Weelicious has been long in coming for many of McCord’s fans that have followed her extremely popular blog of the same name for years. The book is packed with more than 140 recipes made for kids, but to be enjoyed by the whole family.
The book is divided into two parts: Getting Started and Recipes. In Getting Started, McCord outlines strategies parents can use to help their kids to actually enjoy eating healthy food, followed by tips and tricks to choose healthier items and get kids involved in cooking. Then, McCord delves into recipes—baby purees, breakfasts, snacks, dinners, desserts, sides, drinks (notably missing is lunches, which will be featured in their own book, scheduled to be published this summer).
Readers can be reassured that by simply following the directions, the recipes will turn out just as wonderfully as the accompanying pictures promise. The ingredient lists are reasonable in length, the directions are easy to follow, and the outcome, for the most part, loved by kids. Results are even better when kids are involved in the whole process, from helping to prep the ingredients to mixing them together and taste testing the final dish.
One caution is to not assume that just because a recipe is in this cookbook that it is necessarily “healthy.” Weelicious certainly contains many wonderfully healthy and delicious recipes (such as a variety of vegetable and fruit purees; slow-cooker apple streusel oatmeal; red, white and blue parfaits, carrot-ginger soup, edamame salsa and pea pops). However, there are other healthy-sounding recipes that aren’t so healthy. Weelicious tomato sauce, for example, unnecessarily calls for added sugar; likewise, graham crackers are made with a stick of butter, brown rice and veggie casserole call for nearly a cup of ricotta cheese and an 8-ounce bag of mozzarella cheese, and the barbecue salmon is loaded with sugary-barbeque sauce and honey. The book also includes many sugar- or honey-packed sweets and desserts like carrot-pineapple cupcakes with cream-cheese icing, chocolate rice crisp-wee treats, PB&J oatmeal thumbprint cookies and banana-honey-cinnamon cookies. In general, the snacks and dessert recipes do contain some healthful ingredients, but also a fair amount of added sugars.
Of course, this is not to say that families should never make and enjoy these recipes. In fact, forbidding children from eating sugary snacks or desserts can backfire with a child who overly consumes these foods when given an opportunity (perhaps with the grandparents or at a friend’s house). Simply pay attention to the ingredient list and do not assume that just because a recipe contains a fruit or vegetable that it is automatically “healthy.”
What we liked:
- Beautiful and delicious recipes, appropriate across a wide variety of ages
- Easy for the kids to be involved
- Promotion of family meals and cooking
- Many healthy and delicious recipes included
What we didn’t like:
- Almost all snacks primarily are carbohydrate-based (we would prefer vegetable and fruit based)
- Many recipes are “healthy-sounding,” but the culmination is not really all that healthy