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Food Themes in Children’s Books What's Cooking?
Katja Leccisi, MS, RDN, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
Photo: Janet Fotheringham 


My mother has given me many gifts. Two of them are a love of reading and an appreciation for good, homemade, simple food.


Alanna Beckwith

I have fond memories of time spent in the kitchen with my mom, especially baking bread and cookies. I also remember cooking with my grandmother, learning how to make her special cakes. This family time in the kitchen is definitely one of the reasons I chose nutritionist as my profession.

When I became a mom, my daughter was welcomed into the kitchen from a very early age. As a toddler, she would stand on a stool at the sink, happily washing vegetables. As she grew, she learned how to cut out and decorate cookies, knead her own little loaf of bread, and even bake a cake. Many years later, I became stepmom to two more little ones and cooking together was a way to bond with them. My daughter is living on her own now, and although she calls me occasionally with cooking questions, she manages her kitchen very well, and I love it when she cooks dinner for me when I visit.


Hannah Powlison Belković, Zagreb, Croatia

I also read to my daughter every day, and I still read aloud to my step kids, although they have outgrown most picture books. Of course, books that have food themes often found their way into our selection. They were fun to read as stories, and often inspired us to create and explore together in the kitchen.

These are my tried and true favorite read-aloud books for children.

Liam Hatch, Verona, WI, USA

Liam Hatch, Verona, WI, USA

Here also are some fabulous cookbooks to use with your children. The first two are great for little ones, with illustrations. The other two are a great place for older children to go a little deeper, either with you, or on their own.


Bob Rhys-Davies

And finally, these are my newest favorite books for family-centered food. They contain tips for organizing the way you shop, cook, and eat, and are filled with beautiful recipes to cook, on your own or with your children of all ages.

Bon appetit!

Share your list of favorite books with us, or send us some pictures of your kids in the kitchen!

How-to-feed-your-kids-front-coverKatja Leccisi, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian-nutritionist in both Canada and the United States. She has more than 20 years’ experience working with families and educators in clinical, community, and workshop settings in both countries. Her first book is How to Feed Your Kids. Katja is the mother of a young adult daughter, and the stepmother of two younger children. She lives in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, where she enjoys yoga, meditation, music, gardening, cooking, and a very active outdoor life all year-round.

Editor’s note: After reading this post, I could remember so many! Here are a few of my favorites: Pass The Jam Jim by Kaye Umansky, War and Peas by Michael Foreman, Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells, Making Minestrone by Stella Blackstone, The Magic Porridge Pot and The Little Red Hen (traditional folk tales), A Birthday Cake for Little Bear by Max Velthuijs, and The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway.

Please share your favorites in the comments box below or by email to

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