UPDATE 04/03/12: We have a winner! Congratulations to Karen, who wrote, “White bread and butter–my favorite cheat as a child–my grandmother’s mac-n-cheese souffle and mixing packets of Quaker instant oatmeal, like plain oatmeal and the brown sugar n maple with butter. That was a treat when we went camping.”
It can be very challenging to get my adult self to follow the paleo guidelines sometimes — and I’m experienced enough in life to know that if I take care of my body everything else is much easier to manage. But kids! Kids don’t have that life experience to guide them; they rely on their parents for that. So I’m mightily impressed by families who make the transition to paleo and get their kids involved in food decisions.
Eat Like a Dinosaur is the newest addition to our kickass collection of paleo cookbooks and how-to guides, and it was clearly made with love. The Paleo Parents (be sure to visit their impressive and helpful blog) have transformed themselves. Yes, they lost a lot of weight (200 pounds) following the paleo diet, but they’ve also created a new lifestyle for themselves that goes far beyond weight loss to really living. As they say in the (not at all) “Boring Chapter for Parents,” they wrote their book for “ordinary families who want to start cooking and eating together with their children in a healthful way.”
This book is a handbook for anyone thinking about transitioning their family to a more real food, paleo approach — and it’s ideal for parents dealing with kids’ allergy issues. For your consideration…
5 Cool Things About Eat Like A Dinosaur
1. It’s more than a collection of recipes.
If you’re looking for paleo-compliant recipes and replacements for non-paleo favorites, Eat Like a Dinosaur has got you covered. With more than 100 recipes, there are plenty of ideas to make sure no one complains that eating healthy is boring. But Eat Like a Dinosaur goes beyond that to include helpful tips on two really big challenges: how to transition the family and how to pack kid-pleasing paleo lunches. There’s also a colorfully illustrated children’s story about eating like a dinosaur and my favorite part: a collection of paleo projects that would be fun for kids of any age. Field trip to a farm, anyone?
2. Your kids will love it.
From the friendly illustrations to the bright colors and playful design, this book will draw your kids in. It’s accessible, friendly, and engaging — and does an admirable job of incorporating all the stuff grownups need to know in a kid-friendly package so the little ones can read right along with you. There’s a pterodactyl (for the kids) and a notes field (for the grownsup) on just about every page.
3. It’s coded for safety.
Eat Like a Dinosaur goes beyond the generally-accepted paleo framework to help parents battling childhood allergies. Each recipe is accompanied by a color-coded allergen chart to alert parents to potentially problematic ingredients so kids can quickly identify the best recipes for them.
4. Tons of photos.
Every recipe is accompanied by a color photo, so kids and parents can flip through and pick the recipes that tickle their tastebuds — and the recipe instructions helpfully include tips for where little hands can help in the kitchen. I love that aspect of the book because the kitchen is where my best family memories originate. Teaching kids how to cook and to appreciate real food is one of the best gifts they can receive.
5. Recipes for every occasion.
Each recipe begins with a well-crafted headnote — my favorite part of good cookbooks — and I enjoyed the Paleo Parents stories quite a bit. When you’re reading to start rattling pots and pains, the 100+ recipes have got you covered: main dishes (crispy chicken nuggets, kebabs, unusually delicious salads), sides (ratatouille, zucchini latkes), dips and sauces (mole, black olive tapenade, pineapple sauce) , and a lovely selection of desserts for special occasions. I am madly tempted by the Samoa Cake Balls, but decided to make this instead…
My family is Lebanese and Italian, but I grew up in coal country in eastern Pennsylvania where there were enough eastern European food fairs on summer afternoons to make me a fan of halushki (cabbage, onion, and noodles), pierogies, and the almighty halupki: cabbage rolls stuffed with seasoned meat and rice. I was pretty excited when I saw the Paleo Parents recipe for Halupki Casserole, and it did not disappoint. It delivers all of the flavor of the original, without the fussiness of prepping individual cabbage rolls. Plus, I’m a sucker for any recipe that replaces rice with riced cauliflower. The texture was amazing! Exactly like a halupki. All hail that tricky cauliflower! Take a tasty look:
Win a Copy of Eat Like a Dinosaur
To celebrate the launch of the book, I’m doing a giveaway of a copy of Eat Like a Dinosaur. Just post to the comments and tell us what your favorite (non-paleo) food was as a kid.
Deadline to enter: 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 30. I’ll announce the winner on Saturday afternoon (March 31).
I’ll start… it’s difficult to choose just one because I loved to eat and play in the kitchen, even back then. I’d have to say it’s a carbtastic four-way tie:
1. Nacho Cheese Doritos
2. Eggo waffles, burnt to a crisp so they were super crunchy and had a few black bits, spread with lots of butter
3. White bread, toasted golden brown, then buried under both butter and peanut butter
4. Popcorn with butter and salt
OK; your turn! Hit the comments and ‘fess up.
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