Because teaching kids to cook isn't the same as teaching grown-ups, cookbooks have always used a different approach in getting children to learn how to prepare food: they get them into the kitchen with pictures of cute, fun-to-make desserts. Flickr user Charm and Poise has compiled vintage kid-food images from Jell-O and Betty Crocker promotional cook-booklets and other cookbooks for kids. While most of us don't exactly want our kids learning how to make dishes from prepackaged food, you gotta admit, at least the result is adorable. Here are just a few of our favorite pictures from kids' cookbooks; some with recipes, and some with magic tricks.
10. Fun to Cook Book (1971)
This 47-page introduction to cooking published by Carnation Company uses a smiling little girl on the cover to get young women out of the sandbox and into the kitchen.
9. Arrow Book of Easy Cooking (Let's Cook Without Cooking) (1967)
Siberian-born home-ec expert Esther Rudomin Hautzig's first book, Let's Cook without Cooking, lists 55 recipes that do not require a stove.
8. Betty Crocker's Cakes Kids Love (1976)
This brand-name, 24-page advertising booklet from Betty Crocker features a panda on its cover that appears to have homemade Ding Dongs for paws.
7. Birthday Cakes For Kids (1986)
In the words of the book's author Miriam B. Loo: “Planning a child's birthday celebration can be as exciting for you as for your child. To make the occasion unique, I've created this collection of cakes that anyone can make and decorate with ease. No special equipment is needed.” The simple diagrams and photographs show exactly how to produce each finished cake. Before starting make sure you have all the ingredients close at hand. Some of the cakes include: Rainbow balloon cake, Circus carousel cake, Critter cupcakes and more.”
6. Apricot Silly Face, Amazing Magical Jell-O Desserts (1977)
This amazing magical Jell-O dessert calls for chocolate chips and a cookie-and-marshmallow top hat.
5. Monster cake, Birthday Cakes For Kids (1986)
A green coconut monster with marshmallow antennae, cookie eyes, malt-ball pupils and candy corn teeth. Scary!
4. Butterfly cake, Birthday Cakes For Kids (1986)
A butterfly with a Sno Ball body garnished with pastel marshmallows: less scary, but still strange.
3. Clown cake, Birthday Cakes For Kids (1986)
More peppermint candies and gumdrops, but also Oreos and ice-cream cones garnish this hysterical work of cake-art.
2. Hot Rod cake, Birthday Cakes For Kids (1986)
This Hot Rod Cake calls for jimmies, gumdrops, and peppermint candies for a custom car cake.
1. Amazing Magical Jell-O Desserts (1977)
Not only does this Jell-O promotional cookbook for kids feature “72 gelatin & pudding recipes your kids will enjoy,” but it includes magic trips from Marvello the Great too. Presto!