ChopChop — the book!

Sampson, Sally. ChopChop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2013. 185 pages. Tr. $17.04, ISBN 978-1-45168587-9

Interest Level: 3-6

Cuisine: Varied

This book is by Sally Sampson, the founder of the organization that publishes the previous entry, ChopChop the magazine. This book has great photographs, encouraging language when telling children that they can cook even difficult dishes, and also talks about food realistically (i.e., that breakfast on a school day can be a rushed meal!). The book also addresses children as equals (rather than being a book talking down to young chefs), so the tone was enjoyable. The reason I chose this book despite already opting to pay for a subscription by the same group (ChopChop Kids, founded by Sally Sampson) is that some children would feel better having another book to reference rather than just the rotating selection of magazines. I also count this separately from the magazines as it comes in a different format, so I would want to budget those two items differently.


Magazine! ChopChop

ChopChop Magazine. Belmont, MA: ChopChop Kids. 4 issues yearly. $14.95 per year

Interest Level: 3-8

Cuisine: Varied

This magazine is a resource for families who want to get cooking together. The issues include wonderful columns such as ideas for being more active (“Lead the Way—Take a Walk After Dinner” is one in the Fall 2016 issue), interviews with young activists or food experts, and fun food-themed puzzles and games such as mazes and word searches. Recipes include many great photos, including step-by-step photos for more complex actions in recipes (i.e., how to flip a quesadilla in the pan). Children of varying ages are shown doing age-appropriate cooking tasks; for example, photos of a little boy named Liam show him helping to shake something up and do other tasks safe for a very young child to do in the kitchen. Older children are shown using blenders and chopping vegetables. Captions also explain what each child is doing, naming children by name so that the information is made more concrete rather than a more abstract direction (i.e., “Liam is mixing…” instead of “Mix the ingredients”). The reason I chose to add this subscription is because it has a lot to offer a library collection. Not only is it endorsed and reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it was also named “publication of the year” by the James Beard Foundation, an honor that Judy Bolton-Fasman of Huffington Post points out is “the equivalent of an Oscar in the food world” (2013). Each issue has a theme, and it is filled with recipes and ideas based on that quarter’s cooking theme. This means that plenty of new recipes will be coming in every few months for kids to try. It also shows children of varying ages cooking; this helps reinforce the idea that kids are able to cook, and this may help children stick with wanting to learn even when new recipes are hard. Finally, the interviews and other supplementary material give kids something else to look at while flipping through; they can learn other things about nutrition as they browse recipes.


Review referenced:

Bolton-Fasman, J. (2013, Sept. 9). Cooking fun, cooking healthy with ChopChop Magazine and Cookbook. Huffington Post. Retrieved from     healt_b_3893517.html