A Healthy Recipe & Story in Each “Little Belly Monster” Cookbook Story

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Get kids excited about cooking and healthy eating with, “Little Belly Monster Makes a Pizza” and “Little Belly Monster Makes French Toast!” 

Recently shortlisted by Slate & NY Magazine’s Strategist online, as one of, “The Best Cookbooks for Kids, According to Chefs With Children”:

https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/07/best-cookbooks-for-kids.html

http://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-cookbooks-for-kids.html

These first two picture books have created a completely different type of cookbook for kids: Cookbook Stories. Each book is an individual, kid-friendly recipe, broken down into bite-sized instructions that kids can easily follow, with the help of a healthy, food-loving monster.

Written for kids 3 to 8 years old, each book is a beautifully illustrated story of an adorable monster who makes a single, step-by-step recipe. But, unlike traditional kids’ cookbooks, actually making the recipe is optional: you can cook these easy, kid-tested favorites or just read them as charming stories about healthy food!

Little Belly Monster always uses lots of wholesome ingredients, while sharing everyday cooking skills and safety tips. With quick reference shopping lists and alternate ingredient options, the recipes can accommodate busy families, picky eaters or even culinary adventurers. And with the popularity of kids’ cooking shows like “Master Chef Junior”, they’re the perfect choice for budding foodies!

Here’s what others have to say:

“It’s a great way to get kids excited about eating healthy, and they won’t even realize they’re eating whole wheat pita and lots of veggies.” – Celine Wong, producer at “Chopped Canada”

“…I know my own cookbook collection will be enriched with Margaret John’s clever series.” – Gabriela Perdomo, EcoParent Magazine

“GREAT storybook and cookbook mom and kids will love.” – Lyranda Martin Evans, blogger and co-author of “Reasons Mommy Drinks”

Yummy Yogurt Snowman Snack & Shopping List!

Making a Yogurt Snowman with Little Belly Monster is a fun way to bring winter inside AND fill your belly with a healthy, yummy snack!

All you need is:

  • Vanilla or Coconut Greek Yogurt
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Granola Bar

Download the adorable Little Belly Monster Shopping List and watch as Mummo teaches him how to make this snack, before he chomps it all up!

Healthy Road Food for Kids Starts with Bringing a Cup: Tips for a Well-Balanced Road Trip

After travelling back and forth on various road trips with the kids over the years, I’ve discovered that the key utensil for healthy car eating is the road cup.  Yes, it’s that simple.

road fruit cupI now always travel with a set of reusable, stackable plastic cups, enough for each passenger in the car (or plane or train).  It makes life so much easier.  The cup is perfect for holding a decent amount of food, managing portion control and has the flexibility of sharing lots of small, healthy bits, without hands flying everywhere and food all over the ground.

Depending on how long of a trip, the kids seem to be hungry practically every hour or 150 km (how is it possible to get that hungry just sitting there?).  This can add up to a lot of calories and junk food, if you’re not careful.  For those long rides, pass out the nutritious treats like a layered cake – just one or two things at a time so they don’t get bored of any one snack, plus you can control the timing and amounts of each layer.

road veggie cupAs an opening strategy, since I’m the one in the passenger’s seat, doling out the snacks, I always start with the cup-o-veggies first.  Like in any meal (even the well-balanced road trip meal), they’re always the toughest sell.  But when you start with the veggies, it gets them out of the way, the kids are at their hungriest so they will complain the least, and, they know that they need to get through that first cup, before they get to the other good stuff.  After this first course, you can relax.  The other snacks can be distributed in almost any order because you know they will get eaten.

The secret to a healthy road trip, and really, any good trip, is just a little prep before you go.  Thinking ahead and doing a little chopping beforehand will go a long way.  Here are some healthy snack ideas that are great for the road, as long as you have that cup:

Veggies

  • Baby carrots
  • Cut cucumbers, red peppers or celery
  • Hummus for dipping – also good for protein and fiber (bring a spoon for scooping)

Fruit

  • Berries
  • Apple or peach slices
  • Cut pineapple or melon

Dairy

  • Cheese strings

Note:  If you’re travelling for more than an hour or so, make sure to keep perishables cold with an ice pack.

Healthy Snack Foods

  • Popcorn
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Raisins, dried mangoes or other 100% fruit snacks
  • Nuts

Drinks

  • Water!!!!

You don’t need to get fancy.  Everyone could use more water to keep hydrated, it won’t spoil, has no sugar or calories and, unlike juice or soft drinks, the kids likely won’t drink it so fast that you have to pull over for pee stops every half hour.  I love the Thermos insulated, stainless steel water bottles.  Add a couple of ice cubes and the water stays cool and refreshing for hours.

Enjoy the ride.