Green Kids Cook aims to encourage and teach children around the 7–14 age group how to cook and eat food that’s as good for them as it is for the planet. Of course, you can prepare elements of the recipes with younger kids, and you’ll probably find yourself using the book for some inspiration, too. Cooking is a vital life skill that’s too often neglected. Kids who cook, and understand where their food comes from, don’t just have a head start when they set out into the world to fend for themselves, they’re also more likely to eat well and thrive as they grow up. This book isn’t directed at vegetarians or vegans (although virtually none of the recipes contain meat or fish), it’s about getting more plants on everyone’s plates, since most diets in the western world are woefully lacking in natural fruit and veg. It’s widely accepted that getting children to eat their greens is a challenge at the best of times and yet here’s a kids’ book filled with vegetable recipes. You may be surprised – once they try dishes, such as Vietnamese Summer Rolls or Butternut Bean Burgers where the vegetables play the starring role, rather than acting as a sidekick to a more familiar sausage (and that sausage is nowhere in sight), the veg are far more likely to get eaten.
As well as over 60 recipes for real family food with countless variations, there are sewing projects, a few foraging tips and even instructions on how to sprout your own pulses. We need our young to be engaged, to become climate-change warriors rather than worriers. Green Kids Cook sets out to give young people eco tips on how to make a difference, with healthy and sustainable recipes and plenty of fun projects along the way.
Jenny Chandler is a cookery teacher and food writer based in Bristol. She trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine where, after a decade of cheffing on sailboats and distant shores, she now works as a visiting lecturer. Jenny also teaches both adults and children at a number of other venues, including Borough Market, The Bertinet Kitchen and various primary school classrooms.
In 2016 Jenny was nominated The United Nations FAO European Ambassador for the International Year of Pulses, and she continues working to promote plant-focused diets with their undeniable environmental and health benefits. She leads the Forward Food Campaign workshops for The Humane Society International UK, working with catering industry chefs to create more sustainable menus, putting more plants on plates.
You’ll find plenty of tips and inspiration on her Instagram account @jennychandleruk
“Such an important book that weaves together the fun and playfulness of food
with positive and practical ways kids can make a difference to the world by how they cook and eat. I can’t wait to cook from it with my son.” – Anna Jones
“Cooking with your youngsters is a great bonding experience, and helps young ones to understand what food is, where it comes from, and the benefits it can have for us.” – Steve Backshall
“Fab recipes, great pictures and brilliant ideas for us all to be more sustainable. Will totally inspire and empower kids and parents to eat in a way that’s better for themselves and for the planet.” – Michaela Strachan