Inspire Kids to Eat Healthy with “Little Belly Monster” Cookbook Stories

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There’s no better way to get children excited about healthy eating than introducing them to “Little Belly Monster Makes a Pizza” and “Little Belly Monster Makes French Toast,” the first two books in a series that’s created a new literary genre for kids: the Cookbook Story. Kid-friendly recipes are broken down into bite-sized stories 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. Readers can opt to make these easy, kid-tested favorites or just read them as charming picture books that inspire healthy eating.

Little Belly Monster always uses lots of wholesome ingredients, while sharing everyday cooking skills and safety tips. The recipes are simple enough to execute any day of the week. With quick reference shopping lists and alternate ingredient possibilities, they 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!

Kids are spontaneously reading “Little Belly Monster” Cookbook Stories over and over, unknowingly complementing healthy-kid initiatives, such as those led by Michelle Obama and Jamie Oliver. The books been praised by kids, parents, teachers, retailers and reviewers alike.

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

“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

“Little Belly Monster Makes a Pizza” and “Little Belly Monster Makes French Toast” are truly unlike any other, with more on the horizon. Watch for the next two delicious books, “Little Belly Monster Packs a Lunch” and “Little Belly Monster Makes a Super Smoothie,” serving up next!

Little Belly Monster on the Road with Cookbook Stories & Special Pizza Activity

We hosted our first combo, “Little Belly Monster Makes a Pizza,” reading and paper pizza activity day!

pizza activity

In the past, we’ve read the books and actually made the delicious pizza and French toast recipes with kids, but the kind folks at Indigo, in the Manulife Centre/Toronto, challenged us to put together an event that didn’t require food, a stove or an oven.  As a series of cookbook stories, that was tricky but we managed a great little cut-out pizza package with lots of tasty, healthy topping options.  The event on July 22 was a big hit with the kids.

Still working out the details of getting them permanently into Indigo, but in the meantime, you can find the books available online or in stores at:  littlebellymonster.com/purchase

Or, to book an event, contact us at books@littlebellymonster.com

activity set       LBM at Indigo jul22

pizza with mom       pizza!

pizza1       finished pizzas

 

 

 

Tips on How to Cook with Your Kids…and Still Have Fun!

The idea of cooking with your kids seems idyllic in your mind.  Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.  Laughing and tossing flour at each other, as jazz music plays in the background.  And then 30 minutes later…voila, the perfect roast.

Then you actually start cooking.  The screaming begins.  The crying.  The frustration.  And that’s just from the adults.

So what can you do to make this more like your dream than your worst nightmare?  Well, a little preparation goes a long way.  Make your time together more enjoyable with these simple tips:

1.  For lower commitment than a whole recipe, get your kids to help with one or two little parts of the meal, like washing fruit, taking the stems off beans or cracking eggs.  They still learn something, they feel helpful and they just like being with you!

2.  If you’re feeling more ambitious, pick a recipe out before you tell them about your activity together.  Or pick a recipe with them the day before.  This way, you can check that you have all the ingredients before you start and you won’t have an argument about which recipe to make, as your stomachs start to grumble.

3. Gather all the ingredients together first because even though you think you have enough milk, you may not.  This is bad news half way through a recipe.

4.  Pick an age/skill appropriate recipe.  If you are just starting to cook together or if your kids are young, make something simple.  Or choose a dish that you already know how to cook well.

5.  Make sure you have enough time.  Getting the kids to help will naturally take longer than if you were to make it on your own.  Expect this.

6.  Let them taste things as you go.  I find this especially true for fruits and veggies.  It’s a great way to sneak some extras into them, before they even make it to the meal.  It’s also a great way to introduce different ingredients.

7.  Don’t be afraid of trying something new.  If they have a hand in preparing it, they will be more excited about trying the finished product.

8.  Get kid friendly utensils, measuring cups, cutting boards and aprons.  It makes them feel like a real cook.

9.  Expect that things may go wrong. Cooking takes time and practice.  Remember that it’s as much about quality time together as the meal itself.  Guide them through it.  It gets easier every time.

10.  And most importantly, enjoy!

For more kid-friendly tips, recipes and cookbook stories, check out the “Little Belly Monster” book series.  Pizza and French Toast recipes now available online at Amazon, Indigo and Barnes & Noble.

 

My 9 year old’s first start to finish attempt at making scrambled eggs (with spinach and flax).