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Archive for the ‘nonfiction monday’ Category

Hungry?

Let’s check the weather report to see what’s on today’s menu.

I hope we’re not getting any hamburger storms or pea soup fog. I wouldn’t mind a little drizzle of orange juice, followed by a few low clouds of sunny-side up eggs with lightly browned pieces of toast drifting in from the east. If you see any cream cheese and jelly sandwiches out your way, don’t eat too many or you’ll get a tummy ache.

I twirled my spaghetti with glee when I learned that my favorite meatball maven Judi Barrett had published a brand new cookbook containing some of Grandpa’s favorite recipes. Now, you and any nibble-happy munchkins hanging out at your house can create your very own culinary weather!

As you know, the original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs book starts out with Grandpa flipping pancakes on Saturday morning. So it’s only right that the first recipe in the cookbook should be for these very same pancakes, which taste just as good any day of the week, any time of day. Flipping them onto someone’s head, however, is entirely up to you.

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Recently, Mr. Cornelius and I finally made one of the recipes from the Park Sisters’ new cookbook, Allergies, Away!: Creative Eats and Mouthwatering Treats for Kids Allergic to Nuts, Dairy, and Eggs (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013).

We wanted to whet your appetite for their upcoming visit next month and share a few details about their mouthwatering, kid-friendly collection of 70+ recipes — dishes your entire family can enjoy making and eating, whether they have food allergies or not.

Credit: Teddy Wolff/WP Express

If you remember when Frances and Ginger stopped by to tell us about their beautifully written, heartfelt memoir (Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could, 2011), you know that they own Washington, D.C.’s, premier chocolate boutique. Imagine how disheartening it must have been when they discovered that Ginger’s one-year-old son, Justin, had severe food allergies, making it too risky for him to even visit their shop!

When Ginger was pregnant, everyone assumed her child would be the proverbial “kid in a candy store.” Though Justin had to stay far away from chocolate covered peanuts, he did grow up eating a nice variety of tasty, nutritious meals and snacks, thanks to the conscientious, resourceful efforts of his mother and aunt.

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Miao! Who’s that peeking through the cauliflower leaves?

Meet Molly, a homeless orange tabby who wanders into a small community farm one Spring day and instantly captures everyone’s hearts.

Based on a true story, Molly’s Organic Farm (Dawn Publications, 2012), introduces young readers to the seasonal workings of an organic farm through Molly’s eyes. Curious and mischievous, she explores this wondrous world of giant cornstalks and row upon row of leafy vegetables, watching, hunting, and playing among the busy birds, bugs and critters who live there, some beneficial to the plants, others harmful.

The basic principles of organic farming and the marvelous interplay of nature are seamlessly interwoven with Molly’s activities, all gorgeously brought to life with Trina Hunner’s stunning illustrations. We learn about composting, companion planting, crop rotation, beneficial bugs and animal helpers, the importance of buying locally and the wonderful sense of community that’s established among those who share an interest in growing and eating healthy foods in a way that is gentle on the environment.

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How do you get kids involved in making healthy food choices that will set them on the right track for the rest of their lives?

Feasting on Yummy!: Good Food Makes Me Strong by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly (Holiday House, 2013), is a good place to start. :)

This gorgeous photo essay features an adorable, diverse group of kids reveling in the pleasures of growing, preparing and eating healthful foods. They’re shown in a variety of everyday settings (kitchen, playground, grocery store, garden) stirring oatmeal, pouring milk, devouring fruits, sandwiches, pizza, yogurt, and soup (!), picking fresh veggies, assembling tacos and green salads, making fruit shakes and freezer pops, even reading package labels in the supermarket. Just look at those happy, eager faces on the cover — who wouldn’t want to eat exactly what they’re eating?

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Of course since it’s actually parents and caregivers who buy and cook the food, Shelley and Sheila have also included helpful tips for them, all in accordance with the new USDA MyPlate Guidelines. Additional photos showing kids engaged in active play illustrates the importance of daily exercise along with a healthy diet, reinforcing the overall theme of “Good Food Makes Me Strong!”

I’m happy to welcome Shelley and Sheila, who are here today to tell us about how they created Yummy! You’ll be inspired to share this delectable book and eat some feel-good food with your favorite munchkin(s) very soon!

Note: Because of copyright restrictions, the photos used in this post are close facsimiles rather than actual photos from Yummy!.

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#46 in on ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.

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Food + ABCs together in one book — what could be better?

Steve Charney and David Goldbeck serve up a fun and delectable two course meal sure to satisfy a variety of appetites in The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond (Ceres Press, 2007). This alphabet book with extended activities contains just the right ingredients to feed hungry minds and hopefully get kids excited about incorporating more fruits and veggies in their diet.

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In Part One, (the first “course”), Charney presents a chewy, crunchy, giggle-inducing platter of rhyming alphabet poems (E is for Eggplant, K is for Kiwi, W is for Watermelon). Each page turn showcases one letter/one fruit/one veggie with a photo set against a bold-colored background on one side, and the illustrated poem on the other.

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The focus is on familiar, kid-friendly produce as well as the more elusive Jicama, Quince, Ugli®, and Xemenia (a wild yellow plum from Africa). Food-related extras like Vanilla, Herbs, Farmer, and Organic round out the menu.  Littlest munchkins will enjoy the lively, comical poems and poring over the cartoony illustrations, perhaps not realizing they are consuming lots of ‘good-for-you’ facts at the same time.

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