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Kids' Kitchen: 40 fun and healthy recipes to make and share

By Fiona Bird
Barefoot Books

2067 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

This absolutely delightful cookbook for young chefs is sure to delight! The recipes are written on colorful 5"x7" laminated cards that come in a durable storage box. When the child selects a recipe, simply put the recipe card on the counter, and it can be wiped during clean-up. Most recipes are simple enough for a four- or five-year-old to manage with some assistance. Even our one-year-old enjoyed getting involved along the way. The recipe cards also have bright eye-catching illustrations.

I like the fact that the recipe cards and storage box are brightly colored but don't seem feminine. This may encourage the boys in your family to take up cooking too. This was especially helpful for our son, who has recently decided that pink is for girls. He took an immediate interest in the colorful recipe box and participated eagerly in the prep work. Our daughter was able to read the recipes and direct us in the kitchen, which added to the fun!

The recipes are broken into clever color-coded food groups: eggs 'n' bacon, fantastic fruits, milk 'n' dairy, spuds 'n' grains, and vital vegetables. An enclosed fold-up card educates kids about the value of eating foods from all these categories, explains the need for vitamins and minerals, and includes a section on kitchen safety. In addition, every recipe card reminds kids to wash up before they start and to have an adult in the kitchen while cooking.

The French toast shaped with cookie cutters was a huge hit! The apple volcanoes with marshmallow "lava" were also spectacular and fun to make and eat. Surprisingly, the recipes are quite nutritious and easy to make. There are also lots of unusual dishes, like Indian paneer made from scratch and homemade soda bread! If your child works his way through all of these recipes, he won't ever think a recipe is too difficult to tackle in the future!

This product would make a wonderful gift for a young chef whose parents aren't afraid to get a little flour on the floor now and then.

Product review by Karen Yuen, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, July 2010

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