This is not only a cookbook but a travel book and a lesson in geography. Children learn how different parts of the country developed distinctive dishes because of the food grown there.
From the East Coast to the West, Alaska, and Hawaii, children can celebrate America’s diversity through food. The recipes and foods typical of different regions of the country are presented: Cooking in New England, the Mid-Atlantic States, Appalachian Highlands, Southeast, Great Lakes, Heartland, Southwest, Mountain region, Pacific Coastal region, and Cooking in Hawaii.
Each region starts out with kid-friendly food-related activities and includes a short geographical description of the land, the types of food produced in that locale, and recipes typical of that region. There are nearly 200 recipes kids can easily make with the help of a caring adult. Each of the recipes gives clear and easy directions on what the child can do and the jobs more appropriate for adults.
The recipes are composed of real ingredients rather than mixes. Introductory pages teach about nutrition, safety tips, cooking terms, working together, and “going green” by conserving water, energy, and paper products. Food facts, historical notes, and fun activities are found throughout this 270 page cookbook.
Along with foods such as Wild Rice and Cheese Soup from the Great Lakes region, Tamale Pie from the Southwest, and Best Salmon Bake from the Pacific coast region, brief facts of American culinary history are given. For example, “When was ice cream “invented”? What are hush puppies and how did they get their name? What are funnel cakes? Why doesn’t all corn “pop”?”
A natural extension to many areas of the school curriculum, such as math and science, this cookbook makes history and geography come to life. It can be used in:
- Teaching children about food history and where our food is produced
- Helping children learn about the cooking styles of early Americans
- Relating children to food traditions of different regions
- Helping children learn how food played a part in our country’s history
- Involving children in preparing food of diverse cultures
This cookbook makes an important resource for home, for homeschool, and for school. It's an excellent way to introduce children to new cultures and different tastes.