Developing a love of cooking: The Healthy Teen Cookbook


Kids can develop a love of food. With The Healthy Teen Cookbook, kids can skip the chicken nuggets and pizza for something a little more flavorful.

A love of food can start at an early age. While family can have an influence on teens, peers can often be a great role model for aspiring cooks. The Healthy Teen Cookbook is a delightful way get younger cooks and foodies into the kitchen.

In my household, my kids enjoy watching cooking shows with me. From Chopped to Iron Chef, the kids have become more adventurous eaters after watching these food TV shows. Occasionally, these food TV shows have younger contestants. When my kids watch these shows, they are inspired to cook more and eat different foods.

Recently, my family was given the opportunity to read The Healthy Teen Cookbook by Remmi Smith. Smith, a teen chef, has appeared on Chopped and the Food Network. This cookbook appeals to kids because it is written by a kid. Instead of grandiose ideas or incomprehensible directions, this cookbook shows that cooking can be easy, fun and enjoyable.

Developing a love of cooking: The Healthy Teen Cookbook by Chef Remmi Smith, photo provided by The Healthy Teen Cookbook

Even though this cookbook is for kids, it doesn’t mean that the recipes are boring and bland. The recipes represent a global journey of flavors. From the Albondigas Soup to Congee, these recipes introduce teens (and families) to various flavors, textures and ingredients. Whether the kids want to be bold and adventurous or prefer to slowly explore flavor, there is a recipe for every occasion.

One of the biggest draws in this cookbook is the food photography. Each recipe has a detailed, beautiful picture. Of course, the home cook may not make that picture perfect dish. Still, the food photography entices the reader to try the recipe. Just like that mouthwatering Instagram picture, you want to experience that delicious meal.

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Another enjoyable aspect to this cookbook is the small explanations before each recipe. As each country/recipe is introduce, Smith offers some commentary about why the recipe was chosen as well as some facts about the country. For example, Smith’s description of South African cuisine is spot on. While many people wouldn’t think about curry being featured in South Africa, the bold spices are a by-product of the country’s diverse heritage.

While the cookbook’s title references “healthy,” I wouldn’t let that adjective give a pre-conceived notion about these recipes. This cookbook isn’t about leafy greens, small portions or diet food. The healthy comes from fresh ingredients, a robust palate and a willingness to experiment in the kitchen. All aspects are part of becoming a “healthy teen.”

Overall, The Healthy Teen Cookbook is a good introductory cookbook for younger cooks. It offers a wide variety of recipes without dumbing down the material. Anyone, even non-teens, would enjoy reading through and trying these recipes.

The Healthy Teen Cookbook by Chef Remmi Smith is available on Amazon for $24.95.