Monday, May 19, 2014

Introducing Produce and Cooking to Kids

If you're a gardener, CSA shareholder, or avid farmer's market customer, your children have likely had exposure to more types of vegetables than the average American. If that's the case, this series of picture books by April Pulley Sayre will be lots of fun as your children recognize their favorites.

If you're about to venture into the world of a CSA or are contemplating making the farmer's market a regular weekly feature, then check out the books below to show your children what they might encounter. They might be less intimidated by kale, kohlrabi, or radishes if they've just chanted their way through a book on the subject! The books below are great for preschool through early elementary kids.

Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre. Beach Lane, 2011. 
This colorful picture book is exactly what the title says: a singsongy chant about vegetables is accompanied by photographs of the vegetables. Back matter provides a bit more information about the vegetables.

Go, Go, Grapes! A Fruit Chant by April Pulley Sayre. Beach Lane, 2012.
While the photography isn't quite as strong in this companion book, Go, Go, Grapes! is still a great celebration of fruit--and not just your typical apples, bananas, and oranges.

Let's Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat by April Pulley Sayre. Beach Lane, 2013.
This is a great introduction to the many seeds we eat: grains, beans/legumes, nuts. Photographs accompany the rhyming text and showcase seeds from around the world.

What if you have older children who are dying to actually cook? Then you might want to check out this new kids' cookbook:

ChopChop: The Essential Cookbook for Kids and Their Parents. Sally Sampson. Simon & Shuster, 2013.

Based on recipes from the magazine of the same name, ChopChop features very healthy recipes geared towards middle grades kids and up. Recipes are varied, and there are lots of base recipes with multiple variations given. Instructions are very clear--a big plus in a cookbook for kids. My biggest complaint is that the book is a large paperback; as any chef knows, these are hard to actually cook from because they won't stay open! I should note that I didn't actually try the recipes in this cookbook; many of them, though, look very similar to recipes I already know and love in other cookbooks. See if your local library has a copy!

My favorite kids' cookbooks for younger kids are the Pretend Soup and Salad People cookbooks by Molly Katzen.

What are YOUR favorite vegetable-related and healthy cookbooks for kids?

cover images from goodreads


Amanda said...

Just wanted to stop back by and say thanks for posting about these books! We were able to get the first 3 from our library system and my daughter (5 in July) has really been enjoying reading them! These types of books are some of my favorites for very young children and even older ones who still enjoy the rhyming, bright colors, and photograph pictures. :)

Betsy said...

So glad you enjoyed them Amanda! My kids had a lot of fun with these books, too, even though they're 7 and 8.