We've been reading Busy Little Hands Activities for Preschoolers: Food Play by Amy Palanjian. Amy has a refreshing approach to food and this is reflected in Food Play. I love the article on Yummy Toddler Food about the importance of exposure "We can expose kids to a wide variety of foods by eating it ourselves, by having them be involved in the preparation of it, by taking them to the grocery store. We can expose them to a lot of foods without putting that insane pressure on ourselves.". The conversation about the five internal drives to eat (hunger, togetherness, curiosity, novelty, and comfort) changed the way I think about and prepare for mealtime and family food experiences.
Also this: "Remember that you want the kids to feel safe and comfortable around food for years to come, not just to eat a bite of broccoli today." Yes!!
Food Play is fun, bright and colourful. It is a 48 page wipe-clean cookbook. It has 25 easy, assembly only (no baking/no heat) recipes. The photographs are clear and the graphic design is truly wonderful - it's joyful!! There are recipes for each meal of the day with and I've found all the ingredients easy to find. There is nothing complicated, most recipes are adaptable so you can use what you have at home or what can find locally.
There are notes for the Grown-Up Prep Steps, pictures for the kids to copy and the target audience is preschoolers (3-5yrs). All of the recipes are completely age-appropriate. Although older kids will love these books too. I would also try them with a toddler, perhaps from 18months-2yrs. It almost feels like board book, the cover is nicely weighted it's quite thick, the pages can be wiped down and the corners are rounded.
Let's take a look!
It's currently the school holidays so I have all my children at home. Caspar (13yrs), Otis (9yrs), and Otto (3yrs) all had fun making Easy Peasy Pizzas. It is much easier cooking with a preschooler if there are older siblings about, as they just copy or follow along with the older kids and don't need as much adult support.
Our Superfoods Plate with a column each for protein, grains, fruit, and vegetables.
Caspar and Otto made some Cookie Monster Bites. Caspar made the balls and Otto rolled them in the coconut.
These are good to pop in the fridge and the kids can eat them during the day for snack, or put a few in a container to take out.
Our Silly Sandwich Spirals don't look as good as the pictures in the book but were still tasty. This reminds me that children can develop so many fine motor skills like cutting, rolling, threading all while preparing their own meals and snacks.
If you are looking for a new art book, we are also enjoying Busy Little Hands Activities for Preschoolers: Art Play by Meredith Magee Donnelly, it's in the same series and it has the same wonderful layout and simple bright design.
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