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Cooking with Kids

March 26, 2019

There are a lot of little ways you as a parent or caregiver can help prepare your child for Kindergarten. One of these ways is to cook with your child.

From fixing a simple snack to helping cook a special dish for a family dinner, children can learn about or improve the following while cooking:

  • Math skills like measurement
  • New foods
  • The five senses
  • Following directions
  • Fine motor skills and hand eye coordination
  • Cooking skills to use later in life
  • New vocabulary words

Working together in the kitchen is also a great time for family bonding. Check out these three fun cookbooks for preschoolers.

This book has lots of great photos with numbered step-by-step directions. With recipes like “Little Pita Pizzas” and “Corn Quesadillas” kids will find mostly familiar foods. With only 19 recipes, half of which are savory and half of which are sweeter, this isn’t a hefty book but it’s a great one to borrow from the library and explore at home with your little one!

Divided into “This Is the Way We Make Our Brunch”, “This Is the Way We Make Our Lunch”, (you get the idea, right?) Treats, and Sweets, each recipe is accompanied by a sometimes loosely related nursery rhyme. For example, “Little Boy Blue” is a recipe for Blueberry Haystack Muffins. The recipe begins with a list of ingredients and then instructions are interspersed within the rhyme (see below). I would definitely share the rhyme a couple of times with your child in its entirety—because it’s broken up by the instructions—and then delve into the recipe. The cute illustrations will definitely be an eye catcher for your little ones!

This book is a sure winner if you have a little princess or a Disney Princess fan at home! Each spread includes an ingredients list, step-by-step instructions and a photo of each recipe, and a different princess illustration on each page. Published in 2013, the book includes princesses from Snow White to Merida and has a good mix of recipes that includes healthier options. At the very back you can find ready-made menus like Ariel’s Seaside Picnic, including the recipes for "Pasta Shell Salad," "Under the Sea Sand-Dollar Crackers," and "Sweet Sea-Foam Smoothie." These menus would be perfect for parties!

We obviously think this is an important topic because we've written about it before. Check out Dara's post from 2016 about improving your child's pre-literacy skills in the kitchen!


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Miss Terri has worked at three different branches of Nashville Public Library since 2002. She's currently the head of the Children's Department at the Green Hills Branch Library. When she isn’t working, she is usually hanging out with her dog Boo. Isn’t he cute?