4 super books for kids and kids at heart {giveaway too}

by kath_red on 25/06/2011

in Books, Food

Thank you to Andrews McMeel Publishing for donating a copy of each of these books to giveaway to Whipup.net readers. I love being able to give stuff to my readers – as a little thank you for stopping by. So to be in the running to win ONE of these books please leave a comment telling me about what sort of things you like to cook for your kids – and what they love to cook too (or if they are too little to help what they love to eat) – I really want to know about your healthy choices not their favourite junk foods! {entries will be open over the weekend and will close Sunday night/monday am}. Winners will be contacted via email – Winners are: Jenny, Inge, Maya and Lisa.


Steampunk Softies: Scientifically-Minded Dolls from a Past That Never Was, by Sarah Skeate, Nicola Tedman. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (2011)

This incredibly detailed book – is not a kids craft book at all – its for those with a childlike heart, who love to play and experiment and have a little fun. These gorgeous characters, inspired by film and literary imagination, have been created by illustrator and character designer Sarah Skeate and costume designer and model maker Nicholas Tedman. This is not your usual DIY crafty softie toy how-to book. Its more of a guide to entertain and amuse and make these unusual and wonderful characters. They are not necessarily difficult to make – however you will need to have some sewing skills as there are not a lot of techniques explained and there is a huge materials list required. But if you are up for a challenge and you love everything steampunk, nerdy and kinda cool, then you will completely fall in love with this book.

Jurassic Towel Origami. By Alison Jenkins. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (2009)

This is a hilarious book – totally left of field for me – having never heard of towel origami before – but seems like it is a thing that people do. And Alison Jenkins is reviving it! I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this book – but my kids assure me its pretty weird – but in a good way! and off they went with towel and book in hand.

Ready, Steady, Spaghetti: Cooking For Kids And With Kids. By Lucy Broadhurst. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (2009). Originally published by Murdoch in 2007.

This book is a steal – I can’t believe its under $8 at Amazon at the moment. I don’t usually mention how much books cost – but really I was very surprised as it is a big colourful book and great value at twice the price! Most of the recipes are given a double page – with clear step-by-step photos, which are really handy so you can see what the mixture is supposed to look like along the way. The recipes don’t reinvent the wheel – rather they are a timely reminder for busy parents and budding cooks about some simple, fun and healthful recipes that can be made easily and quickly with fairly common ingredients.

There are quite a few recipes that kids can tackle on their own (depending on age) and many more where little hands can assist. There are many healthy choices for busy parents like simple stir fried vegetables and sausage pie and few others that are a bit more demanding time wise but worth a little effort if you have a little more time – like gnocci and fish cakes. This is not a health food book though – its a real food for real families book – there is a treat section and party section – and anything homemade with real ingredients is a step towards teaching kids about real food.

Bean Appetit: Hip and Healthy Ways to Have Fun with Food. By Shannon Payette Seip and Kelly Parthen. Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing (2010).

Shannon and Kelly are founders of the kids cafe and cookery school – Bean Sprouts – which looks like fun – anyone been there? This book is sort of aimed at kids – it’s bright and colourful with fun character illustrations perfect in a kiddo book. However as the kids it’s aimed at are preschool age and not likely to be reading yet (unless they are genius children), and older (7+) kids might think this book is a little cheesy (my kids did), so then if this book is really for the grownups it is a little hard to look at. Instead think of it as a book for preschool age (and younger) kids and parents to use together.

But design aside – the recipes, ideas and concepts that it discusses are really good. It is more than a cook book – it is an activity book which includes creative ways to encourage healthy eating and creates a positive attitude toward meals, making food and cooking fun, and using interesting and colourful ingredients. [Woman’s day has some sneak peaks of a few of the recipes you will find inside.]

Disclaimer: The publisher provided Whipup.net with a review copy of these books. The Amazon links are affiliate links.

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1 Jenny June 25, 2011 at 6:30 am

my 5yo daughter and i were at a baby shower last weekend and had fruit salsa for the first time! we are so excited to make this ourselves as my daughter is a very picky eater but will gobble up most fruits on the table! and i think the act of adding cin/sugar to some flour tortillas and baking them for chips will be a big hit with them!!

2 Melissa W June 25, 2011 at 8:06 am

My older kids *love* to make Vietnamese spring rolls with me. We pick mint (and cucumber when it is in season) from our garden so there is always a fight over that task and they have full control over what else goes in the roll. Actually they love putting together customised food like that as they always ask when we are having Taco night again! My husband built a learning tower a while back so I pretty much always have a small helper by my side when I am in the kitchen – sometimes it’s a bit annoying but I just take a deep breath and deal with it. :)

3 Jenny B. June 25, 2011 at 8:35 am

My 5 3/4 year old (I get in trouble if I leave off the 3/4!) daughter just made dinner for herself and her older brother for the first time and was thrilled. She smushed a slice of bread in a muffin tin (after taking the crust off). She cut up some salami to put in and topped it with shredded cheese. After learning how to crack the egg, she whisked it and put it in the muffin cup. I then baked them in the oven for her. I guess you’d call these egg nests? She made four of them and she and her brother devoured them. They were super cute!

4 Amy June 25, 2011 at 8:50 am

I have one daughter who seems to have food “issues” in that she doesn’t like many things for very long. It’s a real challenge. She does however love popovers, multigrain pancakes and smoothie pops. We keep these items in rotation to offset the dry (she refuses milk) cereal she would live off if she could.

5 Thouraya Battye June 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

My kids are still toddler age…but Amelie (3) likes to make ‘rocky cookies’ with me! A healthier alternative to biscuits – and she loves eating them too!

6 Terri June 25, 2011 at 9:03 am

I love to cook and I try to make everything we eat from scratch and I am happy to say it is rubbing off on my kids. My 15 year old loves to cook so he will research recipes and make them from scratch. His favorite is fettuccine alfredo tweaked by him. My 8 year old and 3 year old love fresh guacomole and fresh salsa. My son also makes homemade pancakes. My daughter loves to bake. Thanks for the chance to win such wonderful books. : )

7 Tricia June 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

We’ve got Ready, Steady Spaghetti and my daughter loves browsing through the gorgeous large pictures and picking something she wants to cook. It’s the only cook-book we have that she’s interested in.

I love the sound of that Bean Appetit.

Great list. Thanks for sharing.

8 shalini June 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

I’m a new visitor to your blog, and am enjoying reading your posts. My daughter is almost 14 months old now and I’m constantly trying to make some interesting food for her and not always succeeding.

9 Bonney June 25, 2011 at 9:48 am

One of the best snacks we make is with a can of chick peas. Just dump them in the blender and add whatever you want. It’s fun to chop a pepper and some onion and garlic, saute for a minute and add to the blender. Even adding leftover veggies seems to work! Add chips and VOILA!!

10 Nichole Anne June 25, 2011 at 10:14 am

My kids eat most of the stuff we make together. I find that they are more adventurous when they help in the process since they know exactly what’s in it and, in general, enjoy what they make. My kids love to make celery stick butterflies. You use the celery stick as the base and spread some peanut butter in the center. Add heart shaped pretzels along the sides to be the wings of the butterfly. Afterwards, you can add either 2 raisins or craisons for eyes.

11 Cass June 25, 2011 at 10:23 am

My 12yr old daughter loves to help with tea. She’s can make spaggetti bologense and chicken in honey mustard sauce. I am so proud of her. She loves help fetching ingredents when I’m baking.

12 Michele June 25, 2011 at 10:35 am

My daughter and I love to make homemade applesauce with our special muffin sticks for dipping. Simple and delicious! My oldest son hearts pb and banana sandwiches, but we use vanilla wafers for the bread. Our youngest son loves frosted flakes french toast – delish!! Must look for Ready, Steady, Spaghetti – sounds like a great read! xoxo michele

13 Emily Flippin Maruna June 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

One of our favorites to make – and eat! – is pumpkin bread. The recipe is super easy and its actually not too bad for you either. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-pumpkin-bread/detail.aspx We add chocolate chips to it if we’ve just got to have something chocolate-y.

14 Laura A June 25, 2011 at 11:17 am

My girls LOVE fruit, and are reasonably healthy eaters. The way we get them to be more adventurous with veggies and other new foods is t offer many samples. The muffin tin or ice cube tray loaded with various healthy choices and a “you must pick two” rule is great, so is the plate with many items and a “one bite of each” rule. If you are looking for a great healthy sandwich try cream cheese and black olive on whole wheat (you can add cucumber slices or shredded carrot too), both of my girls gobble this one up!

15 Kelli June 25, 2011 at 11:38 am

My kids love to eat waffles, so that’s what I like to make for them.

My oldest son (7) loves Mollie Katzen cookbooks and anything she makes is something he wants to make. Most recently we made Bright Pink Fruit Dip.

16 Lindsey June 25, 2011 at 11:38 am

You find the coolest stuff. I love the look of that Bean book.

17 PJ June 25, 2011 at 11:42 am

My kids love salsa so lately I’ve been making egg dishes and letting them top it with salsa and guacamole – easy and I think relatively healthy – fritatta’s, plain old scrambled, baked.

18 Katherine of Kitten's Lost Her Mittens June 25, 2011 at 11:58 am

These books look great! Thanks for the chance to win them. I love making mini-pizzas with kids, using pita bread for the crust, pizza sauce, and then everyone can put the cheese and toppings they want on their own pizza. Yum, and good for picky eaters!

19 Kristen W. June 25, 2011 at 6:07 pm

My daughter and I love to buy fresh berries at the farmers market and make yummy muffins! She just loves to help out in the kitchen, period! Thank you for sharing!

20 Alice in WV June 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm

I adopted my daughter from foster care when she was seven. When I got her, all she would eat was mac & cheese and any kind of dessert. It took some coaxing, but now she’s all about fresh vegetables from the garden. Tonight we had yellow squash sauteed in olive oil and swiss chard. Sugar snap peas are her favorite vegetable. I think it’s helped to have her involved in growing the food. What kid doesn’t like to plant seeds? Then she sees the results of our work and likes knowing she had a hand in growing what we eat. Tonight she’s asking when the grape tomatoes will be ready to eat. Soon, I hope!

21 sneksniltje June 25, 2011 at 6:46 pm

My daughters (8 year and 9 year) love to make fruitsalad (just all kinds of fresh fruits cutting in small parts) and mingle with the natural youghurt. They also love to make ‘verloren brood’, that are just slices from the multicereales-bread or other bread, drech for two seconds in a bowl milk, then in a bowl mixed eggs en than backing in the pan. Yummy tot eat with or without sugar!

22 Amy June 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm

The one thing that the kids help me make that I’m SURE they’ll eat is peanut butter and banana on toast with honey and “sprinkles” (wheat germ and flaxseed). They never turn it down and my oldest (7) can do the whole thing herself.

23 se7en June 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm

These books look fabulous… I may well have to buy one or two of them, depending on who is reading over my shoulder!!! My kids favorite meal by far is wraps… they are so easy to make and so brilliant for adding anything and everything and the kids put their own together so they feel in charge and they eat them… dinner in a snap – really works for us!!! http://www.se7en.org.za/2009/03/04/its-a-wrap-in-se7en-steps

24 Lisa Newman June 25, 2011 at 9:59 pm

my little chicks love cucumber sandwiches, green smoothies, frozen grapes, frozen banana yogurt with dark chocolate chips,tropical grilled fruit salad with orange juice dressing taste like sweet tarts to me. Avocado Soup which they call Slimer soup and a dinner fave is stuffed sweet peppers with low fat cream cheese and veggies and rice.

25 Shanea June 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Well, I love to make stir fry dishes for my son. He loves rice and he loves veggies. Pretty easy peasy. I also love to make him waffles from scratch. Served with fresh fruit and warm syrup, what’s not to like. He is a bit too young to help with the cooking :)

26 Dayna June 25, 2011 at 10:03 pm

My two daughters love to be in the kitchen with me! We try to make things together a few times per week. Their favorite things are usually sweets, like cookies or muffins. We also love to make homemade soft pretzels. Mmmm!

27 Jen R June 26, 2011 at 12:05 am

I used to love baking for my elementary students at work, until the school banned shared food :( I currently have no children in my family, although a friend of mine is pregnant and I’ll probably help her prepare fun meals for her son when he gets older.

28 Mindy June 26, 2011 at 12:41 am

When my g-kids come to my house they love to help cook. It doesn’t matter much what we make, they just want to help. I have several children’s cookbooks because the two I had growing up were very dear to me. My oldest grand-daughter, who’s seven, gets them out every time she comes over. Last time we cooked together we made eggs in a hole and later for a snack we made cute little carousels out of apples, peanut butter, toothpicks and a few animal crackers. They really turned out cute.

29 Abbington June 26, 2011 at 1:38 am

My kids current favourite meals are teriyaki chicken with rice & veges, and shepherds pie. They really like to help me make pasta from scratch, because they love helping to roll our the pasta on the machine. When we make it fresh, we usually have it with a sausage/tomato/fennel sauce, or just with pesto.

30 Maya June 26, 2011 at 2:27 am

I must say I am blessed when it comes to my children’s eating habits since they are not picky and eat everything I make for them. Their favourites: stuffed peppers, baked beans, moussaka, chicken and rice, lasagna, spaghetti with Bolognese sauce…
They make their own sandwiches sometimes which usually consist of a piece of bread over which they spread butter, add crumbs of white cheese, tomatoes (cut out in circles) and olives.
Lovely, selection of books you have here Kath – the one with the steampunk toys have really stuck to my heart!

31 RachelM June 26, 2011 at 3:18 am

My 3 year old loves to help with cooking all the time, even if it’s just a quick stir here and there. His favourite thing to eat is fresh fruit salad.

32 angelina June 26, 2011 at 3:51 am

thank yo ufor sharing your books with us all!!
my kids and i love to cook together. we make little pizzas , they love the yeast dough. we love making fried apple pies, homemade biscuits, lemon pound cakes, blueberry banana muffins….

33 LoLoJo June 26, 2011 at 4:02 am

Thanks for the giveaway! My kids both love shrimp fried rice, that my husband makes! Plus chicken stir-fry with lots of colorful veggies.

34 Nicky June 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm

My 11 year old loves helping with the cooking as he considers it to be ‘science’ so that makes it cool. The meal we like to cook together most is homemade healthy chicken nuggets. Simply coat chicken pieces with egg and then dip them in breadcrumbs. Spray with a low fat cooking oil and cook for 15 mins. Yum!

35 Marci June 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm

My almost 5 year old likes to make up her own recipes and sometimes I will go with it just for fun, it can get pretty interesting.

36 Iva June 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm

My 2year old loooves cooked cauliflower with cheese sauce. To this I add various things – ham cubes or cut up boiled egg or cut up tomato or spinach sauteed with garlic… She also loves to “help” in the kitchen – everything takes longer but she’s having a good time and we get dinners done, so (mostly) no complaints about this.

And my 8-week-old son’s favorite meal is my milk :)

37 Penny June 26, 2011 at 9:47 pm

My 7 year old daughter likes to make egg-salad, and she mixes small cubes of tofu with the egg–adding more protein. I think she likes the egg-slicer (who doesn’t?). I sometimes encourage her to add finely grated carrot, which I grate for her b/c I’m afraid she will grate off a finger.
I like to make tofu-nut balls — a Moosewood recipe — but I leave out some of the soy sauce for the kids. They work great with pasta or as an appetizer.
Our Sunday morning favorite is Banana Pancakes…the kids like to mash the bananas, and pour the batter on the griddle.
I think taking children to local farmer’s markets and letting them select items really does encourage them to try more foods. This past week, my 5 year old son munched on raw sugar snap peas after he picked them out himself.

38 Kate June 27, 2011 at 12:27 am

My nearly-five year old son loves to cook with me and he’s heaps more likely to try something that he’s helped to make. Our current favourites are greek-style meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, and mini-cheese muffins, perfect for a morning- or afternoon-tea snack!

39 Jennyroo June 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Our five year old loves cooking with us. He is an expert egg cracker (!) and makes a mean tomato sauce for pasta. We puree our sauces, makes it easier for the kids to eat and no picking out onions! These books look great, thanks for sharing!

40 Jenn Yun Gutierrez June 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm

My two Brooklyn boys love to go to the fishmonger’s or chinatown markets to buy seafood. We select together: feisty live lobsters, a new to us whole fish, and shellfish. At home the boys and I ‘encounter’ our sea creatures, and often I let them explore without much parental intervention the many parts of the fish or how it’s gills might work. They then help dress the fish simple with olive oil and fresh herbs, and the whole thing pops into the pre-heated oven. The best part? Them fighting over who gets to keep the head or tail on their plates to look at! Jenn, Mom to Raul 6 yo and Gabriel 4 yo.

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