This one book is bound to be a godsend for parents, grandparents…for whoever has to deal with fussy eaters. And when the author is none other than India's prolific ‘top chef' Sanjeev Kapoor, ladies and gentlemen, you sit up and notice. ‘Fun Food for Fussy Kids', published by Popular Prakashan, is bound to be fun for those who are going to cook as well.
The book is divided into six sections – beverages, tiffins and snacks (veg and non-veg), meal (veg and non-veg) and desserts. Each recipe begins with a tiny introduction by the author which is like friendly banter about either how the particular recipe came to be or some such interesting nugget. The recipes are not the boring (as far as kids are concerned) and are bound to be a hit unless your kid is very strong on the resolve (not to eat).
There are the ‘healthy' recipes such as ‘Dippy Stick', a dip to be had with veggies or ‘Sprout ‘n' Roll' or ‘Hari Bhari Khichdi'. The recipes are a blend of Indian, Continental, Chinese, Mexican, Italian…everything that kids are familiar and fond of. The beverage section has delectable-sounding fare such as ‘Choco-Cookie Shake', ‘Strawberry Milk Shake' or ‘Tiramisu Milk Shake'. Sanjeev Kapoor's USP in most of cookbooks is that he keeps it simple, you don't have to go searching for the ingredients chances are you will find them in your neighbourhood. So you needn't worry about that last, Tiramisu milk shake.
The tiffins and snacks section is really the best part of this good book. Doesn't the thought of getting tiffin ready for your child give you the heebie-jeebies? The arguments and filmi as it sounds, the ‘8 a.m. recriminations', ‘you have given me sandwiches, or idlis or puris twice this week' can be really sap the most cuisine wise creative parent/cook.
‘Flying Saucers' (baby pizzas with desi twist), ‘Chinese Dosa' (dosa and noodles…kids!), the good old ‘Chana Puri', ‘Coleslaw Tacos', ‘Masala Potato Wedges', ‘Paneer Frankies' Hearty Bites (heart shaped tikkis), ‘Chicken Burgers', ‘Fish Stix', ‘Cocktail Idli', ‘Secret Noodles', ‘Pesto Pasta'….see hope at the end of the tunnel? There is.
Of ‘Cocktail Idli', Chef Kapoor says that when he was finalising this recipe his wife, Aloyna objected ‘why use the word ‘cocktail' in a book for kids? Point taken, but the fact remains that this recipe is perfect for a kid's party….will wow the grown ups too'. Since the recipes are not the hotch-potch ketchup or jam affairs, these are fit for grown ups too and the kids will love ‘em.
The meals are elaborate (in comparison) ‘Ande ka Funda', ‘Butter Chicken', ‘Chicken and Rice Volcano', ‘Chicken and Cheese Spaghetti' and are bound to win kiddy hearts. And if the meals end with delectable desserts such as ‘Choco Cups' pretty cup cakes topped with colourful chocolate candies. What about ‘Figalacious Pudding', ‘Mango Mazaa' or ‘Strawberry Swirlies' for that matter? There are more recipes to experiment with, junior is bound have favourites. This book is, really, about hope.
The production is on a par with the best and the photographs (you would be tempted to reach out and grab a bite) too are cheerful and professionally shot. The book costs Rs. 295.