Little Pip Eats The Colours Of The Rainbow by Amie Harper
Murdoch Books RRP: $24.99AUD
Do you have a family of fussy eaters? Or perhaps you’re just keen to get your kids closer to the required 5-a-day? ‘Eating the rainbow’ in the form of fresh, brightly coloured foods is one way to make fruit and veggies fun for kids, while meeting their nutritional needs.
Amie Harper is a nutritionist and food stylist, with over 10 years’ professional experience as a food technologist for major consumer goods companies. After the birth of her beautiful baby Pip, Amie began devising recipes that worked in smaller serves, for a simpler palate and became passionate about healthy family food. Her first book, Baby Pip Eats, focussed on the earliest stages of a child’s food journey. With simple first foods and mashes, it offers ideas for introducing textures and flavours to your growing bub.
Little Pip Eats The Colours Of The Rainbow carries the theme into toddlerhood and beyond, with recipes perfect for kids, in quantities to feed the whole family. The book is organised into rainbow recipe groups, from yellow corn fritters, to purple baba ganoush, encouraging children to sample a wide range of healthy choices. Each recipe also provides nutritional information and a few tips and tricks about ways to change the recipe for different tastes or needs.
At Charming HQ this week I asked my three kids to pick a colour each and we added a recipe from that colour group to our weekly meal plan. The recipes are easy to follow with basic ingredients, which meant my oldest child (Masterchef Miss 10) was able to do some of the cooking, while the younger ones enjoyed the outcomes!
The household favourite was the pink ‘Piggies In Blankets’ (veggie-packed mini sausage rolls).
I asked Amie Harper a few questions about her beautiful book!
Q: Why it is so important for children to eat a ‘rainbow’ of foods as part of a healthy diet?
A: “Eating a rainbow is such an important message. It highlights eating a colourful and varied diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure we have a balanced diet. Eating a rainbow is one of the fundamental principles of good nutrition. And I really believe it’s something children can relate to!
Introducing children to a range of colours, flavours and textures from infancy through to toddlerhood can help them develop a healthy relationship with food. By giving them this varied food map daily to sample it also piques their interest in good food and will assist in reducing toddler fussy moments, brain stimulation and development of the jaw, mouth and tongue.”
Q: What’s your best advice for helping parents encourage young kids to try new foods?
A: “Be resilient, but keep trying to mix it up. Varying your flavours, textures and colours is really important in assisting with children’s mental stimulation and development. It’s so exciting watching babies trying foods for the first time, and toddlers too. I want my books to inspire simple, healthy and delicious food for families!
Varying the methods of cooking is one easy step you can try; so, you can grate, purée, roast, steam or blanche vegetables. With meat it can be tricky with some toddlers. Slow cooked meat texture is a lot softer and easier to eat. Our slow cooked pork recipe is really simplistic, but it’s a start for parents to try and have a go. They can use our basic recipe then add their own flavours, like apples or pears.”
Q: Do you (or Pip) have a favourite recipe from the book?
A: Pinky Porridge, Piggies in Blankets and Blueberry Ice Cream are Pips current favourites! Pink and violet are her favourite colours.
I love the strawberry scones, plum tagine, and any of the fritters. Oh, and the slow cooked pork! Slow cooking is so great for all ages, plus I usually do it during (new baby) Jimmy’s lunch sleep and clean up. That leaves a yummy dinner ready with no mess to worry about during the evening ‘crazy hour’!”
I recommend this book as a delightful gift for new parents or for young kids who are interested in cooking. For any family, it’s a handy range of easy dinners and yummy treats with mind and body benefits!
Buy Little Pip Eats The Colours Of The Rainbow at your local bookstore, Amie Harper’s website or here…