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Friday, November 25, 2011

Kids' Fun & Healthy COOKBOOK, written by Nicola Graimes and photography by Howard Shooter. DK. 2007. $13.99 ages 8 and up

"Turkey is a versatile meat that contains an array of valuable nutrients, including iron, zinc, and selenium. It is a good source of B vitamins which are essential for the body's processing of foods. Turkey is also high in protein and low in fat, making it one of the healthiest meats of all."

Take that, turkey! The 'Turkey Burger' was the first page I marked as I read through this new-to-me cookbook for kids. Who knew that Nicola Graimes was touting the benefits of healthy eating four years ago? Isn't it a new 'rage'???

I am always interested in cookbooks that will encourage children to try their hand at cooking up supper for the family. Learning to cook will stand them in good stead for the future, and it makes a big difference when everyone can help with daily meals. The fact that the recipes in this cookbook are fun to make, and healthy, really ups the appeal for me. Now, I wish I had kids young enough to be here helping me decide what might make a delicious meal today!

I am forever singing the praises of the books that come from DK Publishing, and deservedly so. They do a commendable job each and every time. They fill their books with information, stunning photography and easy-to-follow instructions when it comes to a child trying a hand at something new.

In this cookbook, the information begins by giving its readers needed notes about being safe and clean in the kitchen. Moving on, the author introduces the basic food groups to her readers and explains why each plays an important role in maintaining good health and getting the nutrients needed for a strong body.

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the recipes begin with what constitutes a good start for everyone:

"Foods high in carbohydrates, such as cereals and breads, are ideal breakfast foods because they are broken down into glucose which fuels your brain. Protein foods such as yogurt, milk, eggs, sausages, bacon and beans are important, too. They control the growth and development of the body, and boost alertness."

Some suggestions are made on that first double page spread. Further ideas include smoothies, fruit and nut bars, eggs, and breakfast tortillas. The full color photographs will have mouths watering before the first step to 'banana pancakes' is even attempted.

The author then moves on to light meals, main meals, desserts and baking. Each recipe boasts a list of ingredients to be used, the equipment needed to get started, a step-by-step method for creating said recipe and facts about the meal being made. The photos clearly show the readers how to go about the work at hand. Try the 'mixed bean burritos' - onion, beans, tomatoes, tortillas, cheese and guacamole - what's not to like?

A detailed glossary and an index add to the appeal. Who said good food couldn't be 'good' for us?

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