Creating a family cookbook can be a fun and healthy way for families to spend time together while learning healthier eating habits. It’s also a great way to pass down family history to children and grandchildren.

Decide on a theme

    • A theme could be holiday recipes or ethnic favorites. Your cookbook could also be a general collection of recipes organized into main dishes, vegetables, salads, soups and desserts.

Collect the recipes

    • Ask your family members for recipes. Make sure to collect enough information to be able to use the recipe successfully.
    • Information should include:
      • Name of recipe
      • Name of person contributing it
      • A brief description of where it came from, why it’s special
      • List of ingredients, including quantities
      • Cooking directions, with temperature
      • Number of people it serves
      • Any special advice: What’s the secret to baking the casserole without burning the bottom or how to tell when a roast is ready to be cut?

Choose pictures

    • Your child can draw on pages to be added into the cookbook, or you could add family photos.

Prepare the recipes

    • Make it a family project by having your child help read over the recipes. You can then make photocopies of recipes or type them into a computer and print them.

Write a short introduction

    • Maybe it’s a letter to your children and family about what the recipes mean to you. Or, ask your children what the family recipes mean to them.

Ask someone else to proofread.

    • Sometimes they’ll catch mistakes you don’t see!


    • There are many different ways to assemble your cookbook. A three-ring binder works well because you can add or edit recipes in the future.

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