Some of my favorite memories as a child involve whipping up something in the kitchen with my grandmothers or mother. And although I’m no chef, I look forward to spending quality time cooking with my son, as well. So when I was asked to review Bean Appetit: hip and healthy ways to have fun with food by Shannon Payette Seip, Carisa Dixon, and Kelly Parthen, I was intrigued.
To be honest, many times cook books geared for children are a little cheesy, but I was pleasantly surprised by Bean Appetit.
The recipes are all extremely healthy; most of them using lots of fruits and veggies, as well as whole grains. And since we live in a small town, I especially appreciated that most of the ingredients were easy to find.
In the introduction section, the authors recommend using the Bean Appetit Flour Blend which includes whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, wheat germ, and flax meal in place of regular flour, and their Chickpea Puree instead of butter which really boosts the healthy factor.
More Than a Cookbook
Bean Appetit is more than just a compilation of recipes. Also included are Table Talk starter questions, fun food facts, tips for table manners, and ways to recycle common kitchen items for eco-fun. Younger children will enjoy helping their parents make (and eat!) the recipes, and kids from 6 to 10 years old will have a fabulous time perusing these pages for themselves to find their favorite activities.
There is even a section of recipes that tie directly in with children’s literature. (You know I just love that, right?) Included are ideas for such classics as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
I think my personal favorite part was a short section on unique ideas for trail mixes including the amazing “Apple Pie A La Mode” with dried apples, cinnamon graham sticks, and vanilla-covered raisins. Delicious!
A few of the recipes in Bean Appetit were a little more labor intensive than I would be willing to put in just for lunch or a snack, but I consider making grilled cheese to be cooking, so it’s possible that not everyone would feel that way. And I could see myself making even the more tedious looking ones for something special.
All in all, I found Bean Appetit to be a wonderful resource. This book would be a fantastic addition to any little chef’s library!
Do your kids enjoy cooking? What’s your favorite thing to whip up in the kitchen?