New Year, New Cookbooks

Hey y’all. Here I am, hopefully, finally, emerging from the new baby fog. Now that kid #2 is six months old, it’s probably time to start figuring out how to fit in non-diaper/milk/laundry aspects of life again. So here we are, with an attempt to bring this blog back out of the darkness.

I’ve talked before about how we try to involve Simon in food prep and other kitchen work both as practical life skill development, but also as a way to get him to eat things (if he’s involved in cooking the food, it’s less mysterious and scary, there’s a sense of pride of accomplishment, etc). Since the child genuinely needs nothing, but has enthusiastic family and friends who want to give him things come holidays, one of the things we suggested was cookbooks or other cooking tools to encourage his involvement in the kitchen. We got three worth mention:

Forest Feast for Kids

This book wins in the beautiful layout and simple recipe categories. The food is colorful and interesting, while still using limited ingredients and uncomplicated prep. There are not a ton of recipes in here, and a lot are sort of in the side dish or snack category (rather than a real meal), but we’ve found it engaging, and the food tasty.

Vegetarian Food for Healthy Kids

We’re not vegetarians ourselves, but try to go meat-free at least a few days a week. For non-practiced vegetarians, this cookbook is chock full of tasty-looking, interesting meal ideas. Some are more ingredient-heavy and technically involved than in the Forest Feast  book, but there are more actual meals, too. While most of the recipes aren’t things Simon would be able to execute without a lot of assistance, there’s always at least one aspect he can do himself or help with, plus a lot of pictures so he can choose (and get excited about) whatever looks good to him. The book is also organized by meal-type, and includes sections for “weekday” and “weekend” dinners, which is a plus for meal planning. And bonus, there’s a dessert section.

Gardening with Children

https://www.amazon.com/Gardening-Children-Guides-Greener-Planet/dp/1889538787/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1546619030&sr=1-2&keywords=gardening+with+children 

This is not a cookbook. Does not contain a single recipe, actually. However, part of our “get these kids to eat a dang vegetable” strategy is to also involve them in a bit of (light, simple) gardening. This book is loaded with garden and outdoor-related activities for kids and has something for everyone, regardless of space or gardening ability. We’ll definitely be doing some of these activities over the next few months and will report back on any particularly successful (or not successful) ones.

What are some of your favorite (maybe food related?) holiday gifts for kids? You know, the ones that aren’t loud or huge or distracting or plastic (I can hear our family asking “what’s left?” all the way from here).

Sarah Blackburn (Simon, Vanessa’s Primary)

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