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Kids’ Meals & Snacks by Emma Donnelly (New Holland, $24.99)
Reviewed by Sophie Robinson, 12

Kids_Meals_Donnelly_CoverWhen I opened the parcel I couldn’t wait to look inside the appealing cover. This book looks quite grown-up, so kids might like it even more than a normal ‘kids’ cookbook that looks more childish. I like the colour theme (pale purple). It is a hardcover with a cloth spine and thick pages. It’s a good size and has an embossed title.

This clearly set out book will get used for sure! Each recipe is on a double page spread, with the recipe on one page and on the facing page there is a full colour, full page photo. The title is at the top, then there is the quantity that the recipe makes. A clear list of ingredients and amounts is underneath. Another helpful thing with the ingredients is that they are listed in the order that you need to use them. It would be good to have the preparation time and cooking time at the start as well though. The steps are clear and easy to read, and are not too long. The only instruction that I didn’t understand was where it said to infuse sugar with a vanilla bean but doesn’t say how to actually do that.

The way the recipes are put into sections works well – Introduction, Snacks, Main Meals, Special Food, Sweets, Smoothies, and an Index. It’s unusual having a Smoothie section, but cool. I’m not sure how the recipes in the Special Foods section are special because they sound like they could just be in the main meal section. Some of the recipes would make good lunchbox food. There are a total of 92 recipes.

I tried the Apricot and Coconut Balls first. They were a bit sweet for me.  The recipe said to use a food processor to mix the ingredients to a better texture but our food processor and our blender stick both kept jamming as the mixture was too sticky and hard. The texture was of dried apricot and the taste: honey. So if you like honey, you would like this recipe.

I also made Chicken with Sesame Seeds. It is deep fried coated chicken that you then put into another pan with sauce ingredients. I thought it didn’t taste as nice as it looks in the picture. We have a different recipe with more spices that tastes nicer.

There are also interesting recipes like Homemade Baked Beans. I want to try this one next. The Speedy Lasagne recipe in here is not really speedy compared to ordinary lasagne. These recipes would be fine for adults as well as kids, even though the book is aimed at children. I think that on most of the recipes you wouldn’t need much adult help.

The recipes were chosen by children, for children. They helped with the testing, and the most popular recipes were put into this book. I think it’s good value for the price of $24:99.  This inspired me and I think would inspire many other people to cook.