Today is my first cookbook review for my “Kids in the Kitchen” summer series. I have a good line up of books and used several recommended books suggested by RMK readers’ response to a request I put on Facebook. First up is the Pillsbury Kids Cookbook: Fun for Boys and Girls which retails for around $17. I was able to get this book from my local library.
What I like about this cookbook:
- Spiral bound – I always prefer a spiral bound cookbook especially for kids. You need it to lay flat so you can see the recipe and stay on the page you are cooking from.
- Quick picture reference in the cover for tools and utensils – It is important for a reference for anything in a recipe that the kids might not know. I love the pictures to show what the items are and that it can be easily found in this book.
- Cooking terms and technique reference pages – another must for a cookbook for young beginning cooks.
- Picture for each recipe – this is a definite plus with a kids cookbook. They can see exactly what they will be making. Plus the pictures are well done and make you want to make the recipes.
- List of tools needed for each recipe – another good item in a kids cookbook. The kids can round up exactly what they need before they begin to cook.
- 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.
- A hot pad symbol included for recipes that need to be made with an adult nearby – I love books that include this. It is always good to specify if you need an adult around anytime the kids are in the kitchen.
- Cooking time – each recipe includes the total amount of time it should take to make the recipe – a definite plus to have this. It makes it easy for kids to plan when cooking.
- Includes a fun element to the recipes and recipes kids would like to eat – they have items like Chicken in a Sleeping Bag which can get the kids excited about preparing the recipe and the recipes are geared toward what kids tend to enjoy eating.
Items I am neutral about:
- Many of the recipes include convenience items – this can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. I would expect a cookbook from Pillsbury to include Pillsbury items. I like the idea of making things simple and getting kids excited about cooking and convenience items can do that in a recipe. This can be beneficial for beginning cooks. This is also good for recipes the kids can do completely on their own. However, for a more experienced young cook, I like the idea of learning to make more items from scratch rather than using convenience items.
- The recipes are grouped together in themes – the themes included are Rise and Shine, High Noon, Halloween Party, Tidbits and Bites, Tea Party, Slumber Party, Come and Get It, and Worth the Wait. Some kids can get excited with recipes grouped by a theme. Others may want to be able to go and find exactly what they are looking for – like cookies, main dish, etc.
On the downside:
- I did find the instructions to be a bit complicated on some recipes and would need to be prepared by a more experienced young cook or would need the aid of an adult.