Hosting a casual family meal or a swanky bash? Make it delicious and memorable: see our picks for the best guides for festive feasts, cocktail parties, sweet treats, and more Holiday Entertaining.
Michelle Stern founded the children's cooking school What's Cooking? and teaches families about healthy, practical food. She received the 2010 Scholastic's Parent & Child Green Parent Blogger Award for the What's Cooking blog. Stern attended the White House's Chefs Move to Schools conference, is the Director of Community Outreach for the children's show DooF, and co-chairs the International Association of Culinary Professional's Kids in the Kitchen committee.
Matthew Carden is an internationally exhibited food photographer. His work has appeared on the cover of EDIBLE and a poster for SLOW Food. Carden's commercial clients have included HGTV, Williams-Sonoma, and Napa Style.
After a post-collegiate stint at studying primate mating behavior, I taught high school biology and environmental science for 5 years. Now, instead of parenting 150 high school students a day, I focus on my own two wonderful children, various 4-legged pets, backyard chickens and quickly expanding vegetable garden.
When I'm not spending time with my family, I run What's Cooking with Kids, a certified-green company that offers healthy and seasonal cooking classes to kids in the San Francisco Bay Area. Not only do my classes teach kids and their families to enjoy delicious home-made foods, but they also motivate families to use food and cooking to help those less fortunate.
My son and I had cooked the sample of recipes Michelle made available through her website (and loved them!) but it wasn't until I got the book and started flipping through it that I realized just how great this cookbook is for families who want to cook with even the youngest of children. You see, Michelle has divided the steps of each recipe and color-coded them so that you can quickly see which action is age-appropriate for your child. If you've ever wondered how you can get your toddler involved in the kitchen, look no further than The Whole Family Cookbook. Not only are the recipes healthy, earth-friendly (and down-to-earth), Michelle has made her years of experience in working with kids in the kitchen available to you. In short, we LOVE this book!
This is an awesome cookbook for any family, with kids of any age! So many "family" cookbooks are all about cutesy preparations or dishes that are so "kid-friendly" I'd never feed them to the grown ups in our family. This is the completely opposite! Easy, quick recipes that any grown up will love, that kids will happily eat (certainly mine!), and with directions for how to involve kids in the cooking... if you want. (I love that the recipe is written straight through so I can easily follow along even if I'm not cooking with my kids.)
The book is approachable and energetic, not just for those sort of hardcore locavore environmental activists like some of us are, but also for the -- as Michelle describes herself -- "multitasking working parent and child chauffeur" intent on proving "you don't have to be a stay-at-home parent to cook with your kids." The recipes provide a lot of what a writer last week called "serv[ing] as pitchman for the underdogs: the fruits, the vegetables; the foods without preservatives or ingredients I couldn't pronounce." Honestly, the photo of "Yummy Strawberry Yogurt Parfait" was enough for Everett to demand it, immediately! And some of the names, like "Wish-for-a-Fish Pasta" and "There's a Turkey in Your Pocket" may inspire if your child is, like Truman (six), charmed by such cute things. "That's so funny!" he'll tell me over and over, repeating the name of the dish. "You were like, there's a turkey in my pocket! And I was like, hehe."
The recipes all come with neat color-coded markers that show which steps would be appropriate to let children ages 2-3, 4-6, 7-10, and 11 and up help with. I found they're pretty on target; when we made the Baked Apple Puff, a sweet variation on an old fave, the Dutch baby pancake, Everett (eight) and Monroe (three) helped along with their respective age groups.Read more ›
The Whole Family Cookbook is great if you are looking for simple, healthy, and tasty, dishes to cook - and it lets your kids help! I love the color coding of the recipe steps so I can give my kids tasks appropriate for their ages. The recipes call for easy to find ingredients, and I especially like the recipe listings sorted by season, what a great idea! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to encourage their kids to try new skills and new foods, and to have fun in the kitchen.
As a fan or Michelle Stern's blog and philosophy, I ordered her new cookbook to use in a kids' cooking program I do each summer. It is a beautiful book that will appeal to kids, but it is full of real food, real cooking and will provide them with skills to cook for themselves in the real world. My kids are grown, but we cooked the way Michelle recommends and when we were all diagnosed with celiac disease, at least we were cooking whole foods and cooking them together, so it was a matter of learning to avoid gluten. While Michelle's book is not gluten-free, it relies on many whole foods that are naturally gluten-free with recipes and cooking techniques that are easily adaptable. Not only will this book bring families into the kitchen and gathering around the dining room table, but it will provide skills children can use for the rest of their lives to maintain good health and value the sharing of beautifully prepared food with loved ones.
This cookbook is exactly what my daughter and I have been looking for! The recipes are easy, fun and focused on using locally grown whole foods...the perfect combination! The photos are beautiful, the recipes have a very useful colour coding to give ideas for age appropriate help, and there are great little tidbits of info sprinkled throughout the book!
We have only had the book for a little over a week and we've had a blast trying out the recipes! Everything we've made tastes delicious!
Thank you Michelle Stern...you have created a cookbook that beautifully combines all the things that are important to me as a mom who loves cooking healthy and fun food with my daughter!!