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~*~The Product ~ 'That's the way the cookie crumbles'~*~
This hardback spiral bound cookery book for children is a comprehensive manual with a full 198 pages. Superb for little hands as the dimensions are 20.8 x 19.6 x 3 cm. With inviting pictures on the front of decorated desserts and savoury meals to get little (and bigger) taste buds going. A very cute pic adorns the centre of the cover of a little smiling girl wearing a chequered apron and in the process of mixing doughy mixture. The title is in large writing with a corner section noting that this is really 'six books in one'! At the base of the label advertises 'fun to make, yummy to eat'! Furthermore, the cover notes that the book includes recipes for 'breakfast, lunches, snacks, dinners, desserts' and 'baking', comprehensive indeed!
Each section is divided off with colour coded wipable cards; yellow for 'breakfast', blue for 'lunches & salads', orange for 'snacks & drinks', pink for 'dinner time', aqua for 'desserts & treats' and raspberry for 'baking'. On pages 188 is a measurement table and on page 189 to 191 is an index of all the recipes. The book has beautiful large coloured pictures of some of the meals. Many of the titles to the recipes are humorous such as 'use your noodle salad' and chip chip hooray biscuits'! Every recipe has nutritional information and many 'tips' included within an oblong square on many of the pages. There are even jokes included in some of the oblong squares to some of the pages!
The advertising hype promises that 'Parents and kids alike will enjoy the shared experience of cooking and eating together. The whole family will discover how to make delicious dishes, meals, snacks and treats, with six sections bursting with scrumptious food. Each recipe contains step-by-step instructions, a list of the tools you'll need and nutritional information so you can plan your menu with confidence. Full of handy tips; cool serving ideas and fun facts'. The grand-tots and I put this statement to the test!
~*~My And The Grand-Tots Usage Experience ~ 'A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen, and this kitchen is delirious'!~*~
I purchased this for the benefit of my grand-children. The tots love getting involved in task that results in tasty treats and crafts that they can take home to mummy and daddy. When I showed them this gift they were thrilled and far too excited to wait on getting started! I began by sitting down at the dining table with paper and pens, and asked each in turn to choose the first recipe they'd like to prepare. I assisted my youngest grand-son as he is still learning to read and write, but the cheerful appealing pictures made his choices easy!
It was very difficult for the children to only choose one for us to prepare that day, so I told them to make a list in order of 1, 2, 3 and so on, in order of 'most wanted' first! :~) This appeased these little darlings and we soon had various recipes to cook. Next, I encouraged the children to write down the ingredients needed for their first recipe, again I assisted my youngest grand-son. To help him feel involved, I asked him to draw a picture of what he thought some of the ingredients looked like :~) We then went to the shops and each gathered together the ingredients I read from their list in turn....with a few extra items they said they needed to eat while they cooked! :~)
My youngest grand-son loved the sound of the recipe named 'nutty monkey' I helped him prepare this milkshake while my other grand-tots were assigned to the WII! :~) This is a perfect recipe for very young children as it is quick and very simple to prepare. This drink is described as 'you'll go ape for this icy milkshake'! For us adults we are assured that the refreshment provides 'almost one-quarter of your vitamin B6 needs, and it tastes so good'. I read from the page (28) the things we needed to make this neat thirst quencher; one banana; I took the 'tip' on the page of using a fresh banana as opposed to frozen so that the drink would 'taste more like a smoothie' which is more palatable to my grand-son. Next came the half a cup of milk, half a cup of chocolate milk and 2 tbsp. of peanut butter.
I had to help my little grand-son measure the mild and peanut butter. I gathered together the blender and measuring jug and spoons beforehand. My grand-son excitedly scooped up the peanut butter from the jar and giggled with pure delight as we attempted the gloopy ingredient from the spoon into the blender jug. He felt very important as he carefully measured the milk into the jug and gleamed when I said that he was a very clever boy not to have spilled any. When I sat him on the side so he could reach the blender on/off button he was delighted, he felt very special being allowed to press the button to turn on the blender so much so that he hollered at his siblings to let them know! The recipe was accurate and it certainly did 'taste so good', yes I tried some too! :~)
My eldest grand-son is such a fan of nachos so he chose the 'muchos nachos' recipe! My grand-son assembled together the ingredients of tortilla chips, soya mince, cheddar cheese and medium tomatoes. We left out the red pepper, chilli pepper and spring onions as my grand-son is definitely not a fan of any of these. None of these particular ingredients are crucial to the recipe. I collected together the foil, baking tray, cooking spray knife cutting board measuring spoons, oven mitts and wire rack while my grand-son gathered the ingredients onto the kitchen side. He chatted all the while that he can grate the cheese himself along with spraying the pan etc! I showed my eldest grand-son how to turn on the oven and he twisted the dial to the 190 (375F) setting, displaying confidence! He then read from the book the next step of covering the baking tray with the foil, which he had great fun reeling off a little too much from the roll! :~)
He then carefully sprayed the surface with the cooking spray. The next task my grand-son showed so much fun in doing, arranging the nachos on the tray, followed by the soya mince and alternating until these were all used. My grand-son then slowly and carefully grated the cheese to top off the snack. He was most happy when I told him that I couldn't have grated cheese at his age! I then placed the tray into the hot oven and we tidied up and I chopped the tomatoes while we waited the fifteen minutes for the nibbles to cook. I opened the oven door for my grand-son to check that the cheese had melted and 'stating to brown'. I pulled apart a few of the nachos underneath to try to ensure thorough heating through had occurred. My grand-son was so proud of his efforts in virtually preparing the whole feast by him that he shared the finished very tasty luncheon with his siblings and nanny! Mmmm :~)
My eldest grand-daughter chose the 'choco-lots o' love biscuits', for her 'sweet tooth'! I grouped together 'the wire racks, dry and liquid measures, measuring spoons, fork, large bowl, medium bowl, sifter, mixing spoon, lifter, biscuit trays, rolling pin, heart shaped cookie cutter, plastic wrap, cooking spray and electric mixer while my grand-daughter rounded up the butter, icing sugar, egg, vanilla extract, plain flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and raspberry jam. Her little face lit up with delight when I told her how proud of her I was because she managed to get all the ingredient items herself as I read them out. She was so happy that she could make out words that were unfamiliar to her such as extract and cocoa. I read out each step of the recipe as we went, combining the task together.
My grand-daughter exhibited great pleasure in putting the butter, icing sugar, egg and extract into the bowl. We held a large mixing spoon together to stir the ingredients, in which she giggled with absolute hilarity. We continued on with each step, the cookie cutting being a particularly fun part for her. My grand-daughter could hardly bear to wait for the biscuits to cook but after only 10 minutes they were ready to cool. Now the five minutes to cool on the wire tray was almost too much for my grand-daughter and she nearly caved in and nibbled one until I said 'ouch, that will hurt your tongue'! My grand-daughter ran into her siblings dropping a couple on her way with excitement and told them to taste her cooking. She then wrapped some in foil for mummy and daddy. I told her how proud I was that she showed such talent in preparing the ingredients but also on her patience while waiting for the scrumptious cookies :~)
~What benefits have we gathered using this charming and engaging cookery book?~
~ "If your baby is beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time, you're the grandma." :~D~
The book has presented yet another amusing and enjoyable way to bond with the grand-tots. To spend time in such an entertaining way is so fulfilling. The children's pleasure is apparent in the way they often ask, 'can we do some cooking nan'? They have accumulated some wonderful skills such as measuring and sequencing abilities. This book continues to be a wealth of knowledge to enhance the children's confidence, self-esteem and experience. Learning should be fun, and this book certainly furnishes this quality.
~Supplementary info: "...no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing."~
'Encouraging children cooking is great for creating a healthy eating habit while improving self-confidence and self-esteem.
Cooking with children encourages creativity, an understanding of bad eating habits, responsibility and involvement.
It requires hands on use of maths concepts, planning, thinking, and time management.
Cooking with children provides opportunities for parenting and sibling bonding and mastery of new skills, as well as lots of fun!
Yes, there can be downsides as well. For many parents there are fears around safety, wasting ingredients, too much mess, and squabbles around cleaning up!
My sister sent her children to my house to learn to cook as she didn't like all the mess they created!
Experience has taught me that effort by parents when their children are young around children cooking certainly reaps multitudes of benefits all round.
My four children are all excellent cooks - the way surpasses me in their expertise! I now reap the benefits so I'm always glad I took the time to encourage them in the kitchen!
The Benefits of Children Cooking:
The most obvious benefit of children cooking is that they actually learn HOW to cook! Cooking with children can involve some, most, or all of the following which is basic to everyday life.
* planning menus,
* shopping for ingredients,
* Correctly storing food items,
* Time management,
* Cooking skills,
* And just plain enjoyment of eating.
Other benefits for children cooking also include:
* Opportunities for mastery of new skills,
* increased self-esteem,
* The art of giving for other's enjoyment,
* a sense of service,
* increased creativity and imagination,
* Better self-image which comes with accomplishment.
Many practical skills are learned, all of which are necessary for daily living.
* thinking ahead,
* Supermarket shopping,
* Seasonal awareness,
* Weight and measurement,
* reading for comprehension,
* Knowledge of where our food comes from,
* Healthy eating habits,
* Safety procedures, and much more.
Cooking with Children:
If cooking with children isn't part of your daily routine, then I encourage you to ponder on these wonderful benefits and begin to include your children in your meal preparation practices. They can cook with you or alongside you. Some children really take to cooking, especially baking, and become really involved in their family's daily meal preparation from an early age. There are wonderful recipe books for children which encourage plenty of creative thinking. Opportunities for educating your children about poverty, obesity, fast foods and bad eating habits abound - where better but the kitchen to discuss these important matters'?
~*~Would I recommend? ~ "I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves."~*~
Most certainly! My grand-children love the cookery book, with its light hearted meal titles, easy to read recipes and delicious looking pictures. They value food more as they learn about nutritional values, safety and presentation among many other advantages.
The Complete Kids Cooking (Complete Series) [Hardcover] is available for as little as £1.94 at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Kids-Co​oking-Series/dp/1741843065
Thank you for taking the time to read my review on this amazing cook book for children :~)