Children's Cookbooks

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To the Grown-ups:
This salad, although very simple, is slightly unusual, adding cubes of mild cheese and a light orange-coconut dressing to an otherwise ordinary fruit bowl.

There are really two parts to this recipe: the preparation (cutting fruit and cheese and putting things in bowls) and the assembly (which involved counting the right number of ingredients). Have patience with your young cook, who may be just learning to count, or too excited to take the time, or not too fond of a particular ingredient -- the recipe is definitely open to interpretation. You can make a number salad, too, and let your child help you count.

Other children may want to participate in the preparation, including shopping for ingredients and cutting things. If you are working with a three-or four-year-old, prepare the sliced fruit yourself and let your youngster put it into bowls. Your young cook will feel a strong sense of accomplishment simply from assembling this fun dish.

Cooking Hints and Safety Tips:
If your child wants to help with the cutting, use a serrated dinner knife or a plastic picnic knife. Put a piece of tape on the handle so there'll be no confusion over which end to grasp. Do not let your child use an adult knife!

Tools: Small bowls for the various ingredients, tablespoon; child-appropriate knife; cutting board; bowls and spoons for mixing and eating


from Pretend Soup
Yield: 1 or 2 servings (and easily more)

a handful of toasted coconut
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1 orange, peeled, seeded, and sectioned
1 small apple, sliced
5 dice-sized cubes mild cheese
1 small ripe banana, sliced
1 small ripe melon--or a section of a larger melon, cut into small pieces (you can use canaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon)
1 small bunch seedless grapes

  1. Cut the fruit and cheese. Put each ingredient into a separate bowl.
  2. Count out the salad ingredients into a bowl.
  3. Stir and eat!

Note: If any of these fruits are out of season or hard to find, feel free to substitute and improvise.
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