Marica at Keeping the Castle (a blog full of homemaking tips and ideas) has some recommendations for cookbooks designed for children who want to join in and help. Her suggestions are Emeril’s There’s a Chef in My Soup! (aff), the Kid’s Cookbook (aff) and the Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook (aff).

I haven’t seen any of these books (though the Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook looks good), so these comments aren’t aimed at these three, but I find that cookbooks designed for children tend to make cakes shaped like hedgehogs, or pizza with a smiley face, rather than real food. I haven’t yet seen a cookery book designed for a vegetarian coeliac chef who happens to be under 12. (Hey, gap in the market! Note to self: must go and write book …).

As previously mentioned, all my children like to cook, whether coeliac or not. The book my coeliac daughter most often chooses to cook from is Totally Flour-Free Baking(aff), by Dinah Alison. This book avoids the use of flour (gluten free or not) by using ground almonds. I find that this makes everything taste very similar and rather sweet, but my daughter loves the recipes, and I’ve taken to buying ground almonds in bulk. The recipe book is aimed at adults, and is very clearly written. In addition, Dinah has included a photo of the finished dish for every recipe. This, in my view, is a very important element of a recipe book. In our house at least, if there’s no picture of what you’ll end up with, the chances are the recipe won’t be chosen.

In our very popular books, the pictures are covered in sticky guck. That’s a good recommendation too …