I was at the library this week and picked up a copy of the kids cookbook Bean Appetit by Shannon Payette Seip, Kelly Parthen and Carisa Dixon. I love cooking with my kids and so I’m always looking for fun new recipes to try with them. The authors, who founded Bean Sprouts a cooking school for kids, bill the cookbook as “Hip and Healthy Ways to have fun with food” and I think they did a great job delivering on that promise. I’m all about Family Fun so I love all of the creative ways the authors incorporated recipes, fun facts, conversation questions for the dinner table, and just silly activities to do with food.
As a book, this cookbook is fun so it’s easy to read. It’s the kind of book I want to write with whimsical illustrations, interesting little fun tips and ideas beyond the recipes, and most importantly, filled with ideas I can actually use. Moms will enjoy reading it and coming up with fun ideas for their toddlers but the book is very approachable, so your 7 – 12 year old kids might like reading it themselves.
I loved that the recipes were healthy. Most use a lot of fruits, veggies and whole grains as ingredients. While my kids eat a lot of those anyway, it’s nice to see fun recipes that incorporate healthier ingredients. The ingredients are also pretty easy to find so you don’t need to go to 3 grocery stores to find that one essential herb or grain, etc. As a busy Mom, I appreciate that.
I also like that the recipes are different. I just read through 7 kids cookbooks to review them for the blog and most of them have the same recipes over and over because I guess they feel kids have limited tastes. With Bean Appetit, I like how they take a traditional kids’ cookbook recipe like pancakes but throw a little creativity at it and turn it into a fun recipe like Stick Stacks which is mini pancakes on a stick with fruit to make a pancake kabob.
For many recipes, the authors recommend using their 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 of a lot of their recipes. I don’t know if I would take the time to make the chickpea butter but I am definitely mixing up the flour blend.
My only negative on the recipes is that I wish there were more of them in the book. The book does such a nice job of adding extra interest items like fun facts, games, table conversation starters, etc. but I really do wish there were more creative kids recipes.
The recipes that I am dying to make with my kids include the Campfire Crunch snack, Pear Penguins, and Cherry Pie Pops. Get a copy of the book from your library and see how fun these recipes are.
I would recommend this kids cookbook to any budding little chef and Moms who want to inject a little more fun and silliness into their family’s day.
Note: I was not compensated for this review in any way. I just picked up the book at my library and I liked it so much I’m going to buy a copy for myself.
You can grab the book at BarnesandNoble.com.