When family life is busy it can be easy for parents to do everything to keep things running smoothly, even if that means completing tasks that their kids could competently take on. Preparing meals often falls into that category, especially when the kids are young. Yet there are many benefits to including everyone in the family in meal preparation: kids gain confidence and they may be more interested in eating the food they help prepare, while parents get the benefit of having helping hands to lighten the work. Even so, it’s often difficult for moms and dads to know exactly which tasks are age appropriate and figure out how to enlist their children’s help.
That where Anne and Freya Dinshah come in. With their cookbook, Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook, the two have authored a guide with everything from teaching kids how to make healthy snacks and meals, to teaching them how to safely use knives, the stove, oven and blender. And they even have tips on easy cleanup techniques.
Designed for children ages four through 12, the cookbook is loaded with photos of nearly 20 kid chefs completing each of the tasks outlined, so it’s easy for them to catch on even if they are not able to read. The recipes and tips are also divided into levels, one through four, with skills taught going up in difficulty as your child grows older and more competent.
In level one you’ll find simple things like mixing trail mix, ripping lettuce and making treats with fresh fruit and yogurt. Level two has kids making their own sandwiches, mincing herbs and grating foods. Level three has recipes for dishes like lentil vegetable stew, chili and pie, and level four gets a little more complicated with recipes made with the help of a blender.
It all comes together in an easy to hold book that lays flat when open on a kitchen counter. Once you and your child get familiar with it, it can easily become your go-to book when your kids are asking for a snack or when you would like a little help in the kitchen.
The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.