Going through each issue of National Geographic Kids has become one of my go-to bonding experiences with my granddaughter, Ava. You know the best thing about the magazine? It doesn’t dumb anything down for children, and it’s educational AND fun. Plus, they’ve recently come out with a National Geographic Kids Cookbook, which has been a huge gift to our family. Being healthy isn’t easy, and kids these days are prone to demanding ice cream and chocolate before anything else. But with this cookbook, I was able to teach Ava the importance of being healthy without sounding like I was preaching it to her.
The cookbook issue has several recipes for healthy meals, but most of all, it’s easy to approach and brings a new joy to cooking and eating healthy. National Geographic explorer and master chef Barton Seaver has created several new and fresh recipes that are simple and uncomplicated, and has kindly shared those recipes over the course of the magazine. Plus, there’s a huge section devoted to the positive aspects of eating healthy, and again, that was one of the biggest reasons that I so highly recommend this book. It’s much easier teaching kids these things by showing them as opposed to simply telling them. Plus, there so many food-related challenges and fun activities that it doesn’t even feel like work. Instead, it feels like we’re back in third grade, playing with our easy bake oven and trying to bake cookies from cookie dough. Granted, you won’t find cookie dough in this magazine, but instead, a series of recipes focused on bringing the right balance of nutrients for a child’s growing body. Plenty of vegetables and fruits, and recipes that won’t be too far-fetched for a kid to pull off on their own. After all, this is National Geographic Kids.
Some of the fun activities that the magazine takes us on are teaching you to plant a kitchen garden, pack the ‘perfect’ school lunch, creating snacks for snow day [especially helpful up in the north], and host dinner parties. In fact, after reading the book and going over the recipes, Ava decided to make a delicious lunch for all of us, and with our help, managed to pull off a wonderful and healthy meal – albeit a simple one.
There’s also a section on ways to ‘play with your food’ [your kids ought to have a field day with this one], festive meals for holiday season, and cooking competitions for the whole family to get involved in. The competitions were a wonderful way to get us all involved, and they played a big part in some epic bonding sessions – and also made a mess of our kitchen, but who’s counting.
In addition to all the educational recipes and activities, the magazine also throws in some fun facts about the recipes, cool tidbits about real people, and some highly entertaining side bars.
Basically, if you’ve ever gotten read an issue of National Geographic Kids before, you’ll know roughly what to expect, but place it all in a food-related context. It’s the same type of layout with similar activities for the kids to get involved in, but instead of going exploring in the wild or learning about animals, this focuses on the food. But the difference in Ava’s response to food after reading this book has been night-and-day, and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to instill some healthy eating habits in their kids or grandkids.
We will also be giving away one National Geographic Kids Cookbook to one lucky winner! The issue is most appropriate for kids from 8 – 12, but really, there’s no age limit. They need to be old enough to understand the recipes, but it’s really a book that an entire family can get behind.
The contest is open to both residents of the USA and Canada and will run until October 13th, 2014. Winners will be drawn using Rafflecopter below, give it a minute or two to come up! I will notify the winner by e-mail and you have 72-hours to respond or I will have to choose another winner. Good Luck!!
Disclosure: I’m part of the National Geographic Kids Insider program. I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. All the opinions on this blog are my own.