I am constantly looking for new recipes, especially for after school snacks for my first grader. (She gets in the car so hungry after school!) It was with great anticipation that I awaited the arrival of Better Food for Kids by Joanne Saab & Daina Kalnins. This book is not what I expected. I was looking for a cookbook. Instead, I got a nutrition guide and cookbook for children. The first 136 pages are all about children’s eating habits, what to expect at different ages and stages, and other nutritional information including:
- Essential Foods and Nutrients
- Important Vitamins and Minerals
- Vegetarian Diets
- Avoiding Food Contamination
- Food Allergy and Intolerance
- Disturbances in Bowel Function
- Childhood Obesity
The second half of the book includes recipes ranging from Breakfast to Desserts and everything in between. If you are concerned about your child’s eating habits, allergies, or weight, this is a good guide for you. Below each recipe there is a nutritional analysis that includes: Energy, Protein, Carbohydrates, Fat, Fiber, Calcium, Iron, and Sodium information.
I have included a recipe from the book, in the Snacks section, that has been kid-tested in my own kitchen.
Chocolate Oatmeal Squares
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 8 inch square baking pan.
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup large-flake rolled oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- In a food processor, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add butter and process with on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup of mixture; press remainder into bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle chips over surface. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Return to oven and bake for 25 minutes or until chocolate has melted and surface is golden brown. Cut into squares while still warm.
The verdict? Well, my 4 year old son didn’t like it. Probably too grainy for him. My 6 year old daughter liked it well enough. She’s the less picky one, and the one going through a growth spurt right now and eating everything in sight! This will make a great after school snack this week!
You can purchase Better Food for Kids on Amazon.com for around $18.