6 cookbooks that every parent should own

Fresh and Easy cookbookLove it or hate it, if you’re a parent, you’ve got to feed your kids. Whether you already cook nightly or…not so much, but want to cook more, these, six of my staple cookbooks, provide just the inspiration you need to get food on the table with a minimum of stress.

Jane Hornby makes cooking simple dishes using fresh ingredients easy. Like super easy.
Think you’re not the kind to throw together Grilled Asparagus with
Poached Egg? You might be if you own this book. Every recipe is illustrated
with clear step-by-step color photographs that show ingredients and
illustrate each step of the recipe. Which, by the way, is as useful to
expert cooks as it is to novice ones. Plus, the photos make this book
especially pretty to look at. 

At the Farmers' Market with Kids cookbook

At the Farmer’s Market with Kids by Leslie Jonath and Ethel Brennan

more you expose your children to the variety and deliciousness of fresh,
seasonal vegetables, the more likely they are to get them in their mouths. So I say
hit the farmer’s market with this book as your guide. Once you pick out
what looks good to the kiddo, Leslie and Ethel’s recipes will help you both
learn more about your fresh selections and figure out something
delicious to make with them. There are age-specific tips too, to help
you engage even younger kids in the process.

Katie Workman Mom 100 cookbook

The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman

Katie wrote this book, she set out to put together 100 of the most
essential family recipes so that parents would have them in one
convenient place. Picky eaters? Rushed weekday breakfasts? Last-minute
entertaining? Katie’s got it covered. Her recipes make homemade cooking
easy under any circumstance. This book is a lifesaver. And forgive her, all ye dads who take care of the cooking at home. If you can get past the title, we imagine you’ll like it too.

The Homemade Pantry cookbook

book was inspired by one family’s tight budget and their mission to
kick a packaged food habit. In her debut book, Alana Chernila shows that
with a little determination, you can make nearly anything you can
buy–even in a messy, hectic family kitchen. Making pantry staples from
scratch may sound extreme, but the beauty of this book is that Alana
focuses on simple staples and approachable recipes. A realist, Alana
makes thoughtful decisions about what you can make at home to eat
healthier and save dinero. Who can argue with that?

Parents Need to Eat Too cookbook

Parents Need to Eat Too by Debbie Koenig

book is perfect for all new parents or, really, any parents still
feeling overwhelmed trying to get healthy meals on the table. (All of us?) With more than
150 recipes–including “un-recipes” for parents who can’t cook at all–advice from experts like a pediatric nutritionist, and tips on
everything from how to eat while breastfeeding to cooking during nap
time, this book is an essential resource for a new generation of

SOS! The Six o' Clock Scramble to the Rescue

I’m not the only cool mom who loves Aviva Goldfarb’s sanity saving cookbooks. There were Cool Mom raves for Aviva’s first book, The Six O’Clock Scramble and also for SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue, my personal favorite. With her latest, Aviva gives us more than 300 recipes that can each be made in under 30 minutes with 10 ingredients or fewer, making green cooking a cinch. Which is good since we parents already have a few things on our plates that have nothing to do with food. -Stacie

All these books are available from your local book store, or our affiliate Amazon.

Do you have a family-friendly cookbook that’s saved you?


Stacie Billis is a popular food blogger known for focus on nutrition and organics, and her non-judgy approach that does not preclude Nutella.


  • Reply May 20, 2012

    debbie koenig

    Thanks so much for including me in this amazing group! And you even managed to find a book or two I don’t already own–so double thanks for that. Any excuse to buy a new cookbook ;)

  • Reply May 21, 2012

    Brette Sember

    I’ll be bold and mention that I have a book that is also perfect for this list: The Muffin Tin Cookbook published last month by Adams Media. 200 recipes (apps, entrees, sides, veggies, breads and of course dessert) all made in muffin tins. Kids have been preprogrammed to think anything made in a muffin tin is delicious, so they are willing to try lots of new foods cooked this way!

  • Reply May 21, 2012

    Aviva Goldfarb

    Thank you so much for including my latest cookbook on this list! I am so flattered and can’t wait to check out the other books you recommend. You guys are the coolest!

  • Reply May 23, 2012

    Tina Engberg

    You missed “The Naptime Chef” by Kelsey Banfield. It’s a fantastic family oriented cookbook which takes each recipe and breaks it down into steps and gives you an accurate idea of how long it will take to prepare. I just made a recipe tonight that didn’t have that written in, and it took an extra 30 minutes to get dinner on the table.

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