Eco-Conscious Gen Alpha: 6 Vegan-Friendly Cookbooks for Kids Ideal for Veganuary
6 Mins Read
Veganuary is on the horizon – and if you’re looking for ways to incorporate more plant-based food into your kids’ diet, all the while honing their culinary interests and skills, here are six of the best vegan-friendly cookbooks for children.
Gen Z is well-known as the demographic that cares about the planet more than any other generation – and they’re passing this on to Generation Alpha, who are set to be the largest age demographic group in history.
We speak of safeguarding the planet for future generations – irrespective of the fact that we need to do it for ourselves now too, today’s kids are part of those demographics that will see the worst of climate change. But they’re already taking action – a survey conducted by McCrindle revealed that 80% of parents have been influenced by their Gen Alpha children to change their consumption behaviours or actions to be more eco-conscious.
Among the best things you can do as an individual to help the planet is change your eating habits – this means less meat, less dairy and more plants, more alternative sources of protein. With Veganuary fast approaching, it’s a good time to gift your kids a plant-based cookbook to develop their culinary skills in a way that doesn’t hurt the planet. Plus, it’s a great way to get children to diversify their protein intake, and get them involved in your own Veganuary journey too (or help them along theirs).
Here are some of the best vegan cookbooks for kids.
The Vegan Cookbook for Kids
By Barb Musick
Pretty self-explanatory when it comes to the name, The Vegan Cookbook for Kids: Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Young Chefs is a recipe book perfect for children aged eight to 12. It features 50 easy-to-follow recipes with easy-to-find ingredients, alongside information about plant-based ingredients, essential kitchen tools, and safety guidelines.
The recipes traverse multiple cuisines and flavours, all replete with colourful imagery that would inspire kids to show off their culinary chops (pun unintended). These include a meatless shepherd’s pie (using beans), Korean BBQ bowls, spicy peanut noodles, cinnamon swirl pancakes and veggie-forward pizza.
The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids
By Ruby Roth
Published in 2016, Ruby Roth’s The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids has a long tagline that explains it all: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth. This is a very fun cookbook, with 60 vegan recipes complemented with photo collage illustrations, animal characters, and did-you-know facts.
Facilitated by playful imagery and fonts, kids aged six to 12 can begin using this cookbook this Veganuary with recipes like Tiger Stripes seaweed salad, Tomato Tornado soup, Blaze a Trail nut mixes, Puff Love mochi two ways, and Quinoa ‘Round the World.
Kid Chef Vegan
By Barb Musick
A follow-up to Musick’s 2020 cookbook, Kid Chef Vegan is billed as The Foodie Kid’s Vegan Cookbook. Also for children aged eight to 12, this book offers a culinary crash course – like measuring accurately, mixing properly, slicing like a pro and setting up the workspace – and helps incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their repertoire.
The cookbook contains substitutions to cater to allergies too, imparting a crucial piece of knowledge to be ingrained from a young age. As for the recipes, they range from breaded no-chicken nuggets and a sloppy joe casserole to a Great Big Tofu Salad and peanut butter-coconut cookies.
Plant-Based Cooking for Kids
By Faith Ralphs
Published last year, Plant-Based Cooking for Kids: A Plant-Based Family Cookbook with Over 70 Whole-Food, Plant-Based Recipes for Kids contains something for people on all dietary spectrums: whether you’re already fully vegan, have just started out, or are a flexitarian looking to eat less meat and dairy (or perhaps partaking in Veganuary).
The book is filled with colourful photos that help visualise the end dish for kids, alongside an initial section with tips on plant-based eating, substitutions, conversions, and even ideas to get children to cook more. Recipes include creative toasts, homemade boxed mac and cheese mix, carrot cake breakfast cookies and chickpea nuggets.
By Dreena Burton
Another cookbook adopting the whole-foods plant-based approach, Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes by veteran cookbook author Dreena Burton features dishes that promote healthful eating and family-friendly cooking. With more than 100 recipes spanning from breakfast and lunch to desserts and snacks, it acts as a reference for parents raising vegan children, or families looking to transition towards a plant-based diet, making it ideal for Veganuary.
Meant for “every age and stage – from toddler to teen years” – the Plant-Powered Families features tips to please picky eaters, make DIY staples, deal with challenging social solutions, and pack school lunches, with recipes tested by Burton’s three children alongside nutritionist-approved references to allay dietary concerns. There’s a broad range of dishes for kids to try making here, including vegan cinnamon french toast, sneaky chickpea burgers, soy-free vegan feta, vanilla bean chocolate chip cookies and creamy fettuccine.
You can buy Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes by Dreena Burton online via Amazon.
Bonus: Green Kids Cook
By Jenny Chandler
We’ve listed this as a bonus because this isn’t a fully vegan cookbook – more a vegetarian one – but it is a book that aims to do better by the climate with planet-friendly recipes as well as techniques to cut food waste. Green Kids Cook: Simple, Delicious Recipes & Top Tips: Good for You, Good for the Planet spotlights over 60 classic family recipes with a focus on healthy eating.
The premise is: the best way for kids to eat more vegetables is by letting them cook with them, and have fun while doing so. Apart from a more eco-friendly diet, the book presents ways to ditch plastic and cut waste – for example, there are guides like the one for beeswax wraps, as well as recipes such as vegetarian black bean quesadillas, homemade granola, vegetable peel crisps, and green pea and coconut recipes. All come with photographs showing children making the dishes, instilling a sense of confidence in the reader.