Cooking with Kids

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Cooking with Kids

Program Ideas from Sarah Vantrease

Los Angeles Public Library/Butte County Library

Note: All poetry selections are from It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles (Jack Prelutsky)
Library cooking rules are:

  1. Ask your grown-up [if you can help cook and eat]!

  2. Wash your hands! [If you touch anything, including your face or clothes, you have to wash again.]

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

(Stories about food, generally, and pancakes, specifically)

Poem: “Percy’s Perfect Pies”

Book: Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! - Fleming

Flannelboard Story: “The Goat in the Chili Patch”

Book: Lunch - Fleming

Book: Badger’s Fancy Meal – Kasza

Books: Pancakes, Pancakes! – Carle

Flannelboard Story: “The Pancake”

Transition to cooking: pancakes are a common snack in Scandinavia, where this story

took place. Let’s make some pancakes!

Recipe: Pancakes (use your own favorite pancake recipe), serve with small pats of butter

and real maple syrup.
Additional books:

Hey Pancakes! - Weston

Tallulah in the Kitchen - Wolff

Showdown at the Food Pyramid - Barron

Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes - Fearnley

Oodles of Noodles

(Pasta and other noodles from around the world)

Book: Strega Nona – DePaola

Poem: “It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles”

Book: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - Barrett

Flannelboard Story: “The Three Wishes”

Book: The Story of Noodles - Compestine

Book: Pasta and Noodles (From Farm to You) - Jones

Poem: “My Father’s Name is Sasquatch”

Realia: Different kinds of pasta and noodles from around the world

Recipe: Ants Climbing a Tree (Cook meat/veggies in electric skillet, soften cellophane noodles in a separate bowl of hot water. Be sure the kids see the before-and-after noodles). Practice eating with chopsticks!

Additional books:

Everyone Brings Noodles – Dooley

Oodles of Noodles - Hendry
A Tasting of the Green

(originally presented on St. Patrick’s Day)

Poem: “What Oinks?”

Poem: “My Tongue is Tasting Terrible”

Irish Book: Too Many Fairies – MacDonald or Irish Flannelboard Story: “Clever Tom

and the Leprechaun”

Book: Farm-Fresh Cats – Santoro

Book: Green Eggs and Ham – Seuss

Book: Bugs for Lunch - Facklam

Recipe: Green Eggs and Ham, make scrambled eggs with chopped ham in electric skillet, use food coloring and/or frozen chopped spinach to make it green. Serve with green salsa.

Additional books:

Eat your Peas, Ivy Louise! - Landry

XZ Hicks – Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli - Hicks

XZ Sattler – Sylvie - Sattler

XZ Carle – The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Carle


(Chocolate chip cookies were invented by a woman, so I also used this program to highlight some famous women. Include some great picture book biographies of women, whether or not food-related, if you like.)

Poem: “Worm Puree”

Book: The Wolf’s Chicken Stew - Kasza

Book: Mouse Mess - Riley

Book: All in Just One Cookie – Goodman

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies (Toll House Recipe)

Additional stories while cookies are baking:

Book: Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? – Beaumont

Book: The Cow Loves Cookies – Wilson

Flannelboard Story: “The Chocolate Chip Ghost”

Book: Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar? – Lass

Serve cookies with milk!
Feast from the Fields

(Veggies and Tacos!)

Book: I’d Really Like to Eat A Child - Donnio

Book: Eating the Alphabet – Ehlert

Book: No more, por favor - Elya

Book: An Apple Pie for Dinner - VanHecke

Flannelboard Story: “Stone Soup”

Realia: Different types of vegetables, as diverse and unusual as you can find

Recipe: Zucchini Mushroom Chorizo Tacos from Everyday Cooking (Bayless) – make

with vegetarian chorizo, serve with cheese and salsa in tortillas. (I made the salsa at home from another Bayless recipe.)

Additional book:

Chato’s Kitchen – Soto

“Ants Climbing a Tree”

Cellophane Noodles with Spicy Ground Pork

A Recipe from China – Serves 12

1 pound lean ground pork or turkey

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

5+ garlic cloves, minced

12 ounces cellophane noodles

1 tablespoon peanut oil

6 scallions (green onions), minced

1 teaspoon minced peeled ginger root

1+ teaspoon hot chili garlic sauce

3 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons minced cilantro, optional

  1. Combine the pork, soy sauce, ketchup, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and garlic in a large bowl. Stir to blend well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Place the cellophane noodles in a medium bowl with enough hot water to cover. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain the water.

  3. In a large nonstick skillet or pan, heat the oil. Add the pork mixture and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

  4. Add the scallions and ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

  5. Add the chili sauce and cook for 10 seconds.

  6. Add the noodles and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring gently, until the noodles have absorbed most of the liquid, 5 minutes.

  7. Serve at once, sprinkled with the cilantro if desired.

NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

  2. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl (or stir together).

  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in another large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  4. Gradually beat in flour mixture and stir.

  5. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.

  6. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

  7. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

  8. Serve with milk!

Zucchini Mushroom Chorizo Tacos


8 ounces chorizo sausage, casing removed

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 medium white onions, sliced ¼ inch thick


ounces mushrooms

2 (15 ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained

1 canned chipotle chile en adobo, seeds removed

1 tablespoon chipotle canning sauce

24 ounces zucchini, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt

fresh cheese, crumbled

fresh corn tortillas, warmed

hot sauce

  1. Cook the chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir and break up the chorizo into small pieces for a few minutes until hot.

  2. Add the olive oil and the sliced onions. Stir regularly as the onion cooks, until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are beginning to brown.

  4. Meanwhile, puree the tomatoes, chipotle, and canning sauce in a food processor.

  5. When the mushrooms are ready from step 3, add the tomato mixture and cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture has thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.

  6. Add the zucchini and continue to cook, stirring every once in a while, until the zucchini is cooked through but still a little crisp, 8 minutes.

  7. Season with salt.

  8. Serve on warm tortillas with some crumbled cheese and hot sauce.

Hot Sauce


8 oz. tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved

3 large garlic cloves, peeled

2 canned chipotles en adobo

1 teaspoon salt


  1. Roast the tomatillos and garlic cloves in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat until soft and browned on all sides.

  2. Puree the tomatillos and garlic with the chipotles and ¼ cup water in a food processor. Add 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste.

Recipes from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
Wonka Bars
Make your own amazing candy bars! Ask children to bring in their favorite candy, cereal, nut, and/or other ingredient they think would be good in a Wonka Chocolate Bar.
1. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth:

2 cups chocolate chips

½ cup butter

2. Remove from heat and stir in:

2 teaspoons vanilla
3. Spoon some chocolate into small waxed paper cups. Stir in or sprinkle on top of each any or all of the following to make a custom Wonka Bar:

all kinds of small candy pieces





  1. Refrigerate or freeze cups (with name labels if needed) until chocolate hardens.

Serving Suggestion: After making Wonka Bars, place in fridge and start watching the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie. When the movie reaches the Chocolate Room scene (in which everything is “eatable”), pass out the hardened Wonka Bars from the fridge so children can taste and watch chocolate paradise at the same time.

From the classroom of Carla Hoff

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