[review + recipe] The Little Big Cookbook for Moms by Alice Wong and Natasha Tabori Fried

You know the old saying, “Good things come in small packages?”

Check out The Little Big Cookbook for Moms (Welcome Books, 2012)! This chunky, 6-1/2″x 6-1/2″ charmer is chock full of good ideas for busy young moms wishing to make delicious, healthy meals for their kids with the least amount of fuss. In addition to 250 nutritious recipes (Breakfast, Soups and Sandwiches, Snacks and Small Bites, Dinners, Veggies and Sides, Desserts), there’s oodles of practical advice and dozens of cool vintage illustrations, making this a perfect baby shower or new mom gift.

The 20+ page introduction sets the stage for the delectable cooking adventures to come. There’s advice about general nutrition, choosing whole and organic foods, stocking the pantry, food safety and storage, herbs and spices, making homemade baby food, food allergies, and the Top 10 Ways to Get Your Child to Eat Better. 

The authors have included their own family favorites as well as kid-friendly classics (Broiled Salmon, Chicken with Garlic and Shallots, Vegetable Lasagna, Sloppy Joes, Southwestern Chicken Tacos, Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Fingers). As busy moms themselves, they appreciate one-pot meals and the accommodating slow cooker, and like to think in terms of making ahead and freezing on the weekends, as well as creatively using up leftovers. They know that a well-stocked pantry is a godsend for those days when they need to get something quick and nutritious on the table without giving it a second thought.

I was happy to see a lot of veggie recipes and an emphasis on trying to expose kids to a wider variety of foods. If they are given the opportunity to taste things like baba ganoush, vegetarian brown rice sushi, shrimp curry, quinoa with fennel and pine nuts, or Chinese greens with oyster sauce, they will grow up to become more adventurous eaters — even moreso if when old enough they are encouraged to help Mom in the kitchen.

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friday feast: what’s in the garden? by marianne berkes and cris arbo

What could be better than a book brimming with delicious rhyming verse?

A book of taste-tempting riddle poems with gorgeous art, yummy recipes, food for thought, and gardening tips, of course!

In What’s in the Garden? (Dawn Publications, 2013), Marianne Berkes and Cris Arbo celebrate the joys of growing and eating twelve familiar fruits and veggies with a cast of adorable, happily-engaged multiethnic kids.

This delightfully fun, interactive feast is served up in a clever format: children are asked to guess which fruit or vegetable is described in each of the catchy four-line poems, then turn the page for the answer, where they’ll find an easy recipe featuring the produce to stimulate their appetites.

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guest post: shelley rotner and sheila m. kelly on yummy!

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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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tasting the abc’s of fruits and vegetables and beyond by steve charney and david goldbeck

#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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