Kids Can Cook! (2008) – Book Review

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Kids Can Cook! is all about cooking together and having lots of fun at the same time. There are over 20 delicious, easy-to-make recipes for you to try, from yummy breakfasts like pancakes to quick after-school snacks such as tasty chicken nuggets; and lots of mouthwatering sweet treats.

It’s a 2008 publication by Nicola Graimes. Where to get it? Amazon.com, while I’ve gotten mine from the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale in December last year.

The focus of this article will be on the concept behind the content. Without further ado, let’s dig in.

It’s a wholesome introduction of cooking to children – a brief information on the important rules when cooking (getting the ingredients correct before starting, etc), what is safe cooking (always ask an adult first before handling anything hot, sharp or electrical, etc) & basic hygiene (washing of hands before starting, etc), getting familiarize with cooking related words (bake, blend, fold in, grease, marinade, etc) & terminology (grating cheese, creaming, rolling out dough, separating eggs, etc), and learning up the essential cooking equipments (electric blender, cutting board, muffin pan, etc).

Followed by pages of simple recipes from breakfast meal (smoothie, etc), main course meal (burger, spaghetti meatball, etc) to dessert (muffins, cookies, etc). Each recipe comes with a standard outline:

Recipe title
– A Short description of the recipe
– Serving portion
– Preparation time needed
– Cooking time
– Ingredients
– Equipments
– Step-by-step pictorial guide
– Grading: 1 (least/okay) – 10 (best/yummylicious)

At the end of each session, their labour of love will be graded and recorded in a chart provided in the book.

The beneficial aspect of the book is that it allows the children to have hands-on experiences in cooking, learning about food, cooking techniques/safety/equipments, measurements, following directives, estimation, working within a set time or deadline, how to grade and teamwork, while still having fun.

By guiding them in going through the book, it helps expand the vocabulary and builds the reading and comprehension capability. Indeed it’s a good learning method to cooking as they are picking up other practical know-how along the way.

In conclusion – the book is a great learning tool, suitable for school usage and worth recommending to parents for weekend or school holidays leisure activities. The approach definitely made cooking and learning fun. Yes, indeed they can cook! With a little guidance and encouragement from responsible adults, off they go venturing into the world of culinary.

“The experiences of childhood create the adult brain. Between birth and three, children slowly lay the foundations….If they can establish strong healthy neural networks – learning through pleasurable interaction with loving adults – all their later learning will be built on solid foundations.” – Sue Palmer, Detoxing Childhood (2007)[1]

“If your child loves to play house, take a look at nonfiction books and magazines on cooking and home decorating. Cook simple recipes together while teaching your child how to interpret the directions. Gradually move your child toward more and more independence while still keeping an eye on the proceedings. Safety always comes first.” – Hal W. Lanse, Read Well, Think Well (2008).[2]

What do you think?

References:

1. Dee Reid and Diana Bentley, “Teach Yourself Helping Your Child to Read” (United Kingdom: Hodder Education, 2009), 43

2. Hal W. Lanse, PHD, “Read Well, Think Well – Build Your Child’s Reading, Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills” (United States of America: Adams Media, an F+ W Publications Company, 2008), 25

3. Nicola Graimes, “Kids Can Cook! – For Kids and Adults who Love to Cook Together” (United Kingdom: Parragon Books Ltd, 2008)

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