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Wednesday 26 June 2019

Review: One Handed Cooks: Boosting Your Basics

Boosting Your Basics is making the most of every family mealtime – from baby to school age

Cooking for our young ones can often be an anxious and frustrating experience, especially when preparing food for fussy eaters. 

I’m always on the lookout for basic recipes that are nutritious, easy to prepare, and have as few ingredients as possible so my pantry doesn’t overflow with items of infrequent use. The recipes have to be family-friendly as these most certainly are – all 100+ of them!

The recipes began with baby food. Breakfast alternatives followed with snacks, how to get your young ones to taste something new, family meals, vegetarian, lunchbox food and sweets, purees, dips and smoothies. I tried quite a few recipes and found that what I needed to create them were produce that I purchased weekly. How exciting! The savoury pumpkin, carrot and cheddar star-shaped scones were a hit, as was the zucchini, carrot and apple loaf which was passed around as a tester, therefore became more interesting to the little ones.

This is not just another cookbook for babies and kids. It’s an inspiring excursion into food, tastes and textures that children often avoid. There is a wealth of information and advice set in pre-chapter sections which explain the importance of certain foods to growth and brain function, good health, habits and behaviour, and essential daily nutrients the body needs. It caters for all types of food preferences.

I love that the coloured segments also include behavioural advice such as the importance of having meals together with your child, the upright position children must maintain while eating, and the instruction necessary from parents and carers to give kids that extra sensibility about food and eating behaviours. Persistence and repetition with types of food is also stressed. Try and try again, is how children learn to eat most things.

The best thing about this book is that most of these recipes can be eaten by the whole family. I found the content informative and educational on many levels. Even the psychology used in reference to eating and food habits was highly instructive. The recipes are simple and easy to prepare, most of which can be pre-cooked and frozen. Each one comes with its preparation, cooking time and amount of serves it makes, as do most recipe books.

If you believe that your child will never eat red lentils, chick peas or chia seeds in their biscuits or cakes, or eat legumes, whole grains or coloured vegies, this book will prove you wrong.

Title: One Handed Cooks: Boosting You Basics
Author: Allie Gaunt, Jessica Beaton and Sarah Buckle
Publisher: Penguin, $39.99
Publication Date: March 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780143790181
For ages: All Ages
Type: Non-Fiction Cookbook