It's messy, it's time-consuming, but it's fun and educational too.
Cooking with kids can be considered an art project, a lesson in
math, an adventure in "food appreciation", or all of the
above. Depending on
their ages, kids can help read recipes and organize ingredients,
mix, measure ingredients, and set the table for the grand
preschoolers can get involved with some of the steps involved in
baking cookies, tossing salads, and the like, children from ages 8
and up (with adult supervision) can participate in virtually every
stepfrom reading recipes and shopping for ingredients all the
way to the dinner table. Here are some of our choices for software
and cookbooks that really inspire kids to want to cook.
with Kids: Cookbooks
characters, "Nickelicious" stickers, and accessible
recipes add up to a great time. A Nick Cookbook: Stir Squirt
Sizzle includes fabulous, glossy, full-color pictures of food,
with whimsical cartoon characters throughout. With this truly fun
cookbook, kids can make "Fairly Odd Pancakes",
"Plankton in a Blanket" (complete with a picture of
Plankton from SpongeBob Squarepants caught in a crescent roll
along with the more traditional wrapped hot dogs!), "Bikini
Bottom Butterscotch Brownies", "Timmy's Mom's Apple
Pie", and the like.
information, or to buy Stir, Squirt, Sizzle: A Nick Cookbook
easy-to-follow recipes with some whimsical magic, and you have a
very inspiring cookbook for kids. Hocus-Pocus Magical
Cookbook features just over 50 kid-friendly recipes, each
featuring a secret ingredient. Children find out the secret
ingredient by twisting the dial on the inside front cover--"megnut"
is nutmeg, and "yelotangy" is mustard, for example. The
book comes with a magic wand and each recipe is presented as a
potion. Enchanted Eggs, for example, comes with the tag, "to
bring about adventure" and a fun chant. The book features fun
and educational sidebars that teach kids a few interesting facts
about food and suggest easy-to-duplicate experiments with food.
There's even a Peace Potion designed to "make world
peace". Fun, "doable" recipes are featured.
Although there aren't any color photos of food, the book is
magically illustrated in pretty pastels and completely inviting.
[For more information,
user reviews, or to buy:
Hocus-Pocus Magical Cookbooks
Cookbook (Williams-Sonoma) makes a great introductory cookbook for children
approximately 8 and up. This one is brimming with color
photos, tasty and tempting recipes, and well-presented
instructions. This book is especially good for showing the steps
taken to complete a recipe through photographs.
information, or to buy
The Kid's Cookbook: A Great Book for...
at its best! Although making smoothies can't officially be
classified under "cooking" with kids, smoothie-making is
certainly a creative food preparation adventure.
bananas...the staff of life? After trying out a few recipes
for Smoothies found in this book, you may just agree. Smoothies:
22 Frosty Fruit Drinks presents ingredients for some of
the most scrumptious "tropical vacations you can take
in a blender". Smoothies
are easy and deliciousideal for children just
beginning to gain confidence in the kitchen. Because good
results are not dependent on exact measurements, and ideas
for new smoothies are virtually endless, smoothies make fun
kitchen experiments for the whole family.
information, or to buy Smoothies: 22 Frosty Fruit Drinks
with Kids: Software
Kids CD-ROM by DVO is a fun and inspiring program that offers all
kinds of kid-friendly recipes, from main courses to beverages.
Children can scroll through pictures of food items organized into
categories like side dishes and sweets, choose to view
instructions for each recipe, and watch entertaining videos that
teach them some cooking lingo (like "chilling").
Some far-out recipes, like Curdled Vomit Salad and Gorilla Poop,
will certainly grab their attention! We tried a number of recipes
with fantastic results: Shepherd's Pie, Grasshopper Flip, Hot
Chocolate Mix, and yes, Gorilla Poop
(it's a no-bake chocolate dessert that tastes terrific). Children
can skip straight to the Learning section of the CD-ROM to find
out about cooking utensils and terms, or play a few
games--matching, secret recipes, and more. There are 10 printable
secret recipes to find and collect. Special menus for things like
family get-togethers and Halloween parties group recipes together
according to themes. This is a
great little software that kids enjoy. Instructions are very
clear, and although the humor in the video clips is sometimes
corny, the program is far from dry and boring. Great fun!
[For more information, or to buy:
Cook'n for Kids
with Kids: Video/DVD
the very young, Elmo's Magic Cookbook from Sesame Street is
a fun video/DVD that guest stars Emeril and introduces children to
the "magic" of cooking. Simple recipes are demonstrated,
and children are given the confidence that they can
cook, as long as there's a parent around to help them out.
[For more information,
user reviews, or to buy: Sesame Street - Elmo's Magic Cookbook
(VHS) Elmo's Magic Cookbook
(DVD) at Amazon.com]