Raising sous: 5 of the best food books for kids

Food books can help kids learn lessons beyond the kitchen, says our food critic. Find out what Christine Carroll, of @culinarykidslit on Instagram, recommends.

Photo by Mike Ramm

Christine Carroll, a scientist (neurophsycology) turned chef (French Culinary Institute grad) turned James Beard-nominated cookbook author (Come In, We’re Closed) turned executive director and founder of a nonprofit sending chefs on volunteer service trips (CulinaryCorps) is also a mom of two in Old Town Alexandria who runs an Instagram account curating the top books about food for kids.

Food-themed books, writes Carroll, are “a bridge connecting young readers with other cultures, unfamiliar traditions and new ways of life. It’s amazing to see how food-centric books trigger understanding of how we are all deeply connected. These types of books make incredible conversation starters, especially at the dinner table.”

Working on her own middle-grade fiction book, as she says, “where STEM meets sous vide,” she is deep in the culinary-kid book world. Here are her suggestions:

 

Photo by Mike Ramm

Chapter Book
The Winner Is …
By: Charise Mericle Harper
The finale in the Next Best Junior Chef series is the perfect beach read for your budding Gordon Ramsay. // Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $8

Photo by Mike Ramm

Board Book
Cook In A Book: Tacos!
By: Lotta Nieminen
An interactive series of books to get your little chefs “cooking” while you read aloud about how to make tacos, pancakes, pizza and cookies. // Phaidon, $17 

Photo by Mike Ramm

Picture Book
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
By: Jamie L.B. Deenihan
A clever, intergenerational story about turning what you think is sour, into something very sweet. // Sterling Children’s Books, $17

Photo by Mike Ramm

Middle Grade Book
A Woman’s Place: The Inventors, Rumrunners, Lawbreakers, Scientists, and Single Moms Who Changed the World with Food
By: Deepi Ahluwalia
A curated group of trailblazing women who changed the world from their kitchens. Innovators, instigators and inventors, A Woman’s Place features stalwarts like Julia Child and Leah Chase, but also unsung heroes, like Georgia Gilmore whose food helped finance the Montgomery Bus Boycott. // Little, Brown and Company, $25

Photo by Mike Ramm

Cookbook
United Tastes of America: An Atlas of Food Facts & Recipes from Every State!
By: Gabrielle Langholtz
Some food for thought for that epic summer road trip. // Phaidon, $30

This post was originally published in our August 2019 issue. To get even more food stories to your inbox, subscribe to our weekly Food newsletter.

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