With titles such as The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and Pretend Soup, it’s no wonder Molly Katzen connects with kids. After she taught an entire generation of aspiring vegetarians to cook with her famed Moosewood cookbooks, she turned her attention (and paints) to kids. Her kids’ cookbook, Salad People (Tricycle Press, 2005), contains step-by-step illustrations that show kids how to make everything from Sweet Potato Surprise to Polka Dot Rice.
Katzen draws kids to good food by getting them involved with making it. “The key tip that makes participating fun for them is to make a project out of everything,” she explains.
To get your little ones involved, Katzen suggests:
- Making a ceremony of marching to the sink, washing hands, wearing an apron, washing and mashing vegetables
- Setting up everything on a table or countertop easily reached by children
- Using shallow, wide-mouth containers to make measuring flour and sugar easier
- Encouraging children to arrange the cut up vegetables, fruits and breads or crackers on a platter
- Teaching them to set the table and carry food to it
By Irvina Lew, a food writer in Bay Shore, N.Y.