Three experts present a guide that’s part cookbook and part advice for worried parents.
Bubbling with hands-on tips for coaxing stubborn children to eat, this cheerful manual for parents garners information from sources like Britain’s National Health Service. Divided into five easy-to-read parts, the volume provides many color photographs from various sources of expressive kids and delectable dishes scattered throughout the pages. Section 1 features compelling testimony of a childhood eating disorder suffered by Sakkas (Revealing Psychiatry, 2015), a psychiatry professor from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. But his dark tone may startle some when he writes that in a family power struggle, children who won’t eat are “perverts” who are willing to suffer to punish their parents. Continuing the discussion, pediatrician Moustakas suggests using the senses—and a variety of colors—to induce children to eat. The debut author notes that kids love to touch their food, so anything too “hard or gluey” could be displeasing to them. Perhaps surprising to some, butter and sea salt are offered as “necessary” ingredients for children’s health. Section 2 presents 30 kid-friendly recipes—including veggie burgers, cheese cupcakes, pizza, and omelet wraps—by chef Togia (A Taste of Greece!, 2014, etc.). Her pleasant dishes, like savory “Granny’s meatballs,” could make little mouths water. Likewise, kids who help prepare creative concoctions, such as the egg-based “Toasted smiley face,” are more likely to be enthusiastic eaters. Written in a friendly, first-person voice, the guide provides recipe instructions that are clear and concise. But some recipes, such as “Chocolate cookies,” require knowledge of grams or kilograms—and will likely be confusing for readers who measure with cups or pounds. Inspired by Togia, a dad shares his own recipe ideas in Section 3—for example, pizza with vegetables. In Section 4, Sakkas returns with a thoughtful analysis of an eating disorder. After supplying 15 obvious tips—including that parents should remain calm—this well-referenced volume concludes with a useful glossary and appendices for further reading.
While a bit uneven, this vivid work delivers a smorgasbord of practical ideas and fun recipes.