As some of you may know, I’m a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and sometimes I like to get together with my Lil and his real-life little brother and their mom and cook healthy meals together. It’s a fun way to introduce them to healthy and fun eating and get them used to cooking from a young age 🙂
We decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to review Eat Like a Dinosaur, the paleo kids cookbook written by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry. Sitting down and looking at all of the great recipes together was a great place to start. I could help the kids understand each recipe, and also pick out a menu that was both fun and well-balanced, i.e., “if we’re going to have the Chocolate Chip Cookies, we need to also do something with vegetables, lol.” Reading with kids is always great, and Eat Like a Dinosaur makes it easy—it is bright and colorful, the recipes all have fun names, and the copy is easy-to-read, no kitchenese 🙂
We decided on Fool’s Gold Chicken Nuggets, Deviled Bacony Eggs, Apple Bacon Slaw, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and, of course, Chocolate Chip Cookies. The trick I’ve found is to find something that is both fun and kids are familiar with, and then make it healthy—this is pretty much the whole idea of ELaD, so it worked out perfectly.
I did prep some of the more “adult-supervision-required” kinda stuff myself: boiling the hard-boiled eggs, mincing the stuff for the slaw on the mandolin, but the other great thing was that there were lots of ways the kids could help. We set up a prep line for the cookies, nuggets, and eggs, with each of us working a station. It was a great way to get the kids familiar with kitchen work and for me to explain why we did things in certain ways, like with the nuggets, one person did the oil and the other did the breading so no breading got in the oil and not tons of oil got in the breading. No better way to learn than by doing 🙂
It worked out great! I was able to supervise, and we got everything cooked and on the table in around an hour. Most everything was gone by the time we were done eating, and the kids said they loved it! The eggs in particular were gone in no time 🙂
ELaD makes a real contribution to helping kids eat healthy in a number of ways. The presentation of the cookbook is kid-friendly and reading it together is easy. The recipes are things that kids actually love to eat. And, they are set up in a way that kids can really get involved in the cooking process. For me, all of this is where the rubber really meets the road in the paleo movement. Theory requires application, and the application of paleo theory is cooking and eating, which this book really makes easy. What’s more, in making that cooking and eating both approachable and fun from a young age, it gives kids real tools and knowledge to build good habits early on in life. That’s a lot of paleo win, in my book 🙂
Buy ELaD on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Like-Dinosaur-Guidebook-Gluten-free/dp/1936608871