Book Review and Giveaway: A Beautiful New Kids’ Cookbook from ChopChop!

by Bettina Elias Siegel on November 5, 2013

Not long after I started The Lunch Tray in 2010, a new kids’ cooking magazine called ChopChop was launched by Sally Sampson, a James Beard Foundation nominated author of twenty cookbooks, as well as a frequent contributor to magazines like Food & Wine and Bon Appetit.  But when my friend Donna first told me about the magazine, I was worried:  in my experience, most kids’ cooking magazines and cookbooks seem to operate on the assumption that kids have no interest in making anything except sugary foods and beverages.

But ChopChop turned out to be a revelation, full of easy, nutritious, and ethnically diverse recipes, along with useful cooking tips for kids and adults alike.  And the magazine was (and is) backed by an impressive advisory board drawing from the experts in public health, nutrition, academia and more.  (You can read my 2010 interview with Sally Sampson here.)

Since then, ChopChop has moved on to new heights, even winning a James Beard award for 2013 Publication of the Year.  The editorial duties have been turned over to Catherine Newman, a blogger and writer I adore (Ben and Birdy!) and in August the magazine released a gorgeous new kids’ cookbook which I’m pleased to review and give away today.

Called ChopChop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family, this new cookbook offers over 100 recipes for every meal, everythingchop chop from “Fish Tacos with Purple Cabbage Slaw” to ” “Crazy-Good Buttermilk Biscuits” to “Any-Many Bean Soup.”  Each recipe is accompanied by a full color photo as well as an easy-to-read coding system that tells children whether an adult’s assistance is required and how long the cooking will take. And scattered throughout the book are amusing and informative little blurbs entitled “Did You Know?,” discussing topics as diverse as what an anchovy is to the origins of the phrase “cut the mustard.”

ChopChop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family is so good that here in Texas, it’s going to be placed in every one of our public libraries and over 1,000 of our public schools!  I can’t wait share it with my 11-year-old chef, and now one lucky Lunch Tray reader can win a free copy of their own.

Just leave a comment below by 6pm CST, Thursday, November 7th.  You can tell me why you’d like to win or you can just say hi.  I’ll use a random number generator after the comment period closes to select one lucky winner and if you comment twice (e.g., to respond to another reader’s comment), I’ll use the number of your first comment to enter you in the drawing.   I’ll email you directly if you win and announce the winner on TLT’s Facebook page, too.  (This giveaway is open only to U.S. residents.)

 [Blogger disclosure:  As with most of my book reviews, I received a free copy of this book for my perusal.  However, I never accept any other form of compensation for the book reviews you see on The Lunch Tray.]

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Vicki November 5, 2013 at 8:56 am

Would love to add this to our cookbook library! PS. Wow – go Texas! Thinking I need to talk to our superintendent and see if we can get it put in all of our school libraries.


Andi Georgsson November 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

Cookbook sounds wonderful. My boys were cooks, but that’s fallen off. Thank you for reminding me to get them back into the kitchen. Coded hashtag personal to bes: #thursdays! #mybad


Michelle Szekely November 5, 2013 at 9:45 am

Would love to add this book to my collection of kid’s cooking books !


Alissa November 5, 2013 at 9:51 am

I only recently discovered Chop Chop (how is that possible???) but am in love and would be very excited to have a copy of the book!


Donna November 5, 2013 at 10:42 am

Glad to see this glowing review. You know we are big ChopChop fans. I’m delighted that TX is leveraging the good work that went into the cookbook by making it broadly available, as you mentioned. Hats off to TX Comptroller Susan Combs for making that happen:


kathy November 5, 2013 at 11:45 am

Hi Bettina!
Hope you & Mr. TLT are well.
My cousins are budding chefs and would love this book.


Courtney Barge November 5, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Would love to have this! My kids (7&10) adore helping out in the kitchen, and already can cook several things by themselves (with stove supervision, of course). They love lots of different kinds of food, and I just want them to have fun learning to prepare it. Everytime I try to find a cookbook geared toward them, half the book is filled with dessert recipes & food that is merely served in “kid-friendly” ways.
Looking forward to finding a copy of this book.


Emily November 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm

We love this magazine!


Tina November 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

We love Chop Chop! I especially love it that our pediatrician’s office has copies for people to take home with them.


Rachel November 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

This cookbook sounds marvelous! Love the magazine too!


Janice November 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I have 6 grandkids, and would love to use this book with them!


Julie Eigsti November 5, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I would love this for my 8yo son who is on the spectrum. He loves to help me cook and is always asking for cookbooks!


Vanessa November 6, 2013 at 7:28 am

I love any cookbooks but ideas for my kids is great!


Cee November 6, 2013 at 8:25 am

I’d love to win this for my daughter. She’s currently really into cooking, and frequently tells me that she wants to be a “chef cooker” when she grows up :)


Erika November 6, 2013 at 9:11 am

Would love to check this book out! I love to cook & would love if my kids would get more interested in helping out in the kitchen. They are loving watching the Kids Master Chef Junior on tv right now.


Gary November 6, 2013 at 11:36 am

My grandson would love this


Miranda November 6, 2013 at 11:37 am

I love cookbooks, and this sounds like a good one


bill November 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

sounds like a good Christmas present


Gretchen November 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm

If they cook it, maybe they’ll eat it? (We can hope…)!


Monika November 7, 2013 at 8:11 am

A cookbook that is kid and real food focused would be a great to getting my kids in the kitchen more.


Kathy November 7, 2013 at 8:14 am

Love your blog! Love Chop Chop! I’d love to win!


Sydney McCoy November 7, 2013 at 8:16 am

Dear Ms. Siegel,

The new cookbook from ChopChop Magazine would be a great addition to my cookbook collection. I would like to present a proposal for our NC Schools to carry it in their libraries. I have been working to get kids and parents more involved together in the kitchen, having fun while eating healthy home made food. I think it is very important to get kids thinking about the food that they eat, get physical exercise and take charge of their future health. Please visit my web site, or see my cooking videos on You Tube.


Adrienne November 7, 2013 at 8:36 am

Looks like a great cookbook! Would love to use it with my kids and share recipes with my clients!


audra rose November 7, 2013 at 8:37 am

Would love to have my child experience healthy cooking and eating with his help.


Jane November 7, 2013 at 9:59 am

I’d love to win a copy of this to give my little cousin as a Christmas present! Chop Chop is a fun way to get kids to eat healthy food, and set them up with a skill set they will have for life!


kristi November 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

Love to cook with my kids and think we’d enjoy this!


Alicia November 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

I’ve been needing something like this.


Lynn Weldh November 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm

My kids love to cook and would love this cookbook. Thanks for running the contest.


Debra November 7, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Love the Chop Chop magazine. My 5 year actually ate the carrot salad we made from their recipe–and we had a great time making it.


Bettina Elias Siegel November 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

The entry period for this giveaway is closed.


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