Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up

by Mollie Katzen, Ann Henderson


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Celebrating 25 years of vegetarian recipes and called "the gold standard for chidren's cookbooks" by the New York Times, Pretend Soup, by celebrated Moosewood chef Mollie Katzen, offers children and families easy recipes for healthy, fun, and delicious food.
Mollie Katzen, renowned author of The Moosewood Cookbook, and educator Ann Henderson bring the grown-up world of real cooking to a child’s level. Children as young as three years old and as old as eight become head chef while an adult serves as guide and helper. Extensively classroom- and home-tested, these recipes are designed to inspire an early appreciation for creative, wholesome food. Whimsical watercolor critters and pictorial versions of each recipe will help the young cook understand and delight in the process. Just consider all that can be explored in the kitchen: counting, reading readiness, science awareness, self-confidence, patience, and, importantly, food literacy. Pizza, after all, does not come “from a telephone.”
You and your child can have great fun finding this out!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781883672065
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 04/01/1994
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 116,982
Product dimensions: 8.31(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

About the Author

ANN HENDERSON is a credentialed early childhood education specialist and is co-director of the Child Education Center in Berkeley, California.

MOLLIE KATZEN is a cookbook author and artist who has profoundly shaped the way America eats. Mollie is a consultant and cocreator of Harvard's groundbreaking Food Literacy Project. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Read an Excerpt


The Critics Rave:
We’re gonna make people out of food! --jack
I’m gonna make my sister. --theo
Maybe I should make a carrot zipper. --simone
Strawberry hair! --serafina

To the Grown-ups:
Children will get deeply involved with this concept, which is all about creating a miniature person out of cheese, fruit, vegetables, and perhaps even pasta. In addition to being a cross between an art project and a great snack or lunch, this recipe presents a wonderful opportunity to introduce new foods--or at least new food combinations--to young children.
There is no right or wrong way to make a Salad Person. In fact, if your child doesn’t feel like making something representational, it’s fine to make a food design instead. In either case, let your youngster guide the experience as inspiration occurs.

Cooking Hints and Safety Tips

Children can help with some of the preparations, such as slicing strawberries and bananas, grating carrots, or spreading peanut butter into celery. They also enjoy helping place all the various components in small bowls and setting everything up.

The Salad Person’s face can be made with cottage cheese or yogurt. Children of color might prefer to use coffee or chocolate yogurt so the Salad Person can look like family.

You can firm up any flavor of yogurt by placing it in a paper-lined cone coffee filter over a bowl for a few hours--or even overnight. The whey will drip out of the yogurt, leaving behind a firmer curd, often referred to as “yogurt cheese.” Keep in mind that you’ll end up with only about 60 percent of the original volume.

The amounts are quite flexible, so just estimate the quantities.
Children’s Tools: Cutting boards and child-appropriate knives (if the children are going to help with the cutting); spoons for scooping; a plate and fork for each person

Salad People Recipe
Cored pear halves, peel optional (fresh and ripe, or canned and drained)
Cottage cheese or very firm yogurt
Strips of cheese (cut wide and thin, to be limbs)
Sliced bananas (cut into vertical spears as well as rounds)
Cantaloupe or honeydew
(cut into 4-inch slices)
Celery sticks (plain or stuffed with nut butter)
Shredded carrots
(in long strands, if possible)
Sliced strawberries

1) Place a pear half in the center of each plate, flat side down.

2) Arrange a round scoop of cottage cheese or very firm yogurt above the narrow top of the pear, so that the cheese or yogurt looks like a head and the pear looks like a torso.

3) Create arms and legs from strips of cheese, banana spears, melon slices, or celery sticks (stuffed or plain).

4) Create hair, facial features, hands, feet, buttons, zippers, hats, and so forth from any combination of the remaining ingredients.

5) Name it and eat!

yield: Flexible! Just put out a lot of food. Store the leftovers for next time, which will likely be soon.

Customer Reviews

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Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cookbook is a wonderful way to get children involved with Family meals, and by doing so, open their minds and palates to healthier ways of eating. I am a Mother to a 3 year old girl who is an adventurous eater, and a 4.5 year old boy who is quite the opposite of his sister. We're vegetarians and encourage our kids to eat plenty of fruits and veggies (as any family should, regardless of diet). The kids have a few standbys that we can fall back on, but it's important to me to add variety for their diet. It's tough with a picky eater, and even my adventuresome daughter turn's her nose up at certain things. However, all of this has changed with the introduction of 'Pretend Soup'. My kids help with the menu selection for the week and choose a recipe from the book to make. 'Green Spaghetti' was a big hit, with both kids asking for second helpings, though they would touch pesto a week before. Not only were they enthusiastic about the dish they helped to prepare, but they were more open to the other dishes at the meal, and both kids also happily ate beets for the first time! The book is laid out with a set of written instructions with helpful tips for parents, but the following pages contain simple pictoral directions that even my toddlers can follow. It helps the kids have more ownership of their food to be able to not only help prepare it, but be able to follow along and tell Mom what has to happen next. Katzen includes tips on how to make each recipe age appropriate for both younger and older children, so this cookbook can work for families with kids of any age. I highly reccomend Katzen's kids cookbooks to any family who wants to cultivate healthy eating and a love of food and cooking.
mcglothlen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The best cookbook for Children I've ever seen. Every parent should have this and use it. It includes both pages for children to use and read as well as parental lesson plans for each recipe. It's genius. A fun book with a serious purpose.
Maiasaura on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a simply charming first cookbook. A good variety of healthy, kid-friendly, and vegetarian (Katzen is best known for the vegetarian standby, The Moosewood Cookbook) recipes suitable for kid-parent cooking. I loved this book when I was a little girl--try the homemade soda and the green spaghetti!
Toby16VA More than 1 year ago
I work with special needs children and they are not always good readers. Most of them love to eat though and this is filled with easy picture recipes that they can learn. They gain pride in their accomplishments as well as practical life skills.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My nine year old son is looking forward to trying many of the recipes in this book...from Homeade Lemon-Lime Soda Pop to Green Hide and Seek Bright Pink Fruit Dip to many other fun recipes. He had checked this cook book out from his school's library and he didn't want to turn it back in so we bought him his very own copy. The recipes are creative and appealing with simple instructions and colorful pictures that a young child can follow. I would certianly recommend this book to others. We're planning to play in the kitchen over summer break!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a professional and working with special needs kids, I have found the layout of this book to be fantastic for those who need a lot of visual information to learn. Excellent!