try new things.
‘Mayim’s Vegan Table’ by Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik is best known as the spunky teen on the 90’s sitcom, “Blossom” or, more recently, the quirky Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory.”
What you may not know is that Mayim holds a PhD in neuroscience and is somewhat of a gentle parenting expert.
In Mayim’s Vegan Table, Mayim teams up with pediatrician Jay Gordon. Together, they address nutrition, debunk myths, and offer tips and strategies for both at home, and on the go.
The result is both parenting guide and cookbook. An all-in-one resource for your plant-based family.
Some unique and delightful dishes you’ll find in Mayim’s Vegan Table:
- Raisin Apricot Super Energy Bars
- Israeli Salad
- Zucchini Pie
The recipes you’ll find within this book range from simple and familiar to traditional in the Jewish culture.
I appreciate Mayim’s cultural approach to food as well. Let’s face it. Food is a deep part of our connection with our family, with our friends, with our community.
So, when you decide to switch to a plant-based way of living, it’s a pretty big deal.
Mayim and Jay give you ways to discuss this with your relatives and loved ones, and then make them food to knock their socks off.
‘Plant-Powered Families’ by Dreena Burton
Dreena Burton is a 20-year vegan, author of 5 cookbooks, and contributor to multiple acclaimed websites. She is a strong advocate of “vegan basics” and creating irresistible recipes.
She creates delectable meals using no processed ingredients. This may sound impossible, but she knows what she is doing.
Processed foods have shown to have negative impacts on our bodies, especially for children. Dreena shows you how to make the food your family craves, without all the junk they don’t need.
One of the things I loved most about this book, besides the super healthy, but super yummy food, is the pictures!
My favorite cookbooks are chock full of pictures. I love to look at food pictures, and having them in a cookbook makes it easy to ask my kids, “Hey, you guys want to eat this tonight?” This book makes picking a new meal easy peasy.
If you’re looking to work your new plant-based lifestyle and rock it, this is the book for you. We loved:
- Almond Zen Granola
- Pumpkincredible Hummus
- Umami Sun-dried Tomato and Almond Burgers
- Nut Free “Frosted Brawnies”
This book is a practical guide to plant-based eating crossed with a pictorial of scrumptious food. It’s everything you need to make the transition easy. It’s everything you need to keep going when you’re in a rut. It’s everything.
‘The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids’ by Ruby Roth
Ruby Roth is an artist, designer, activist, author, and illustrator of vegan books for children. Her children’s books are sweet, but serious; invoking activism in today’s (often) disconnected kids.
I adore this book. It’s written for children, but it’s not simplistic or silly. Ruby speaks to the childlike wonder of the world and gives kids the tools they need to protect it.
Her focus is animals, and how kids can protect them, by not eating them.
So often, we, as parents and adults, have a tendency to dismiss the ideas and passions of our children.
Not because they aren’t important, but because we’ve lost that innate connection to the world around us. Children are born connected, and it’s up to us to encourage them to remain so.
My kids, though they are tweens, loved this book. It’s the perfect introductory to the kitchen, with a dose of animal welfare on top.
- Chapati 3 Ways
- Tiger Stripe Salad
- Tomato Tornado Soup
- Blaze a Trail Trail mix
This book encourages children to speak, and adults to listen, all through the cooking and eating. It’s powerfully precious.
‘Gluten-Free & Vegan for the Whole Family’ by Jennifer Katzinger
Jennifer Katzinger opened The Flying Apron Bakery in 2002. There, she created baked goods for everybody – free from common allergens (dairy, egg, gluten, and soy). With its success, she branched out into cookbooks.
There are over 90 recipes in this book, and they are all gluten-free! Throw away all your preconceptions that eating gluten-free is bland or boring.
My fam doesn’t have any food allergies (we are very fortunate in that regard). But we have friends and family that do. We like to make things everyone can enjoy, without singling anyone out.
Try these for your gluten-free friends!
- Avocado Chocolate Frappe
- Soba Noodle Summer Rolls
- Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms on Polenta Rounds
- Cashew Butter Shortbread
Jennifer is a master at providing tantalizing dishes that meet your dietary needs. This is proof positive that eating gluten-free and plant-based is doable. Not only is it doable, it’s delicious! Be prepared to exceed your expectations!
‘Vegan Cookbook’ by Vesela Tabakova
Vesela Tabakova is a prolific author of cookbooks. A simple search of her name will bring up dozens of books that she has penned, and not only about food.
She writes about healthful living in every aspect, though she often focuses on food. She lives in Bulgaria with her family of six!
These recipes are “ridiculously easy” and come together quick. Most of the them have less than 10 ingredients, and fewer than 4 steps.
You can find most of the ingredients in your grocer’s produce section or the local farmer’s market. This cookbook is essential for harvest time.
Vesela’s recipes have been handed down through generations. Families have been scarfing down this food for more years than you’ve been alive. Now it’s your turn.
- Avocado and Olive Paste on Toasted Rye Bread
- Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
- Moroccan Lentil Soup
- Granny’s Vegan Cake
This collection of 101 recipes is a life-saver. With these in your repertoire, you won’t have to spend your entire day in the kitchen.
You can go outside! Breathe the fresh air! Contemplate how to expand your garden (and learn how to actually grow food!). It’ll be great!
Kelly Peloza is the author of two books about vegan sweets and the blog “Seitan Beats Your Meat.”
This cookbook was actually published when Kelly was in high school! If that isn’t inspiration for your kids, I don’t know what is.
You won’t find a bunch of specialty ingredients in these recipes, either.
You can whip up a batch of yumminess without trekking to half a dozen different stores for ingredients. In fact, you probably have everything you need already in your pantry.
There is no better way to make memories in the kitchen than with cookies. Some of my favorite times as a kid were at the holidays, when my mom and I would whip up endless batches of cookies to give away as gifts.
I was the official taste tester and I was very good at my job. Of course, those cookies were not plant-based, but Kelly has upgraded many of my childhood favorites in this cookbook. Her versions taste even better than my memories!
- Eggnog Cookies
- Glazed Rum Raisin Cookies
- PB&J Thumbprints
- Soft Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
This wonderful book is made even better with gorgeous pictures of every cookie! Plus, it’s super inexpensive.
It would make a great gift, whether you’re baking cookies from it, or giving the whole book. This cookbook is essential for everyone with taste buds!
Whew! That’s a lot of cookbooks for kids! Reading all of these has made me want to step up my skills and get back in the kitchen; or send my kids in there to whip up something for lunch!
With these books for inspiration and guidance, cooking can truly become a family affair
Don’t be afraid to try something new; cooking is an adventure within the comfort of your own home.
So, tie some aprons on your kiddos and get in the kitchen, there are morsels and memories to make!