Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids

The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids

Ruby Roth
Nonfiction Cookbook
For ages 7 to 10
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016   ISBN: 978-1449471873

Parents know all too well that often the best way to encourage children to have good living habits is set a good example for them. If you want your child to have a healthy diet you need to prepare and eat healthy food at home. Children can be wonderful helpers in the family kitchen, and in this book the author empowers children to create vegan meals that are good for their bodies and good for the planet at the same time.

After offering her readers an introduction to her book, the author goes on to tell us about some of the ingredients that we will be meeting in the recipes. These are ingredients that some people will not be familiar with, things like agave, mochi, and tahini. She then goes on to talk about safety in the kitchen.

The recipes come next, and they are divided into categories. We begin with drinks and then go on to condiments, sauces and dips. These are followed by smaller meals and bigger meals, salads and dressings, and finally desserts.

What is interesting about the recipes in this book is that they are presented in a slightly atypical way. We are given the usual list of ingredients and a description of how to make the dish or drink, but we are also given a lot of additional information about the ingredients. For example, on the page for a sweet beet sauce recipe we learn that the two main ingredients in the recipe, beets and walnuts, are powerful brain food. On the page describing how to make pipsqueak tea sandwiches we find out that “raw foods contain the most energy and nutrients.” In another recipe we even learn how to grow an honest-to-goodness avocado tree out of an avocado seed.

Throughout the book, photos of the ingredients are annotated with little illustrations, notes, and even jokes. The tone is lighthearted, and healthy eating habits are offered up in a gentle and informative way that will appeal to children.

Recipes in the book show young cooks how to make, among other things, pesto sauce, granola, chapatis, sesame soba, quinoa, chocolate chia pudding, and sesame almond cookies. The dishes are tasty, fun to make, healthy, and as children cook they will learn how the food they eat is connected to the well-being of the planet that we all call home.

This book would make a wonderful gift for a family.