We already loved one of Ruby Roth’s vegan kids’ books, V is for Vegan, so were really excited when she brought out The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids. It’s full of easy and healthy vegan recipes that kids can make, with just a little help from grown-ups.
I’ve always thought it’s really good for kids to learn how to cook. If they can make a few homemade meals then that’ll generally be healthier and it encourages kids to eat healthy food if they helped to prepare it! My boys are 4 and (almost) 2 and they already enjoy helping me with making food, even if it’s just mixing things in a bowl or putting ingredients into a blender. It’s lots of fun, really messy, and takes longer to do with them, but they learn something and they always seem really proud to eat the food that they made.
Even though my kids aren’t old enough to make the recipes in the book on their own, or even to read the recipes, there are lots of things they can do to make the recipes with my help. So I would recommend this book for any age, as they get older they can make the recipes on their own, with a grown-up just doing any more dangerous things, and eventually make the recipes completely on their own. Even if you just have really young kids, the recipes are mostly suitable for toddlers (or babies who are doing baby led weaning) and all the family can enjoy them.
It’s a really lovely book with cute illustrations and colourful photos that would really appeal to kids. It focuses mostly on how the recipes are good for us and the planet, with little bits of information about why vegans don’t eat animal products, explained in a child-friendly way. It’s really important to me that my kids know why we are raising them vegan so I loved that.
The book has over 60 recipes including drinks, sauces & dips, smaller meals, bigger meals, salads & dressings, and desserts, as well as an explanation about some common ingredients in vegan recipes and tips about kitchen safety.
So far we’ve tried out a few of the recipes like the sweet beet sauce, cashew cream cheese, presto pesto, cheezy sauce, granola crumble, chapati 3 ways, and yam bams! They’ve all gone down well with the kids, and I really enjoyed them too. What I loved about them is that they’re so simple but taste great. I think my kids have pretty simple tastes too so they prefer these to more complicated meals.
There are lots more recipes I want to try from this book, and I think we’ll get years of use from it. It’s good motivation for me to get the kids involved in cooking more often. I’m looking forward to when they are old enough to make all the meals on their own and can cook for me occasionally!
I’d recommend this book to all vegan families or even non-vegans who want their kids to eat a bit healthier and learn how to cook healthy food. We can’t wait to read some of Ruby Roth’s other kids’ books soon.
For more information about Ruby Roth’s books, visit www.wedonteatanimals.com.