This holiday…Teach your kids to cook!

Everybody have fun tonight

As wegetfurtherinto theholiday season, tryingtothinkofgiftsthatwill entertain throughoutthe nextyear can betrying. With that in mind, how about consideringsomethingthat will not only entertain your childbut teachhimand create self-esteemaswell?

There’snobetterwaytoteacha child about food andnutrition thanto have him learnhow tocook. The goodnews is thatthere are many kids’cookbooks — both classics andnew additions — to choose from!

Forchildrenages 2 to 5 there’s a wonderfulbook called “SesameStreet: Cisfor Cooking” bySusanMcQuillan. “SesameStreet” has beenactivelypromoting improvednutrition to childrenfor years, startingwith CookieMonster’s warnings about eatingtoo manysweets. Thisbook is a companiontothe messages being taughton the program. Full of wonderful picturesof everyone’sfavorite “Sesame Street” monstersandcritters, it’s a joy to read and very easytouse. Better yet, the author is a registereddietitian so you can be confident thatthe recipes are nutritionallysound as wellas tasty!

For kids7andolder, BetterCrocker has republished “BettyCrocker’s Cook Book for BoysandGirls.” This was my firstcookbook, and it’sstill in my collection. Originallypublished in 1957, the reissue is identical to theoriginal book, including the ’50’sartwork. It brings backwonderfulmemories tothosewholearned to cook so manyyears ago. Althoughit doesn’toffer the nutritioneducation that some of the newercookbooks do, the recipesare easy and remainkid favorites eventoday.

Anothercooking keeper is the“BetterHomesandGardensNewJunior Cookbook,” a classic cookbook for children 9 yearsand up. Time-testedrecipes, easy to understandinstructionsandcooking/baking“how-to” makethis as valuable a book asthe adult version.

My lastrecommendationis “TheEverythingKid’sCookbook,” a fun-filled, fact-filledtreasuryof kid-loved recipes. Alsowritten by aregistered dietitian, it covers lessons on how to read a recipe,theright tools and howto use them. Common cookingterms, as well as soundnutritional tips, are included in this book, a fabulous fitforanolderchild.

Whilethere are manymoreterrificcookbooks out there, Ifind theabove titles to be adult pleasersas well as childfavorites. Whateverbook you buy,remember that any time achild cooks, an adult must supervise.

Finally, to completethis wonderful gift for your child, I recommendtheproper equipment and attire! Look for a chef’s hat and apron and real, child-sized utensils, such asa bowl, mixingspoons and ameasuring cup. Purchase them togetheras a gift—orseparately forwonderfulstocking stuffers!

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