What a Good Eater! Cookbook
It may be a few years since my kids were infants or toddlers, yet believe it or not I’m already starting to look ahead to being someday a grandfather. No rush, but when it happens I want to be prepared.
So a couple weeks ago when Amy Godiwalla and Alessandra (Ali) Macaluso invited me to try out some recipes from their new book What a Good Eater!, I jumped at the opportunity. What a Good Eater! is a cookbook full of nutritious recipes for babies and toddlers. Many of the recipes feature healthy herbs and spices which add flavor while broadening your baby’s palate.
What is considered good feeding habits for babies and toddlers varies all over the world. Parents tend to prepare food resembling what they eat themselves simply in milder terms. Kids in Italy, for instance, will not eat the same things as kids in Lebanon or in the United States. When my children were toddlers in Belgium, they sometimes drank table beer or had a little cocoa or coffee added to their warm milk. In France or Italy, children may have a little red wine added to their water at family gatherings. Tell a parent in the United States about these habits and you will definitely get dirty looks. All this to say that what is thought of as ok in one country may be seen as sacrilege somewhere else.
When Amy Godiwalla and Alessandra (Ali) Macaluso wrote What a Good Eater! they consulted a team of doctors and nutritionists to be sure their recipes provided the health benefits babies and toddlers need. You will therefore be reassured that the suggestions in this helpful book are based on good eating practices.
I love the idea of adding herbs, spices and out-of-the-ordinary ingredients from around the world to young children so they are introduced early to new tastes. Giving children new experiences while they are young will hopefully translate into better nutritional habits for life.
For more information about nutritional and healthy food for your baby, read Top 45 Best Baby Foods for a list of foods recommended by nutritionists and doctors.
When I received What a Good Eater! I immediately glanced at the Table of Contents and then scrolled through the recipes. I loved the simple layout and found the presentation to be very fresh and user friendly.
The authors had asked me to try at least one recipe to review. Although the 60 recipes included in What a Good Eater! cater to infants and toddlers, several of the recipes for children 8 months and up are also suitable for families. I liked several recipes and ended up choosing four to try: two for breakfast and two for dinner. I simply could not limit myself to a single recipe.
I enjoy a healthy breakfast in the morning that will stave off my hunger pains until lunch. When in a rush, I sometimes have toast topped with mashed avocado, garlic, salt and a little olive oil. Other times I spread tahini (sesame butter) on toast with a little honey on top. In between I prepare hot oatmeal to start my day off right.
Avocado, Tomato and Hummus Sandwich
When I stumbled on the Avocado, Tomato and Hummus Sandwich (page 140 of What a Good Eater!), I fell in love with its simplicity and healthful composition. If you have pre-made hummus in your refrigerator, this yummy sandwich can be prepared in about five minutes!
Since I made this recipe for myself instead of a toddler, I doubled the portion. If you make this Avocado, Tomato and Hummus Sandwich for yourself, you may wish to add a little more garlic and even a few sprinkles of cumin for added flavor. For your child, however, the taste will be just right.
Cocoa Avocado Smoothie for Parent
With the other half of avocado remaining after making the sandwich, I prepared a Cocoa Avocado Smoothie for Parent (page 40 of What a Good Eater!). In only a couple minutes I had a creamy, healthy smoothie made of banana, avocado, cocoa and almond milk to accompany my sandwich. I was so pleased to be able to add this new vegan combination of recipes to my morning repertoire.
If you prefer, however, you can use dairy milk instead of almond milk.
Later the same day I prepared the Baby Gazpacho (page 90 of What a Good Eater!) and the Dance Party Chicken Nuggets (page 88 of What a Good Eater!) for a family dinner. The Baby Gazpacho turned the Dance Party Chicken Nuggets into a balanced meal. Like the other recipes in the book, the Baby Gazpacho and Dance Party Chicken Nuggets were easy to make, tasty and healthy. Isn’t that every parent’s dream?
While living in Spain for a year during my university studies, I learned to appreciate a bowl of cold gazpacho, especially during the heat of summer. Since then I’ve made gazpacho soup numerous times using fresh vegetables and following various recipes.
I had a few reasons for trying the Baby Gazpacho recipe from What a Good Eater! First, I was looking for an opportunity to test my new Cuisinart Elite 2.0 16-cup Food Processor, purchased only a couple days earlier for my new apartment in Los Angeles. Second, the ingredients for this soup seemed to be right for making a good gazpacho. In fact, the recipe calls for low-sodium tomato juice, such as V8, along with fresh tomatoes, bell pepper and onions, as a kind of shortcut. I wanted to see how the juice would influence the final result. Third, I was happy to bring more vegetables and color to our dinner table.
I made a double portion of the Baby Gazpacho and was so glad I did. I ended up having some extra gazpacho for a couple days. I was surprised that even after two days the gazpacho left in my pitcher remained just as creamy and delicious as on the first day. I didn’t even have to stir it again.
The taste of the Baby Gazpacho was authentic and fresh. I’d definitely recommend that you make it for your family. I put all the ingredients in my Cuisinart Elite 2.0 16-cup Food Processor and pulsed about 30 seconds. That’s all it took to create this flavorful wonder.
Dance Party Chicken Nuggets
As the name suggests, the Dance Party Chicken Nuggets are fun to make. There are three easy steps to making Dance Party Chicken Nuggets, two of which include shaking the ingredients in a large resealable bag. I used a large Tupperware bowl with a lid to shake the ingredients. It was perfect for these tasks.
Chicken Nuggets would not ordinarily be my first choice of a meal to prepare. I usually try to avoid breading meat, as this seems to be an extra step that does not add any nutritional value. The simplicity of this recipe and the possibility of working outside of my comfort zone made this recipe really attractive.
This recipe for Dance Party Chicken Nuggets opened my eyes to the value of breading chicken. It captures the flavor of the seasoning and cheese in every bite. The breading also makes it easier to freeze the extra chicken nuggets for a future meal, if you succeed in having any nuggets leftover after your family devours the nuggets.
The recipe calls for one and a half pounds of chicken. I was therefore quite pleased when I was able to make nuggets out of two and a half pounds of chicken with the same breading quantity. I recommend that you have some extra chicken on hand to use with any leftover dipping and breading ingredients.
As a special treat for reading this review, I am sharing with you the recipe for the Dance Party Chicken Nuggets. You can thus see for yourself how clearly the recipe is written and the choice ingredients used.
For my review of What a Good Eater! I received a free electronic copy of this lovely cookbook full of fresh ideas for parents of young children, as well as a complimentary Vidalia Chop Wizard and an Infinity Jar.
I have used my Vidalia Chop Wizard to chop onions and carrots a couple times since I received it about a week ago. It is very easy to use and helps avoid your hands getting smelly when chopping onions. The Vidalia Chop Wizard is small enough to be left on your counter or nearby for quick use. It has two chopping blades: one with larger squares and the second with smaller squares. For more information, you can follow the Vidalia Chop Wizard on Facebook by following this link.
The Infinity Jar is made of ultraviolet glass that allows you to preserve the freshness of dried goods, such as herbs, spices and coffee, without such goods leaving any odor in the jar. I have prepared my own Dukkah spice mix and have used the Infinity Jar for storage. I’m so happy to have this cool jar at arm’s reach on my countertop ready to access when making my favorite recipes. Discover more sizes of Infinity Jars and more information about their unique qualities by visiting their website by clicking here.
The receipt of these gifts has not influenced my review of these products. I stand by my comments above and have reached my opinions solely based on my personal experiences this past week.
Learning More about What a Good Eater!
For more information about What a Good Eater! and to remain informed about new developments, check out the book’s website by clicking here.
More than twenty other bloggers participated in the Virtual Dinner Party to review and help promote What a Good Eater!. Follow the links below to read some other reviews and discover other recipes featured in What a Good Eater!
- The Balanced Life (Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos)
- Studio Botanica (Spinach and Goat Cheese Mini Muffins)
- Purposeful Nutrition (Kheema: Indian Ground Beef)
Please use the links below to share this review and the recipe for Dance Party Chicken Nuggets with your friends.