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You know you’ve made it in the world of Paleo when people start sending you free copies of their awesome new books!!! 🙂
All jokes aside, I was extremely excited to be the first person to receive a copy of the new Paleo cookbook for kids called “Eat Like A Dinosaur” by the Paleo Parents. While I don’t have kids of my own, I’ve worked with many different ages of children in the past, including those with special needs, so I have a fairly good idea of what kids like when it comes to reading as well as cooking. And I can tell that this book is going to be a hit with kids (and parents) of all ages!
Here is an overview of what makes “Eat Like A Dinosaur” such a special book:
“Eat Like A Dinosaur” Story Chapter
Considering the amount of funny looks and comments I get over the food I eat as an adult, I can only imagine the challenges that many children eating Paleo foods at school would face. Eating hardboiled eggs, raw veggies, and beef jerky when the rest of their friends are eating PB&J sandwiches and pizza must draw a lot of attention for the little ones in the cafeteria. Whether or not your kids actually like Paleo food, they may have a hard time accepting their different food when faced with peer pressure to eat ‘normally’.
This is where the “Eat Like A Dinosaur” story chapter comes in. Stacy and Matt have done a great job writing a clever, endearing narrative to help explain to your young children why your family chooses to ‘eat like a dinosaur’, and all the positive changes that come along with a new healthy lifestyle. The Paleo Parents turn something that could be an extremely negative experience for children into one that is really positive – kids get to visit farmer’s markets with their families, help with cooking, and have more energy to play their favorite games and sports. It’s really important for children to understand why they’re eating like they are, and not just be forced to fall in line to a new style of eating. Using this chapter of the cookbook is a great way to teach your children about all the reasons why eating like a dinosaur is such a great idea! Not to mention, the illustrations are lovely!
Being extremely clear about the potential allergens contained in a recipe is a very important component of a cookbook aimed at families with food sensitivities and health concerns. Matt and Stacy have done a really fantastic job of making it known when any of the top 8 allergens are present in their recipes. As a Paleo cookbook, obviously the recipes are all dairy, wheat, peanut, and soy free. However, it is also evident when any of the recipes contain fish, shellfish, tree nuts, or eggs. This is an important component for families with children who have allergies and want to stick to the allergen-free recipes.
Lunch Packing and Fun Activities
Besides just a wide variety of great recipes for meat, sides, sauces, snacks, and desserts, “Eat Like a Dinosaur” also contains information in the back about different fun activities and projects you can do with your children in order to ease their (and your) transition into the Paleo lifestyle. They have ideas for ‘Make Your Own’ nights, Farmer’s Market trips, Gardening, and Yard Sales. All of these activities can be done with your kids in order to get them excited about their new Paleo lifestyle. Involving your children in the decision making process is the ideal way to make their diet change a positive experience. They’ll have so much fun helping pick out food at the Farmer’s Market that they won’t even realize they’re eating vegetables for dinner that night!
The lunch packing section is also a lifesaver for moms and dads who are lost in the post-sandwich confusion of Paleo lunchboxes. I know that personally I have enough trouble packing my Paleo lunches, so I can only imagine how much harder it is to pack food for a little one. Stacy and Matt give lots of great examples and product recommendations to help make the lunch packing experience less frustrating for parents that are new to the Paleo scene. I may even use some of these recommendations for myself!
Delicious, Kid-Friendly Recipes
The most important component of any cookbook is the recipes, obviously! And the Paleo Parents have not disappointed with their recipes. With an easy to follow, color coded guide to different types of foods, it’s easy to whip up a tasty, Paleo-approved dinner that your kids will actually eat – with smiles on their faces to boot! Unlike many other Paleo cookbooks, the majority of these recipes are very straightforward and do not require 20 different ingredients, which makes them even more convenient for the busy parent who just needs to feed their kids a good meal.
I really love that the Paleo Parents have information for each recipe about how kids can help make the food. This is one of the most important parts of the book, because getting kids involved in food preparation is one of the best ways to get them to accept their new way of eating. Not to mention, its a great way to bond with your children AND to teach them crucial food preparation skills that they’ll be using for the rest of their lives. I used to love cooking with my mom, and now that I’m an adult and on my own, I’m really grateful that she taught me so much about cooking. So many of my friends are completely useless at food preparation, and I can’t imagine not having the culinary skills that I’ve regularly been able to take advantage of, both cooking for myself and for my friends and family. Teaching your kids to cook is so important, and Stacy and Matt give you ideas on how to start early in your child’s culinary education.
In order to test the delicious-ness of the recipes in “Eat Like a Dinosaur”, I decided to try their chocolate chip cookies. Making cookies with my mom and siblings was one of my favorite baking activities as a child, and I can’t imagine not being able to enjoy an occasional cookie now and then. So when I saw the recipe for grain-free, Paleo chocolate chip cookies, I knew I had to try it and see if it compared to the real thing.
Long story short, two BIG thumbs up for the new book “Eat Like a Dinosaur” by the Paleo Parents.
I can tell that Stacy and Matt put a lot of creative energy into this wonderful book. A labor of love like this is bound to resonate with the Paleo community who are so passionate about changing the way we all eat. Teaching our children how to eat healthy, and how to be proud of their healthy eating habits, is no easy task. I believe this cookbook will make the effort to feed your kids healthily much easier!
Great job, Paleo Parents!