Do you struggle with a picky eater at home? Do you feel like getting them to eat real fruits and vegetables is a kitchen battle you can’t win? Probably most parents in America would answer yes to both of these questions. However, at ChopChop Family, we are strong believers that children don’t have to stay or become picky-eaters and that family cooking and eating time can be more than easy—it can be fun! That’s why the recently released book, “Kid Food,” caught our attention in a big way.
Who We're Meeting
One of our favorite things about cooking is that it teaches kids not only kitchen skills but also cultural literacy. Throughout ChopChop Magazine, you’ll find recipes derived from all over the world that anyone can try at home. And, in our local ChopChop Test Kitchen, we teach classes that feature these recipes as well. That’s why we were elated to learn about best-selling author Deanna Cook’s cookbook, “Cooking Class Global Feast!: 44 Recipes That Celebrate the World’s Cultures.” The cookbook (which is released today!) shows how food is a fun way to celebrate diversity. Through its step-by-step photos and tips, it helps kids gain practical kitchen skills in creative, interactive ways all while discovering cuisines from a variety of cultures.
You know our vibrant photos that you see of our recipes and of kids and families cooking together? Well, they didn’t just magically appear…Thanks to our talented photographer, Carl Tremblay, as well as our gifted food stylist, Catrine Kelty, we have a plethora of photos that show how delicious real food truly is. We asked Catrine Kelty about her background, experience with food styling, advice for others wanting to be food stylists, and other fun questions. Come for a free public food styling demo with Catrine at Faneuil Hall Marketplace (4 S. Market St., Boston, MA) on October 17 at 5:30 p.m.
It's always a delight learning about like-minded organizations, individuals, and programs. That's why, when we heard about Flint Kids Cook, we were excited to share what they're doing with our readers. Flint Kids Cook was initiated in October 2017 as a six-week program for children (ages 8 to 14 years) at the Flint Farmers' Market in Flint, Michigan. Created by Dr. Amy Saxe-Custack and Sean Gartland (Culinary Director at Flint Farmers' Market), the program, facilitated by a chef and registered dietitian, is designed to allow children to actively participate in chopping, peeling, measuring, mixing, roasting, and sautéing fresh, healthy foods while learning about the importance of nutrition. Learn more about Dr. Saxe-Custack and how kids are cooking and learning life skills in Flint, Michigan!
We love meeting kids who are doing creative projects in the food world, like running their own businesses and volunteering to help at-risk communities. That’s why we were excited to interview a kid mushroom farmer, Te’Lario Watkins II, who is also one of our new Kids Advisory Board members. Te’Lario founded Tiger Mushroom Farms at the age of seven and began selling his mushrooms at local farmers markets. He has received attention from several local and national media outlets, including the Steve Harvey Show. Get to know him more in the interview below.
One of the things that sets us apart from other nonprofits and organizations is our Kids Advisory Board (KAB). Working closely with ChopChop Family, the KAB shares ideas on how to inspire others to cook real food in the kitchen. The members provide valuable perspectives on kids cooking, family meals, and overall health and wellness. We love how the KAB highlights the power young people have to create impactful changes within schools, communities, and beyond. Get to know our 2019-2020 board members by reading about each of them below.
Happy Birthday, Julia Child! To celebrate what would be her 107 birthday today, August 15, we are sharing an interview Sally Sampson (founder of ChopChop Family) did with her when Julia used to live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sally used to own her own take-out shop near Boston, and many of her questions for Julia Child had to do with the food and restaurant scene in Boston at the time of the interview. Several of those questions have been omitted for the purposes of this blog post. Read Sally’s interview below, and get a greater glimpse into the thoughts and life of Julia Child!
The Kids Cook Monday (KCM) loves that as ChopChop Family aims to inspire families to cook and real food together, families also learn about their culinary roots in the process. Introducing children to foods from their parents’ culture leads to an appreciation of their culinary heritage. Below KCM shares the story about how two American-born, pizza-loving brothers with Indian parents are beginning to embrace their culinary heritage by cooking as a family. Despite their hectic schedules, Anita Raja, a professor, and Cephas Swamidoss, an anesthesiologist, make sure they set aside time to cook with their sons: Luke, who is eight years old and Andrew, who is five. Over weekends and holidays, you can often find the family shopping for ingredients to cook Southern Indian dishes, many of which are inspired by foods Anita and Cephas ate while growing up.
We love learning more about like-minded individuals and organizations whose missions are similar to ours. So we were excited to interview Molly McKendry, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition communications for New England Dairy & Food Council (NEDFC). Read on to learn fun facts about Molly, what the NEDFC is, and how ChopChop Family and the NEDFC share a similar vision.
Haynes Altobello has been one of our ChopChop Test Kitchen teachers for almost two years. When she’s not involved with our cooking classes, she is teaching kindergarten at a local school. Haynes told us she loves ChopChop Family’s philosophy that kids can learn real cooking techniques and use real ingredients. She said, “The recipes aren’t ‘kid food.’ They’re interesting, delicious, and fun to make!”