Cooking opens up a whole world of learning for children. They learn about good nutrition, following directions, simple math and science, and a whole lot more. A new, kid-friendly cookbook makes cooking a fun adventure for the pre-school set and their parents.
“Dora and Diego Let’s Cook,” (Wiley Publishing, 2010), is geared toward introducing wholesome foods that the whole family can make together. Dora, Diego and their friends help young children explore the kitchen by presenting more than 50 scrumptious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacking.
There is a special introductory section that outlines what you need to know about cooking with children, including nutrition, safety, and age-appropriate tasks. Did you know that kids as young as two can help in the kitchen? Here are just some of the things young children can do to help make the recipes in this cookbook:
The average 2-year-old can
- Scrub fruits and vegetables
- Wipe countertops
- Dip one ingredient into another
- Crush crackers or corn chips into crumbs
- Sprinkle cheese
The average 3-year old can do those things, plus
- Pour measured liquids into a bowl
- Mix batter
- Stir or whisk ingredients together
- Cut soft foods, such as bananas, with a plastic serrated knife
- Shake a jar of homemade dressing
The average 4-and 5-year old can also
- Mash soft foods
- Measure dry and liquid ingredients
- Crack an egg into a bowl
- Shape meatballs
- Cut bread or cookie dough with cookie cutters
Recipes like Butterfly Breakfast Quesadillas, Diego’s Meatball Mountain Range, Rainforest Fruit Pops and these Pirate Pizza Coins will have the kids saying, ¡Vamanos! Let’s go to the kitchen!
Here’s a sample recipe for Pizza Coins.
Pizza coins are a great recipe for family pizza night or a Pizza Birthday Party where everyone make their own pizzas.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 10-inch whole wheat or multigrain tortilla or wrap
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce
- 1 or more of the suggested toppers
- 1/2 cup grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
- 3/4 cup drained pineapple tidbits
- 1/2 cup chopped olives
- 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken
- 1/3 cup shopped sliced pepperoni
- 1/2 cup chopped ham
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Spray a large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Using a 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut about 12 rounds out of the tortilla. Arrange rounds on baking pan.
- With a small spoon, spread pizza sauce on tortilla rounds. Divide 1 or more toppings among rounds and top with cheese. Bake about 6 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
Makes 4 servings
For more information, visit www.wiley.com.