Edible Boston

November 18, 2013

EDIBLE READS: THE WINTER LIST

By Louisa Kasdon

ChopChop:
The Kid’s Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family
by Sally Sampson
Simon & Schuster  $19.99

This is the book you want to give to everyone you know with children this year, and maybe directly to the kids themselves. An extension of ChopChop magazine, a national quarterly, this book is a far cry from the Easy Bake Oven-styled recipes of most American childhoods. In addition to being healthy and endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the recipes are fun, full of punch, and well within a school-age child’s capacity to be the chef in charge. They don’t pander to kids, aren’t gimmicky or frou-frou, and each and every recipe starts and finishes with ingredients anyone from almost any century would recognize as food.

There are breakfasts and burgers, stews, soups and salads, snacks, even spunky sounding dishes made with tofu. The basic theory being that if a kid can be the chef, or at the very least an engaged sous-chef, they are much more likely to eat the results. Including lots of vegetables. (P.S. there isn’t a dish on the list that is too juvenile for a food lover’s sensibilities, too.)

ChopChop has terrific visuals of the food and prep that make it easy to envision how any recipe in the book should look in process and completed, and how old a kid would have to be to make it successfully. Useful tips, like how to use a salad spinner and the best way to trim asparagus, are sprinkled generously through the pages.

This is one to buy and give in bulk. Think of it as your own personal campaign contribution to changing the way America eats.

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