I have reviewed a lot of cookbooks over the years, but this one is really special..a must have for all families (and it is free!) Moms, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles all want to see kids eat well. Many kids (and, some parents) don’t know what do to in the kitchen besides open the Styrofoam box from the drive-through fast food or reheat leftovers in the microwave. I grew up in a time when mom and dad cooked and kids learned basic cooking skills in home ec. It is no surprise that many parents’ favorite kitchen appliance is the phone to call for delivery pizza.

This book can bring back those lost culinary skills. As part of the “Keep the Beat” program from US Department of Health and Human Services (NIH) and National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, this colorful, kid-friendly book is more than a cookbook (although all of recipes will appeal to the whole family)…it is part nutrition primer and learning-t0-cook helper. I especially love the photos in the appendix that show what the various cooking terms mean…to those of you who cook, dice, chop, mince, slice mean something, but to the cooking challenged, decoding a recipe can be a frightening experience.

Recipes are easy to make, delicious to eat, and good for you. Symbols (“Healthier Classics, Leftover Friendly, Chefs in Training, and Healthy Eating Two Ways”) steer the cook to making mealtime fun and functional.

Last week, I gave college athletes the recipe for Bowtie Pasta with Chicken, Broccoli, and Feta and even the most skeptical among them took the recipe back to the dorm for a tryout.

Check it out at the website http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/healthyeating for recipes and information on ordering one free copy…you will be glad you did! This is one government publication that is steering kids down the healthy lane…with tasty kid-friendly recipes that everyone will love.