Monday, May 19, 2014

Starting From Scratch

Written to introduce children to concepts about nutrition and cooking, Starting From Scratch begins with how taste influences the experience of food and continues on to basic recipes for the newly informed reader to try. It covers commonly used cooking terms and techniques to prepare you for the cooking process. It also explains recipes, replacing ingredients, and flavor combination. All important things to know if you plan to cook during your life.

I won a copy of this book in the Goodreads First Reads Program*. I thought it was a fun book for children. It explains concepts they will use for the rest of their lives. While the book is mostly introductory, it will help engage children not only in mixing food and cooking it, but in meal planning, budgeting, growing food, and nutrition. Each section is short enough that a child will be able to focus on that topic without being overwhelmed with information.

I also liked that the book briefly talked about issues regarding food and nutrition. Processed foods, Farmer's Markets, where your food comes from, and eating local are all mentioned as choices that each person must make about their food. It also mentions different dietary options such as: veganism, vegetarianism, or other choices. I thought the author did a decent job staying neutral on these topics and mostly just gave a brief explanation for each term. It is important for children to learn about different choices they have for nutrition.

The only problem I had with this book was there were a few times when words that were chosen seemed liked baby talk or dumbing it down too much. Words such as "thingy" for a kitchen utensil. It did only happen a few times in the whole book, so not a huge concern, but it did not seem to fit with the audience this book was geared for, or seem very professional.

I think that people trying to engage children in nutrition and cooking will find this a helpful book. It will provide basic ideas, and will help you decide what your child is interested in.

*The Goodreads First Reads program does not require winners to give a review. Winners are encouraged to review the book, as the authors and publishers offering the books for free are trying to get the public interested in their book. If a review is given, it is not stipulated that it should be positive or negative, only an honest review. Winning this book does not change the nature of my review, it merely provides me with early access to this book.

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