As a promised follow up to my post on Grow Your Own, we went right to the source and asked the fine (and knowledgeable) folks at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks for their favourite books for cooking with and for kids. I’ll start with cooking with kids and post later on cooking for kids.
Mark Bittman himself (author of one of my most used and recommended cookbooks How to Cook Everything) recommends KIDS COOK 1-2-3: Recipes for Young Chefs Using Only 3 Ingredients, By Rozanne Gold, Illustrated by Sara Pinto. You can read his review of a few different kid’s cookbooks in the New York Times, you’ll need to sign up for an account, but it is free.
Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids by Stephanie Alexander is definitely in keeping with the whole idea of getting your children interested in their food and where it comes from. Because it’s Australian it uses metric measures and temperatures, but Barbara Jo’s still recommends it because Stephanie Alexander is (and I quote) “wonderful” and the book is chock-a-block with project ideas for getting your kids interested in food, gardening, composting, etc. There’s a great website that goes along with the book that’s definitely worth checking out.
Sam Stern’s Cooking Up a Storm: The Teen Survival Cookbook by Sam and Susan Stern, this is a British book, but all the measurements and temperatures have been converted to North American standards. Now, I’ve yet to start thinking about the teen year issues, my feet are still firmly planted in toddler and preschooler survival mode. Share 14-year-old Sam Stern’s recipes, and try them yourself if you’re a teen cook or cook wannabe.
Barbara Jo’s has also created a list of great books on Socially Conscious Consumption, which includes two of my current favourites, Marion Nestle’s What to Eat and local phenom The 100 Mile Diet. I’m thinking of starting, either in tandem with Barbara Jo’s or as an offshoot of Healthy Mum, Happy Baby and yoyomama a . If that sounds interesting to you it would be great if you could comment on this post or send me an email - I’m thinking books around food and gardening and going green and eating locally that are either aimed at kids or their parents. So let me know a) if you’re interested and b) what you think the focus should be!