Tis the season for gift giving. When we give a gift to the kids in our lives, we want it to be something that they will use and learn from. So this year, we rounded up cookbooks and books related to cooking and eating that we love. Here are a list of 10 that we think make great gifts this year. Did we miss any of your favorites? Email us at [email protected] and let us know. Of course, we also think great gift ideas are a subscription to ChopChop or the ChopChop Cookbook.
A few years ago, we invited Grover to cook with us at the White House in our Spring 2012 issue. We loved cooking with him and also love the other “celebrity chefs” in the Sesame Street cookbook like Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird. Children ages 2 to 5 will recognize some of their favorite Sesame Street characters in Let’s Cook! Parents and young chefs will enjoy these healthy recipes, steps, and nutrition tips to help make healthy eating and cooking fun.
2. The Turnip by Jan Brett (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2015)
From beloved author and illustrator Jan Brett comes this fiction book about a family of badgers and their animal friends who work together to pull up a giant turnip. It’s a fun book about food and friendship for younger readers. Plus it includes a recipe for one of our favorite vegetables.
3. Eat Your Science Homework (Charlesbridge, 2014)
We always say that one can use cooking to learn about science, math, English, history, language, and more. Written for 7-10 year olds, this book connects cooking to science to explain concepts such as acids and bases, sedimentary layers (with lasagna!), and the properties of matter (with oil and vinegar). Hungry for math? Be sure to check out Eat Your Math Homework. Homework never tasted so good!
4. National Geographic Edible Science: Experiments You Can Eat (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015)
This is another fun book that connects science and cooking. National Geographic gives ideas and inspiration for sous-chef-scientists to make edible experiments. For kids 8-12 years old, this is a great gift for aspiring mad scientists and kids curious about how things react.
5. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition (Dial Books, 2009)
Michael Pollan was one of ChopChop’s Healthy Heroes last year. This book is a kid-friendly version of the best-seller Omnivore’s Dilemma. The book is great for older kids who are asking questions about where food comes from and how their eating habits affect the environment and their health.
6. Daniel Tries a New Food (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) (Simon Spotlight, 2015)
This book about popular television character Daniel Tiger discusses trying new foods and how it can sometimes be scary, but it also really fun. This is great for fans of the show who might need a little push to try new things.
Kids love to get dirty. School gardens are becoming more popular and provide a great way to teach kids about science. This is a great guide to having a garden at home and includes ways that the whole family can be involved in the growing process. Read this now and your family will be ready for planting in the spring.
8. The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids (Jossey-Bass, 1994)
Can you tell yet that we love connecting science to cooking? These food experiments help answer basic cooking questions like, “Why do onions make you cry? How does yeast make bread rise? What makes popcorn pop, whipped cream frothy, and angel food cake fluffy?” This book is perfect for kids with lots of questions who want to find out the answers through experimentation (and taste testing, of course).
9. Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up (Tricyle Press, 1994)
Mollie Katzen was one of ChopChop’s first healthy heroes. This book is for some of our youngest readers (who might not be able to read quite yet). The 20 recipes are illustrated and designed both with words and full color pictures to be preschool friendly. The book is meant to have the child be the chef and the adult be the sous-chef, which is a really fun way to for young kids to feel important in the kitchen. The recipes stress tactile skills like mixing, counting, and assembling.
10. Dragons Love Tacos (Dial Books, 2012)
This is a fun fiction book about mystical reptiles and their alleged love of tacos (but not hot sauce!). It’s a great choice for readers in preschool to second grade. Plus, tacos are a fun food that young readers can make with their family.