Fun for the very young, Nicola Chilton

Food is Fun for Young Cooks
Dianne Lowry and Jan van der Voo,
Book 2 Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland, 1991, $19.95

This book states it is ‘a perfect introduction for 7-12 year-olds to the delights of cooking’. About a quarter of its pages are devoted to subjects like hygiene in cooking, healthy eating and safety in the kitchen; the rest consists of recipes. These are sorted into different categories such as ‘Fruits and Vegetables’, ‘Meat and Alternatives’ or ‘Little Extras and Party Foods’. Everything is well indexed and the recipes have difficulty ratings.

The book is very attractive, with humorous and useful drawings in bright colours enlivening each page. The presentation would delight 6-8 year-olds, but is much less suited to the older age group. Some of the recipes, in my opinion, have been chosen not because children would like them but because parents would like their children to make them. I don’t know any 7-year-olds wanting to make Lentil and Alphabet or Kumara soup. It must be hard to get the focus right. In this case I think it is the sort of book young children will love to pick up and look through, but not necessarily cook from, while older children will probably prefer to use a real recipe book.


Nicola Chilton is twelve years old and is in Form 3 at Wellington Girls’ College.

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