Today I chose to review Betty Crocker’s Kids Cook! cookbook. It retails for $19.95 and I found it on Amazon for $13.57. My local library didn’t have this recent addition which came out in 2007 as a second edition. My library did have the first edition though published in 1999. It has some of the same recipes, but the newer edition is definitely an improvement. I did find the style of this book very similar to the Better Homes and Garden’s cookbook I review last week. So if your kids enjoy either one of the cookbooks, they will more than likely also enjoy the other.
What I like about this cookbook:
- Spiral bound – I always prefer a spiral bound cookbook especially for kids. I am finding most of the kids cookbooks get it and are spiral bound. You need it to lay flat so you can see the recipe and stay on the page you are cooking from.
- Kitchen ABC’s Section – This cookbook begins with a basics section that has a lot of great info for a beginner – talk the talk, you are what you eat, etc.
- Regular Categories – I love the categories of recipes in this book – bring on breakfast, let’s have lunch, snacks and drinks, on the side, time for dinner, and delicious dessert.
- The Recipes – The recipes are great for beginners. They also gave them fun names for the kids like Oh-La- La Omelet and Hot Dog Fold Ups.
- Recipe options – the recipes do allow for some healthier choices in the recipes themselves like use all purpose or whole wheat flour.
- Instructions – The instructions are well written for a beginner and are very detailed and broken down well into steps. They also include some illustrated visuals as part of the instructions. They also include both an ingredient list and utensils list which is perfect for beginners.
- Prep and Cook times – the recipes each include prep and bake times which I feel is a must for a kid’s cookbook.
- Photos – each recipe includes a photo plus they added illustrations to the photos to make them extra fun for the kids.
- Nutrition info included with each recipe – this is great if you are a family who needs to count calories. It is also a good way to teach about nutrition.
- Quick reference for adult help – it includes a hot pad symbol in the steps when adult help is needed.
- Chef’s Choice – there are several places in the recipe ingredients list that has a chef’s choice. For example – In the Fruity Smoothie recipe – the kids get to choose whether to use strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. I love that the recipe allow for some individual freedom with in the recipe and teaches kids to have fun and experiment in the kitchen.
Items I am neutral about:
- I didn’t have anything.
- Brand specific ingredients – Some recipes do include some brand specific ingredients. For example, the Egg-cellent Breakfast Bake requires 2 boxes (5.2 oz each) hash brown mixes. I looked on Betty Crocker’s website and from what I can tell the recipe is asking for 2 boxes of their seasoned skillet hashbrowns. Then I tried to locate the product at a store near me using their product locator. I have never seen or heard of this product. The locator showed I could not get that product near me. Also, comments on the page also mentioned the product has been discontinued. So for me, I would have to alter the recipe for my kids in order to make it usable. With it being a Betty Crocker cookbook, I would expect some recipes would include their products, but you at least want to be able to have access to what the recipe is asking for or have the recipe give an alternative ingredient to use. Many other brand items are easy to find though like Bisquick.