I'm trying to involve my 5-year old and 3-year old more in meal planning and eventually cooking. Right now, they're a bit picky (like most) and so we have a pretty limited set of maybe 5-6 dinner options.

My goal is to broaden their choices. For example, I found that when we started making pizza, my daughter, who doesn't like tomato sauce on pasta, suddenly thought it was OK.

What are good approaches to make young kids become more involved in meal planning and cooking? What is your personal experience with this?

For example, I thought that a cookbook with lots of photos and generally kid-friendly foods, that are easy for kids to help with many steps, could make them look at some photos of meals and say "oh, that looks interesting".

  • 1
    I'm guessing not this one even though it has 2k pics, and 700 illustrated techniques, lol. Nov 16, 2014 at 9:56

1 Answer 1


My Kids love "You can cook" by Annabel Karmel.

Lots of photos for all important steps, good basic advice plus introduction to nutrition and healthy eating, too, while still easy to understand for kids.
Most steps can be done (with occasional help) even by small children.

What I like most, is that the recipes are often "kid's favourites" while adding herbs or "new" veggies to introduce new tastes. Also it shows how to making things from scratch instead of store bought (bread, popcorn, pasta), which is a kind of "experiment" my kids love.

  • The question has been edited and changed quite a bit, yet your answer has not been invalidated (in my opinion). Just so you know, in case you want to have a look at it again. Jul 2, 2018 at 12:48
  • LOL, my, that’s an old post... by now, I learned enough to not answer but VTC. I should probably focus more on which principles are helpful? Thanks for the heads-up.
    – Stephie
    Jul 2, 2018 at 12:53

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