• Judy

Oct.2, 2022: Reading Cookbooks

I was recently having a discussion with some of my 4th grade students. We were discussing books and genres and sharing our favorite genres to read. There were quite a few who loved fantasy, some science fiction fans, a couple historical fiction readers, some biography and nonfiction enthusiasts, and some who preferred contemporary fiction. Then a student shared that her favorite books to read were cookbooks.


Several students jumped in with questions and comments.

Did you read them while cooking? That is more using them as a reference than reading them.

Is it the pictures you like?

Are cookbooks even a genre?


This student is my soul-mate! Yes, I read cookbooks as well. As a matter of fact, on my TBR (to-be-read) pile right now are two cookbooks. One is a seasonal themed cookbook, and the other is a location-themed cookbook. While I read cookbooks to get ideas for entertaining, expand my repertoire of dishes, learn about other places, and to become inspired, reading cookbooks with children can have some unforeseen benefits as well.



Benefits of reading Cookbooks with kids:


- The text is not overwhelming. This is especially critical for beginning or struggling readers. The text is usually in short paragraphs and list, which is less intimidating and easier to decode for even the youngest readers.

- They are exposed to great vocabulary. Talking about what sauté, or room-temperature mean can help to build up their word and concept base.

- It builds on their math and science skills. Discussing fractions, measurements, and even the scientific difference between roasting and frying, can be super fun and a real-life connection to some academic concepts.

- Helps them to understand what is in what they eat. Therefore, increases their understanding of good nutrition, and hopefully helps strengthen healthy eating habits.

- Helps them gain an appreciation for fresh ingredients. Who knows, this may spark an interest in growing their own herbs or vegetables.

- Provides support and opportunity for them to actually get in the kitchen and start cooking! Whether it turns into a passion or a pastime, cooking is a life skill that all children need to learn.


So pull out those cookbooks to read with the kiddos!




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