From the author of three other children’s books on compassion and animals, The Help Yourself Cookbook For Kids is the first cookbook by Ruby Roth, an illustrator & activist. It includes sections on lesser-known ingredients, kitchen safety, drinks, condiments, small meals, big meals, salads, desserts, and more.
The book goes from very simple (recipes), to deeper discussion topics (like health, the environment, and protecting animals) that are framed in a kid-friendly way. The design is stellar. Its mix of playful illustration, lettering, and photography is kind of unforgettable, and if I were a kid this would be my go-to cookbook purely from a design stance. (I grew up obsessed with Lisa Frank - truly my one childhood obsession - and my love of bright colors never really went away.)
While this book uses a decent amount of more specialty items for a beginner (like nutritional yeast, spirulina, goji berries) I would say that you could find all of them at any well-stocked supermarket. It really helps if you already have a familiarity with vegan ingredients, but you could also use this book as a stepping-off point for yourself as well - to incorporate more unfamiliar (but super tasty, healthy) ingredients into your diet in a positive, easy way.
And all the recipes themselves are very easy to make. Since they’re designed for kids, there are no more than a few ingredients in each recipe, and the methods only require a small amount of adult help.
This book the perfect way to start kids in the kitchen. It really looks like a storybook, and reads like one in a subtle way throughout. By flipping through this with your kid, you can get them interested in food, and easily get them involved in cooking. Some of my favorite childhood memories were cooking dinner with my dad from start to finish, or baking with my mom, and feeling such a deep satisfaction with what i just did. The food always tastes better and impacts you more when you make it yourself, and I think it’s so important to share that. This book makes it really easy to do so in a really fun way, even from a young age.
WHO THIS BOOK IS FOR
for kids who love fresh food, and vegan adults who want to get their kids more involved in food/cooking or want to make food more fun for picky eaters
THE BEST PART
it’s SO fun to flip through, to read, and to make the food inside
- moonbeam tea
- puff love mochi
- edible fireworks
- pink couscous
- no-bake chocoballs