Want to liven up lunches? Rustle up delicious dinners? Or, serve satisfying snacks that will ward off hunger pangs for at least another hour? Then read on.. as preparing and serving healthy meals for all the family is something we all aim for – and, it’s often a lack of inspiration thats holds us back. Not any more. With even just one of these ‘kitchen bibles’ you can produce meals that everyone will enjoy even with only just a moments notice.
When you’re pulled in a million different directions, you can please the whole family with food that is both wholesome and speedy by, checking out our edit of the best Family Cookbooks you should have on your kitchen shelf…
The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David
A practical, inspirational, fun (and, of course, green) guide to the most important hour in any families day – mealtimes. Author David believes everything we worry about as parents – from drugs to alcohol, promiscuity, to obesity, academic achievement and just good old nutrition – can really be improved by the simple act of eating and talking together around the table. With over 75 kid approved recipes this brilliant book also features tips on teaching green values; conversation starters; games to play to help even the shyest family member become engaged; ways to express gratitude; the family dinner after divorce (hint: keep eating together) and much more. Filled with moving memories and advice from the country’s experts and teachers, this book will get everyone away from electronic screens and back to the dinner table. Amen to that.
IDEAL FOR: Those who want to bring back to joy of eating together as a family.
Annabel’s Family Cookbook by Annabel Karmel
From one of the bestselling children’s cookery writers, mum of 3 and the often dubbed ‘Queen of Wean’ – this time Karmel has written a book for all the family. She understand the busy demands of a modern family and that most mealtimes often result in parents making one meal for the kids and then another for them. Not anymore with this no-fuss recipe book filled with fast meals for busy weeknights (which take no more than 30 minutes to prep and cook), everyday dishes (to liven up those stuck-in-a rut days), ideas for lunch boxes, snack and light meals (all with easy to find ingredients) and even prep-ahead recipes (and stored away in the fridge or freezer) for days when time is of the essence. A must for every family. Where would be all be without Annabel’s recipes?
IDEAL FOR: Those who followed, loved and lived by Annabel’s weaning books and like her simple style of cooking.
In the Mood for Quick Family Food: Simple, Fast and Delicious Recipes for Every Family by Jo Pratt
We are bigs fans of Pratt’s simple, easy to follow and delicious recipes and this family cookbook is one of her best. Split into three parts ‘Monday to Friday Survival’, ‘The Busy Weekend’ and ‘Cling On To Your Social Life’, Jo’s tips, techniques and recipes have been devised to make life easier, with shortened preparation and cooking times and frankly brilliant plan-ahead tips. This is the perfect companion for the busy family who wants to live and eat deliciously well.
IDEAL FOR: Those who want to prepare fast and fun meals that everyone will enjoy
Little Green Kitchen: Simple vegetarian family recipes by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
Our favourite family vegetarian cookbook Little Green Kitchen is filled with more than 60 delicious family recipes, with`upgrade’ options for adults (top with a poached egg, add a spicy sauce, stir through extra herbs, swap in quinoa), tips on how to include the children in the preparations and methods to get them more interested in food and best of all most taking under 30 minutes to prepare. David and Luise have raised three kids while writing their acclaimed vegetarian cookbooks and in this book share their passion for cooking fun, modern, wholesome meals with kids’ palates in mind. All of the dishes are veggie-packed, colorful, kid-friendly and simple – and you can’t say better than that. Why not try the Dino Burgers, Pasta Drop Soup and Golden Dip with veggies?
IDEAL FOR: Those who want to eat more vegetables or vegetarians/vegans looking for inspiration.
The Big Book of Organic Toddler Food: A Quick and Easy Cookbook to Feed the Whole Family by Stephanie Middleberg
Drawing on her her nutritional expertise as a certified nutritionist and founder of Middleberg Nutrition, author Stephanie has written the ultimate guide to nourishing your little one with delicious organic foods without a meltdown! This recipe bible includes 125+ simple, healthy recipes (that will appeal equally to your toddler and all other family members, saving you time and money), an overview of toddlerhood (including signs of readiness for toddler-specific foods, food allergen and safety guidance, bottle weaning and milk introduction, baby tableware buying guidance, and more) and organic food fundamentals (that cover food labels, pantry prep, seasonal eating, and convenience food guidance).
IDEAL FOR: Those who have smaller children in the house
Ella’s Kitchen: The Easy Family Cookbook – The Orange One
Put those pouches down and use the cookbook instead! Another in a series of cookbooks from Ella’s Kitchen comes The Orange One. Jam packed with more than 100 easy-to-make and delicious family recipes that bring everyone together to share in life’s food adventures, organized by mealtime, each recipe has been carefully developed to ensure that it’s perfectly balanced and lip-smackingly tasty for little ones and grown-ups alike.
IDEAL FOR: Those who want to bring back to joy cooking, eating and family time.
Feeding the Future – Clean Eating for Children & Families by Tali Shine and Lohralee Astor
While clean eating is increasingly popular among adults, it’s children who are the most vulnerable to additives and nasty toxins such as sugar, found in unhealthy, processed, and fast food. So, this glossy lifestyle, cookbook will be a breath of fresh air to any mealtime – using ingredients in their most natural ‘clean’ state you can say goodbye to gluten, wheat germ, refined sugar, and genetically modified oils. Filled with inspiring, surprising easy to make recipes that all children aged two to teen will love. This book is the perfect tool for health-conscious and time-poor parents.
IDEAL FOR: Those who want to set their offspring off on a clean eating path.
Missoni Family Cookbook by Francesco Maccapani Missoni
Possibly the most glamorous family cookbooks ever – and, a wonderfully chic addition to any cookbook library. In true Italian style this book is full of well-guarded family recipes from Francesco (son of fashion designer Angela Missoni) parents and grandparents. Beyond the glitz and glamour of the family known so well through fashion this book brings the Missoni culinary traditions to life for todays home cook.
IDEAL FOR: Those who want love traditional family recipes – and of course some added glamour.
The Little Dish Family Cookbook: 101 Family-Friendly Recipes to Make and Enjoy with Your Kids by Hillary Graves
Little Dish are known for its pre-prepared children’s meals that parents can serve up quickly knowing they are both healthy and delicious. But, that doesn’t mean a recipe book from them is to be dismissed. This ‘proper food for kids’ cookbook is filled with over 100 tried-and-tested recipes from the Little Dish kitchens.We love that every recipe includes a special role for little helpers, so your children will be able to practise their budding kitchen skills as well as a ‘Skills Chart’, which children can use to track their progress in the kitchen where Little chefs receive a certificate, medal and apron when they reach important culinary milestones. (see book for details).
IDEAL FOR: Those who want nonsense, simple home cooked meals.
The Five O’Clock Apron: Proper Food for Modern Families by Claire Thomson
Faced with the daily challenge of what to cook for her three young children, chef and mum Claire Thomson made it her mission to inspire parents stuck in a teatime rut. Every day she makes a ‘proper’ tea, tweeting it at 5pm – from that her blog ‘5 O’clock Apron’ was born and a popular Guardian column on cooking for children followed. And, then what we were all waiting for – the book. Aiming to inspire other parents and invigorate the concept of family cookery Claire’s fresh, exciting meals are versatile and flavourful enough to please everyone around the table, encouraging parents to view food differently, to refresh their culinary imaginations and find real joy in cooking for their children. More than a cookbook its a unique insight into thinking about how to shop, cook, eat and what really makes food appealing for children and families. Follow this recipe for Chicken roasted with Grapes from Claire’s second cook book New Kitchen Basics.
IDEAL FOR: Those who have many mouths to feed and have run out of ideas.
The Baby Friendly Family Cookbook by Aileen Cox Blundell
Aileen Cox Blunde is a mother of three and the creative force behind the popular Baby-Led Feeding blog – in her first family cookbook she has created over 150 fuss-free recipes that everyone in the house will love – from the smallest to the biggest and including weaning babies. With step-by-step instructions on combatting fussy eating and introducing healthier options to mealtimes, this will fast become your go-to recipe binder.
IDEAL FOR: Those who are moving on from baby-led weaning.
Lizzie Loves Healthy Family Food: Naturally gluten- and sugar-free meals you’ll all enjoy by Lizzie King
From nutritional health coach and mum of three Lizzie King, all 100+ recipes in this cookbook are quick-to-make, delicious, bursting with flavour and all the vitamins and minerals you and your children need to stay, well, healthy. As well as all being free from refined sugar and gluten, Lizzie has ensured every meal is instead packed with as much good stuff as possible. With an eye on cutting down prep time and making one meal work for everyone, Lizzie’s invaluable ten-step guide to cracking fussy eaters, nutritional information on what children need when and why, and a handy shopping list for your store cupboard staples. This is the cookbook that every every health-conscious parent needs in their life.
IDEAL FOR: Those who want to kick start a more healthy lifestyle – and quickly.
The Good Stuff: Delicious recipes and tips for happier and healthier children by Lucinda Miller
Another greta cook book for busy parents this time from top child nutrition expert and founder of NatureDoc Lucinda Miller. The Good Stuff aims to wean your children off ready-made convenience foods and have them positively looking forward to healthy family meals. With recipes to suit all ages, from toddlers to teenagers, including lots of simple lunchbox and snack ideas, plus menu planners and clever swaps for the main food allergens – you’ll see them lose their sugar cravings, sleep better, build a stronger immune system and enjoy a new sense of focus, balance and calm. Oh, yes please.
IDEAL FOR: Those who want to create a positive relationship with food that will have huge benefits in later life.