I received complimentary copies of each of the following books around the same time. Needless to say, I was going to review all of these separately but thought I’d wrap it up in one post. I’m selective about the books I review, and feel that each of these are worth your time and consideration. And here’s why.
(Don’t miss giveaway at the end!)
Cooking with Trader Joe’s: Easy Lunch Boxes by Kelly Lester
This book combines two things I love — Trader Joe’s and Easy Lunch Boxes. Easy Lunch Boxes is the number one selling Amazon bento box and I’ve been using it since Big A started preschool (see review). I love them and so do my kids. They helped me slowly get creative with packing lunches.
Cooking with Trader Joe’s is full of easy and healthy lunch ideas for kids. Most of the recipes are from food bloggers using a plethora of Trader Joe’s Products. I was going to contribute to this cookbook but was too overwhelmed with the writing of Fearless Feeding.
The book is categorized in the following sections: packing lunches fast, early, kid friendly, playful (AKA creative), snack ideas, work lunches, veggie, vegan and gluten-free. There is definitely something for everyone here — and even if you don’t use the exact recipes, the ideas (and beautiful pictures) are inspiring.
Even though I am a weekly shopper at Trader Joe’s, there’s always seems to be a treasure that I’m missing like the Brown Rice California rolls featured in this book. I also cannot wait to try the Sweet Potato Graham Cracker French Toast Sticks , Spaghetti Meat Ball Muffins and Spicy Beef Pinwheels.
If you stuck in a lunch-making rut, or are looking for more ideas, this book is for you!
French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon
I read French Kids during my late summer vacation, devouring it within a couple of days.
Le Billon, married to a Frenchman, decides to move her family abroad for a year to a small village in France. The culture shock is apparent in many ways, including food. Her young children enjoy a carb-rich diet, snack throughout the day and don’t quite measure up to the manners the French kids have.
The French, on the other hand, are pretty regimented in how and what they eat. They eat at specific times and don’t snack, except for the afternoon goiter. Quality food is of the utmost priority to them as well — and kids are expected to eat what the parents eat. LeBillon couldn’t help but notice how well (and neatly) the French kids eat and with little fuss from their parents (no threats, bribes etc).
What is most amazing is how and what the kids eat in school. French children get an hour long lunch in the cafeteria (cantine), with elaborate menus and feeding helpers cutting up food if needed. Kids also get taste training in school and French parents, and daycares, feed babies and young toddlers with variety in mind.
Throughout the book, Le Billon gradually adopts rules for eating based on what she learns about French food culture. This is not something she comes to easily as she defends her way of feeding (and eating) but gets worn down over time. At first she makes the mistake of being too overt with these “rules” and eventually loosens up with help from her husband. What were rules simply become habits and her two children increase their food repertoire nicely.
I kept thinking how the French don’t seem to have the same challenges we have which is why, at least for me, the most relatable part of the book is when her family moves back to Canada. Her children pick up old habits and she comes up with some strategies on how to combine the two worlds she loves so much.
Admittedly, there were a few “cringe” moments like the 8 month old French baby being fed (milk and solids) only four times a day and some other tidbits I didn’t agree with. But I do believe there is something to be learned from a culture that places such a high value on good food — and the enviable food education they provide to children. It made me reexamine the kind of “food culture” I want for my own family and gave me ideas on how to incorporate traditions from my own Serbian heritage.
I commend Le Billon for her candor and a very enjoyable read (couldn’t put it down!). Merci!
Real Family Food: Simple and Easy Recipes Your Whole Family Will Love by Amanda Haas (with Cooking Light)
Cooking Light sent me Real Family Food because I’m a member of their Blogger Connection. I wasn’t even expecting it which made it even more of a treat.
Amanda Haas, founder of One Family, One Meal, does a beautiful job putting together appealing recipes. I have already made several including homemade pizza sauce, Caesar salad and Chicken Divan. In this book, I finally found a homemade ranch dressing I love! Just simple, whole food recipes that are quick to make. Right up my alley.
The book begins with some basic recipes such as dressings, pesto, salsas and dips. Then there are breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes as well as wholesome snack ideas, salads and side dishes. It includes grilling recipes and sweet treats too.
I can’t wait to try the Black Bean Dip, Chili Roasted Sweet Potato Nuggets, Chasen’s Famous Chili, Thai Chicken Noodle Bowls and Chocolate Pots de Creme. French Kids motivated me to get more adventurous with my desserts and there are lots of good ideas in this book.
I asked Cooking Light to send this amazing book to one of my readers and they said yes. Here’s what you need to do to enter the giveaway:
1) Mandatory entry: Leave a comment telling me why you’d like to win a copy of Real Family Food.
2) For a second entry, Join our Fearless Feeding Community (LIKE) on Facebook and leave a comment here saying you did. If you already like us, share the Fearless Feeding Facebook page with a friend and tell me here.
3) For a third entry tweet or “Like” this page and leave one last comment.
One winner will be chosen using random.org. The winners will be announced on Raise Healthy Eater’s Facebook Page. This giveaway ends next Friday, October 12th, at midnight.
You must be 18 to enter. Products shipped within the US only.
Lauren Guilbeau says
I’d love a copy to learn to be a better cook!
I’d like to win because my husband and I love food, love to cook! Pretty soon we’ll be expanding our family, so this would be great to have!
Thanks for the opportunity!
We love Cooking Light, and I would love to try out their real family cookbook.
cela me fait toujours sourire, les livres sur les Français ,mais pour une fois cela ressemble assez a la culture alimentaires des Français(je veut dire de la majorité des Français).Ayant fait un court séjour au usa .Il est évident que la culture alimentaire américaines dans sont ensemble est, et restera un mystère pour moi .Les mères Américaines sont étonnées par le bas taux d,allaitement des mères françaises .Ma question est de savoir pourquoi donnez vous autant de produits alimentaires transformer par l,industrie alimentaire une fois que vos enfants sont en ages de manger des aliments solides . c,est culturelle surement.Il est évident que la solution ou l ,approche n,est pas Française pour les américains .Vos grands parents mangeaient normalement .Pour finir je regarde les comparatif entre les usa et la France .N,en déplaise aux Francophobes comme ont dit en France(il n,y a pas photo) espérance de vie ,obésité .AH c,est vrai la France est un pays communiste .En général j,aurai fait un effort pour m,exprimer dans la langue anglaise ,mais depuis que je sais que la pire insulte pour un politicien Américain est de parler Français .je ne m,exprime plus qu,en Français “arrogance Françaises”
Kathryn P says
I use the cooking light magazine all the time for recipes and would LOVE to win this cookbook since we are trying to implement a family dinner every night instead of a “kids” dinner and an “adult” dinner.
I’ve been wanting to learn how to make pesto, dips & salsas at home instead of buying them, and I’ve also been wanting to start making more healthy desserts for my young kids, so the Real Family Food book sounds great!
I would like to win a copy of “Real Family Food” because I am in a rut as far as cooking for my family is concerned. I love to cook healthy, fresh foods that my husband and daughters will eat, however, I just don’t have time to get creative in the kitchen. I’d love some new inspiration and this book sounds right up my alley.
I just “liked” your Fearless Feeding page on facebook.
I just “liked” this post as well.
Amanda K. says
This cookbook looks awesome! We love our Cooking Light Cookbook, and I love the idea of incorporating family recipes in this book.
Candace H says
I’m always looking for good family recipes!
Robin from Frugal Family Times says
I’d love to win this book! Who wouldn’t? Cooking Light has such wonderful recipes and a collection focused on families – yes please!
I have been a subscriber to Cooking Light for 15 years. I’d love to win their family cookbook!
I liked your page on FB!
Beth G says
I love cookbooks!
I am serious about making the same thing for everyone in my family for dinner (2 adults, 1 6yo, 1 2 yo), and I need more ideas!
I am a fan of Cooking Light and need more kid-friendly recipes.
Joined Fearless Feeding Facebk community
I’ve heard great things about Cooking Light and would love to try new, good recipes.
Already a member of the Fearless Feeding community. 🙂
“liked” this page.
As a First Time Mom, I am just learning ways to cook healthy food for my LO with multicultural cuisines
I love Cooking Light, and have always looked forward to the family favorites in their magazines, to feed my picky eaters. Would love to win the book!
Maureen Rieder says
Always look forward to trying new recipes! Would love a new book to cook from!
Also just like the Fearless Feeding community.
I am always trying to find meals that my husband and daughter will both eat so this cookbook would be a huge help!
Kim B says
I would like to have more options on how to feed my family and the CL book sounds like it offers that! Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!
Rebecca K says
I love to cooking! And I have been wanted to the Bento boxes for my kids lunches.
Fan of CL already, would love a more family oriented book
liked Fearless Feeding
I love new healthy ideas
I told a friend about your FB page.
Lisa O. says
I’d like to win because I just switched to days and need to beef up my collection of good, family-friendly recipes!
Lisa O. says
I just liked the Fearless Feeding Community.
Lisa O. says
I just liked the post!
I’d love to win to get some new healthy recipies for my family.
Bethany O says
I would love a copy of the book bc I just started a new job, am hosting an international exchange student, and have two children of my own. I am always looking for help to make meals simple and healthy!
Sara--Mac Kid Chicago says
I’m not terribly creative in the kitchen so I’m always looking for new, easy recipes!
I would love to win to get some new ideas for meal planning. I tend to make the same things over and over again and would love to have a source of inspiration. Thanks for the give away.
Lisa Williams says
With a 9 week old baby and fussy 3 year old toddler I would love to be able to cook the one meal for the three of us to give me more time to spend with everyone and encourage the toddler to be more adventurous.
I love cooking light recipes and this book looks like they have god simple recipes.
That’s good simple recipes.
Amy R says
I need some new ideas!
I would love Real Family Food cookbook because I am not a good cook but I love and want to make good food for my family. Simple, delicious, and healthy recipes are something that I am always searching for and I am excited for some new ideas to get out of my cooking rut!
Laura K says
I receive the Cooking Light magazine and really enjoy all the recipes. I’m always looking for better & healthier ways to feed my little family!
I’d love to win because I’m a cookbook junkie & I’d love to add one more to my collection!
I liked the Fearless Feeding page on Facebook.
I tweeted about your giveaway too!
Jennifer G says
My baby girl is just 4 months, but in preparation for her to eating and eating well these books will be awesome!
Staci A says
We struggle to come up with meals that are healthy and the whole family will enjoy. This looks like it has some great inspiration.
Staci A says
I tweeted: https://twitter.com/MommaStaciA/status/255364488432336897 Thanks!
I love Cooking Light and am always looking for recipes for my whole family.
I liked you on Facebook (finally – been meaning to do it for a while).
Michelle in NH says
I would love a copy of this book! Single parent committed to feeding my daughter whole and healthy foods! Loved French Kids Eat Everything!
Michelle in NH says
Liked you on Facebook!
Heather Robbins says
I subscribe to Cooking Light and enjoy many of the magazine’s recipes. I love to cook and work hard to provide fresh, caring meals for my family. I would love to have a new book to explore family recipes. I want my children to eat what my husband and I eat, and having a cookbook that focuses on that would be great.
Heather Robbins says
I just liked your Fearless Feeding page on FB. I left a comment there, but I’m leaving one here too.
Heather Robbins says
I also liked this page, here’s my last comment. Oh, looking forward to reading French Kids Eat Everything. I try to raise my kids to eat what I eat, but am having nightly frustrations with my 4-yo. No matter how many times I tell myself I won’t nag or argue, I always end up saying “eat! eat!” as he fiddles around.
Susan T says
I like Cooking Light and would like to try this book and some new recipes.
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