CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 6 . . . .November 9, 2007
Kids' Healthy Cooking. (Original series).
Edmonton, AB: Company's Coming, 2007.
126 pp., spiral bound, $15.99.
Cookery for children-Juvenile literature.
Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.
Review by Lizanne Eastwood.
Most people in Canada are familiar with the Company's Coming line of cookbooks that are sold in most grocery and bookstores. One of their latest is a "healthy" cookbook for kids, though you won't find a single recipe with alfalfa sprouts or brewer's yeast. These recipes address health through chapters that deal with specific nutritional requirements for growing bodies.
The state of children's health in this country is a disgrace with juvenile obesity and diabetes on the rise. These health concerns are due in part to the sedentary lifestyle arising from the overuse of electronic media and a rise in the consumption of unhealthy foods such as pop and fast foods, Children need to eat better, there is no argument here. Kids' Healthy Cooking hopes to offer youngsters "a fun, personal way to look at nutrition."
The editors of Kids' Healthy Cooking surveyed kids to see what they liked to eat and then set out to make these choices healthier and easy for kids to cook themselves. The book contains over 80 recipes for breakfasts, lunches and snacks and is sprinkled with kid-friendly jokes, riddles and food-related trivia.
The layout of the book is very accessible, starting with a note to parents on how to best present the book to children, including going over the safety rules that are set out in a very logical order. A cartoon character named Cookie shows up on almost every page offering good advice about the recipes or food involved and tricks for food preparation. Cookie talks in a language that kids will relate to.
Kids' Healthy Cooking is divided into chapters relating to different body-parts and their nutritional requirements. Starting with "Build Dem Bones Calcium for your Skeleton" which includes many dairy recipes and "Pump It Up Low fat foods for your Heart" which includes fish, egg and fruit recipes. Other chapters are: "Fuel your Think Tank breakfasts and healthy fats for your Brain," "The Ins and Outs of Eating- Fibre for Your Digestion," "Go with the Flow" Iron and B Vitamins for your Blood," "The Cover Story Vitamins A and C for Your Skin and Hair" and "Go! Go! Go! Carbohydrates for Energy." Each recipe is accompanied by an alarm clock icon, representing what time of day the recipe would be good for, breakfast, lunch or snacks. Gorgeous photographs of the finished dishes accompany almost every recipe.
A measurement table can be found at the end of the book, along with a complete index of all the recipes. Measurements throughout the book are given in Conventional and Metric measure.
I tried two of the recipes in the book; Frittata Muffins and the Cheesy Apple Melt. I felt the Frittata muffins were too difficult for youngsters to make on their own, but the Cheesy Apple Melt could easily be prepared by a novice cook. I think the book could benefit from an easy-to-difficult rating for each recipe. This addition would aid children who were planning to cook something on their own.
I could see this book being used in a classroom setting, with each lesson being devoted to a different body part and its accompanying nutritional requirements. Teachers of students in Grades 4-6 should take a close look at this book and see how they might be able to incorporate it into their healthy classrooms.
As the editor says, "Kids' Healthy Cooking is all about letting kids have fun in the kitchen, learning to make healthier dishes they'll want to eat. What a great gift to give to our children!"
Lizanne Eastwood is a Community Literacy Coordinator with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, a casual library employee and a home schooling parent of two active teenagers in Grand Forks, BC.
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