School’s out – it’s time to get kids in the kitchen. By creating a dish, junior chefs gain confidence in this important life skill, get practice with everything from following directions to working with fractions and might be open to new tastes and ingredients. 

Here are a couple of ideas for getting started:

“20 Recipes Kids Should Know” (Esme Washburn and Calista Washburn, Prestel Books) is a great primer for multi-step recipes that can take children from elementary school to college and beyond. This book has a bit of everything – classic breakfast dishes, an easy vegan soup, chocolate cake (from scratch!) and even homemade bread. Though beginners and younger children will definitely need adult help with these dishes, beautiful photos and deliberately thorough steps should both motivate kids to give them a try and help ensure success. Perhaps the best part of this cookbook? The authors are sisters ages 12 and 17. Esme Washburn, age 12, wrote the recipes and text, while Calista Washburn, age 17, supplied the colorful photos. 

Harlow’s Harvest is a new subscription box that gets kids cooking. Each monthly box includes recipe cards, a science project, background on the dish and an online game connected to that month’s theme. Recipes are simple but thorough, with picture and word lists for ingredients and tools, as well as step-by-step instructions. The idea for the box was conceptualized by an 8-year old girl named Harlow Tyrner who worked with her mom, Ashley, to create it. Purchase options include a monthly membership ($23 per month), a 6-month subscription ($21 per month with a free apron) or 1-year monthly box subscription ($19 per month with a free apron). Learn more at

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