Healthy tips for kids and families

Kids Cooking and Cookbook Blog

Kids cooking recipes, cooking activities, and parenting tips for healthy living
Filed under Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Holidays, Test your knowledge

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Cooking terms used in recipes and methods of cooking have changed throughout history. Our American forefathers would marvel at foods heated and/or cooked in a matter of seconds. The term barbequing was still non-existent, but they knew about outdoor cooking and grilling.

One of the first lessons in the cooking course of the Fannie Farmer 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book was “The Making and Care of a Fire“. Many of the American cooking terms, methods, and recipes in this turn of the century standby may seem foreign to present day cooks.

Directions on such jobs as how to bone a bird and cook a side of beef are given. There are recipes with such names as hoecake, mush, and slump. It’s possible our early forefathers ate some of these.

If you found the following terms in an Early American cookbook, or receipt book, what would it mean? (Answers at the bottom.)

Take our quiz by matching these terms to the definitions that follow:

A. hoecake

B. mush

C. slump

D. trifle

E. Indian Pudding

F. junket

G. chow-chow

H. spider


1. pickled vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cauliflower, celery, and onion heated in a brine for pickling.

2. unleavened Johnny cake made of cornmeal, originally baked on the blade of a hoe over an open fire.

3. fry pan

4. dessert dish made with fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or gelatin, , thick custard, and whipped cream arranged in layers.

5. sweet dumpling mixture dropped onto a boiling sugar and fruit mixture.

6. custard made basically of sugar and milk.

7. starch, such as flour or cereal, mixed with liquid

8. corn meal left-over from breakfast and fried.

9. baked mixture of milk, meal, molasses, and seasonings

10. sweet potato croquettes

Are you having any of these foods this 4th of July?

Share this quiz with your friends. I’d love if you’d join the conversation by leaving a comment.

May God bless America on this holiday and every day.

Lee Jackson
Books for kids, families, and parenting professional

A)2; B)8; C)5; D)4; E)9; F)6; G)1; H)3




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Filed under Cookbooks, Free Offer, Recipes, Recommendations, Regional food

Cooking_Midwest_WEBI’m excited to announce a new regional community cookbook just published: Cooking in the Midwest – A Collection of Favorite Recipes from the Heartland by Nancy Lantz.

What foods immediately come to mind when you think of the Midwest?

It’s considered the “breadbasket of the nation” so you know much of the basic food eaten comes from this section of the country. It includes Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Illinois and Indiana.

This new community cookbook features recipes for foods readily found here, such as apples, strawberries, and berries, a large variety of vegetables, and beef, pork and chicken. Many of the recipes are the cherished recipes of the author, Nancy Lantz. She grew up in northwest Missouri and knows the satisfaction of using fresh foods from her garden to use in many different dishes.

Some of the Midwest’s all-time favorites are included, From Slow Cooker Potato Soup to Cauliflower Slaw, Zucchini Bread, Barbequed Beef Short Ribs, Grilled Pork Loin Roast, Chicken with Eggplant and Veggies, plus vegetarian main dishes, to Carrot Layer Cake, Pumpkin Cheese Cake, Apple Skillet Pie, Strawberry Dessert, and a large array of cookies and candy. This ‘n That features such favorites as shrimp dip, salsa, granola, party mix, and punch and mint recipes for wedding and party receptions.

The author says her hope in sharing these recipes is that they will bring you a taste of the Midwest. “Come, cook, eat, and enjoy!”

The book can be found on Amazon at

Now for the special offer. As we need book reviewers, we’re reaching out to you our readers. We’ve set aside 10 books that will be FREE to those of you who would like to write a fair 100+ word (hopefully positive!) review of the book and that you will post it on Amazon. We’ll send you a link for a quick and easy way to place your review on Amazon.

For the first 10 persons who email me at lee at images unlimited publishing dot com and give me your physical address (as this is a REAL 135-page book) so it will go out USPS in the US only, I will send you the book for review.

You can also post your review on your blog as well as on other consumer book sites such as and

So, be the first to review it. If you are interested in a free book and writing a review (hopefully 5 star!), email me immediately to receive your free book. Hope to hear from you and thanks for your help!

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing

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Filed under Cooking and kids

Kids cooking and eating takes into account many sensory experiences that tend to remain in memory. These sensory experiences include taste, smell,  touch, sound, and sight.  All of the senses are utilized when eating, including experience and memory. These  combine to give children the sense of food being “yucky” or “mmm, mmm, good”.

You as a parent or caregiver can encourage and reinforce many of their sensory reactions by saying, “This apple sounds crunchy”,”Doesn’t the cinnamon smell spicy?” “This juice tastes very cold”. Help them use descriptive words such as wet, dry, crunchy, mushy, chewy, hot, cold, lumpy. You can ask: Can you taste the sugar? Isn’t this really hard and lumpy? You can also provide opportunities for them to be aware of the use of their senses.

In my free report, Kids Cooking Activities using the Five Senses: Taste, Smell, Sight, Hearing, and Touch you’ll have access to helpful activities that teach children how these senses affect their reaction to food. You’ll have experiments to conduct with children and many discoveries to make.

Go to and click on the Free Report. There you’ll see me cooking with children. Then just add your name and email for the Free Report. You’ll have access to hands-on activities that will help children discover more about the world of food.

To your good health and that of your children,
Lee Jackson
Food and Nutrition Studies

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Filed under Books, Cooking and kids, Cooking Skills, Food patterns and eating habits, Goals, Healthy food practices, Recommendations

Here is a book for the homeschool curriculum. Attention Homeschool Moms – and Dads::

The book I’ve been showcasing, Cooking Around the Country With Kids by Amy Houts, is not only a cookbook, but a treasure trove of historical facts and food history. It is a recommended book for the homeschool curriculum.

Along with recipes, Houts has included food facts, historical notes, and fun activities. For example, “When was ice cream “invented”? What are hush puppies and how did they get their nameWhat are funnel cakes? Why doesn’t all corn “pop”?”

You can see that this cookbook is a natural extension to many areas of the school curriculum such as math and science. It makes history and geography come to life in the classroom as well. Use it in any of these ways:

  •        Teach children about food history and where our food is produced
  •       Help children learn about the cooking styles of early Americans
  •       Identify food traditions of different regions
  •       Help children learn how food played a part in our country’s history
  •       Involve children in preparing food of diverse cultures

It is a book ideal for homeschooling, school libraries, and homes. Karen G. Heredia, a homeschooling mother states: “As a homeschooling family, we are always on the look-out for great science projects. As with most homeschooling families, we have quite an age range to cover, which makes science an interesting challenge. The ages span from 3 to 10 years. Amy Houts beautifully introduced the relationship between cooking and chemistry then proceeded to lay out an experiment using popcorn. We were able to complete this project together, making age appropriate adjustments with the documentation and reporting. Science is always more fun when, upon completion, you get to eat your project!”

Add this cookbook to your homeschool cooking curriculum. Help kids learn about the food in America.  Get this step-by-step book for kids ages 3 to 14 today while Amazon has it for a special price.

Go now to order your copy of Cooking Around the Country With Kids for home and school at

Click to read more.

Use and enjoy books,

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing

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Filed under Books, Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Cooking Skills, Food patterns and eating habits, Recommendations

Many parents and teachers feel that kids do not always make healthy food choices. They feel that food choices are shaped only by what food and beverage marketers choose to promote. However, there are many ways parents and teachers can help children shape healthy food choices.

This is where cookbooks serve an important part in educating children. They can provide hands-on training in learning about the wide variety of healthy food choices.

In the cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities, Amy Houts takes kids on a cooking adventure throughout the country. Kids learn where their food is grown and can use recipes incorporating that food. The melting pot of people who settled in different regions developed distinctive dishes. From the East Coast to the West, Alaska, and Hawaii, children can celebrate America’s diversity through foods typical of eight different regions of the country.

The cookbook encourages children to engage not only with the different geographical regions of the country, but with the history of the U.S. as well. As one reviewer stated: “This USA-themed recipe book contains a generous helping of hearty recipes sprinkled with historical facts, tasty learning activities, vivid geographic descriptions, and a hint of patriotism.”

Let children know and appreciate real food, prepared by them (or with your help). Often, if children have prepared the food, they are more apt to try it, and sometimes even enjoy it! That is one of the goals of parents – to help children have a good  attitude about food so they can make healthy food choices.

Click to read more

If you have children ages 6 to 14, don’t miss this one. Buy now to have this children’s cookbook available.

Cooking Around the Country With Kids by Amy Houts for home and school is available from

Use and enjoy books! Let children help you cook!

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing

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Filed under Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Recommendations

Childrens cookbooks help kids learn how people in other cultures live. This expands their global cultural awareness. Food makes up the culture of every part of the world. Many kids have expanded their food knowledge by watching cooking shows and traveling to different parts of the country sampling their food. But not all children have these opportunities.

One way to help children learn about foods from different cultures is through childrens cookbooks. Amy Houts book, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities shows how this country is a unique melting pot. It captures the tastes of different regions of the country.

As immigrants came to America they brought with them their memories and tastes of foods from the far reaches of the world. These reflections of their traditions, history, religion, celebrations, and family were captured in their dishes. These are the recipes found in different parts of the country. Those are the recipes Houts has chosen to include in this childrens cookbook.

The selected recipes are authentic to the region, and/or to the food produced there. Clear directions are given for easy-to-make dishes, or easy versions of more difficult recipes.

As Amy was doing the research for this cookbook, she said she was awestruck by the wonderful country where she lives. The fruitful plains, the fertile valleys, and the fresh and salt waters all provide an abundance of food. Because of the varying regions of the country and the soil compositions, regional areas of the United States developed distinctive dishes.

Click to read more.

Cooking Around the Country With Kids is for children ages 6 to 14. Order now for home and school from

Use and enjoy books – get kids excited about cooking and real food!

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing


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Filed under Books, Gifts, Holidays

What a nice after-Christmas surprise when I opened my email this morning and read what one reviewer said about my book for children, The Littlest Kitten, the story of the Holy Night and the cat family.

(REVIEW) This is a book that children will want to read again and again. I liked this book so much that I will be checking out more books by this author. The cat family was so adorable. Mom cat loved her family. Just like Mary and Joseph loved their new son, Jesus.
More at:

The book is available on Amazon at

Hoping all your after-Christmas wishes come true.

Lee Jackson
Books for children, families, and parenting professionals

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Filed under Books, Character building, Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Gifts, Party ideas, Recommendations

009Looking for children’s holiday gift ideas? Browse our editors’ picks for a wide assortment of children’s books – from story books to cookbooks. That’s me with our books at our last event.  See brief summaries of these books below, with more info at

The Littlest Christmas Kitten  – This is a story of how the lost is found in the midst of a miracle on that Holy Night. It helps children gain a close-up, richer understanding of the Nativity. Plus, all cat lovers and those who enjoy animals will enjoy this book with its big and bold art work by noted artist, Kelly Dupre, adding dimension to the story.

Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun – Get kids involved this holiday through this seasonal cookbook loaded with lots of recipes and activities to keep children interested. Includes party ideas and holiday information all year long. Kids learn life skills while having fun in the kitchen. Makes a great gift, especially when bundled with the next book:

Cooking Around the Country with Kids – USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities – Celebrate America’s diversity with over 250 pages of kid-friendly recipes, learning activities and food history. This cookbook encourages children to engage with the history of the U.S. through different foods of various regions of the country. Children learn where their food is grown and how to prepare it.

Healthy to the Core! All Natural Low Sugar/No Sugar Apple Recipes for Kids – Here is a kids and teens entry into the world of cooking with less sugar but great taste. Since apples are one of their favorite foods, share ideas on how to prepare apple dishes in hundreds of different ways. It’s also a guide to healthy tips in everyday eating – kids, too, are interested in eating healthy.

Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures – This outer-world tribe of optimistic Mukies is confronted with many of the same problems found in current school-age society, namely bullying, name-calling, jealousy, racism, war-waging. Find out how the Mukies handle these situations. The eight short chapters allow for lots of room for discussion and interaction.

Ciderella and the Little Glass Sipper - This wonderful adaption of the well-known fairy tale takes children on a magical adventure through the land of royal apple orchards and farm country. Ciderella, the chief cider maker, needs help from the fairy godmother to make her dreams come true.

Beauty and the Bees - Beauty’s simple wish for a pretty flower leads to a budding relationship with the beekeeper. She learns about the important role bees play in producing honey. Magical gifts and broken spells await her.

I seriously recommend you go to our website and order these books for the children on your list. Order early because supplies are limited.

May you have a happy “getting ready for the holidays” season!

Lee Jackson
My mission is to teach busy parents and teachers how to help children and families develop healthy food habits to fuel their creativity, productivity, and overall effectiveness.



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Filed under Apple recipes, Apples, Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Cooking Skills, Recipes


It’s apple season and I want to share two delicious recipes with you from my new apple cookbook that are tailor-made for cooking with kids.

Sauteed apples are good to serve with ham, sausage, or pork. They are really easy to make and are good on their own as well. Any of these apples will work well: Rome, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Pippin Gold, Braeburn, Northern Spy, Gravenstein, Rhode Island Greening, York Imperial, and Cortland.

Sauteed Apples

2 teaspoons butter
2 firm, tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Pinch of cinnamon, if desired

1. In a large skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add apples.
2. Cook, stirring constantly, until apples are almost tender (about 5-7 minutes).

Appaloosa Delight

No, this is not horse related. Appaloosa horses are known for their beauty and
performance. This apple drink is known for adding sparkle and joy to your life.

1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 ice cubes

1. Mix all in blender on high until ice is melted.
2. Pour into glasses and serve immediately

Enjoy apple season with your kids!

Lee Jackson, M.Ed., is the author of Healthy to the Core! Low Sugar/No Sugar Apple Recipes for Kids and two other award-winning apple cookbooks. Her mission is to teach busy parents and teachers how to help children and families develop healthy food habits to fuel their creativity, productivity, and overall effectiveness.
















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Filed under Apple recipes, Apples, Cookbooks, Cooking and kids

English: Drawing of Jonathan Chapman, aka John...

With Labor Day gone, apple season has officially arrived. And with it we can almost taste the crisp, juicy apples. Let’s go back in time for a bit to see what influenced apple production in America. Remember Johnny Appleseed?

Was there really such a man as Johnny Appleseed? He has become immortalized in song and story as a dedicated tree planter. It was said he traveled on foot through the hills and valleys of the eastern part of our country planting apple seeds.

John Chapman, who later became the well-known Johnny Appleseed, was born in 1774  in Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War. He had an early love of nature and would often escape from the household of ten children to the quiet of the woods.

He set out as soon as he could to explore the vast wilderness to the west. He befriended the early settlers and the Indians, as well as the squirrels and bears and all sorts of animals. He always carried in his pocket a pouch of apple seeds.

Here is a recipe that uses apples which may have come from the early work of this man who is a beloved American figure.

Baked Apple Halves

2 cooking apples
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or 4 custard cups.
2. Cut apples in half lengthwise (core to stem) and remove core but do not peel.
3. Lay the apples skin side down (cavity up) on baking pan or custard cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Spoon raisins into center of each. Pour orange juice over apples and water around apples.
4. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until apples are tender but still hold their shape.

Recipe is from my new children’s apple cookbook:
Healthy to the Core! All Natural Low Sugar/No Sugar Apple Recipes for Kids

Apple season is officially here!

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson, author








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