I love cookbooks. I love them so much I’ve been known to take them to bed with me for a little nighttime reading. What? You don’t do that? Moving on …
End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad, by local authors Eluka Moore, Larry Puzniak, Marianne Welsh, and illustrator Kristen Gau, is the first book in a series of Kitchen Club Kids™ recipe-adventure stories designed to teach and entertain young children through fun cooking tales … and teach and entertain it does!
My nephew Ben and I read the book together, and we both loved the funny rhymes about and the brightly colored illustrations of a myriad of fruits, some familiar (grapes) and some not so familiar (papaya) to Ben. And while Ben can easily count from 1 to 10, he still enjoyed counting the fruits on each page (End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad is great for children learning to count!), and he especially loved searching for the “hidden pickle” on every other page.
I also loved the fact that End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad does a great job of showing that healthy eating can not only be delicious, but fun as well … and as soon as we finished the book, the fun moved to the kitchen where Ben used the recipe at the end of End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad to make a fruit salad to go with our dinner that evening.
Armed with a plastic knife, a quick lesson in proper knife skills, and constant supervision by me, Ben cut up all the fruit for our fruit salad himself: strawberries, blueberries, cherries (that I had pitted for him), and grapes. He even made sure to cut each piece small enough so that they’d be easy to eat for his 2-year-old brother … adorable, right?!?
When he was almost finished cutting the fruit, I cut a lemon and an orange in halves for him since a plastic knife just doesn’t work for this task. Ben squeezed the juice from the lemon and the orange over his cut fruit, then carefully picked out any errant seeds. He stirred the entire dish together …
… and then, in true 4-year-old boy fashion, screamed “Tada!” at the top of his lungs to announce he had completed his fruit salad!
It’s quite a beauty, isn’t it!
When dinnertime came, Ben served his fruit salad, which received rave reviews from everyone at the table … and the look of pride on his face was absolutely priceless. It was truly a special moment for both Ben and me!
Taking advantage of quality time in the kitchen and preparing healthy foods isn’t the only lesson Kitchen Club Kids wants to share with its readers.
The co-creators are also committed to give back to those in need in their local community. As a result, a portion of all book sales will go to support area food-based charities in St. Louis. To purchase a copy, or see an excerpt of End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad, visit the Kitchen Club Kids™ site. You can also find Kitchen Club Kids™ on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
And now, here’s the recipe for Mr. Ben’s Fruit Salad!
Mr. Ben’s Fruit Salad
- 1 pint strawberries, washed and quartered
- 1 pint blueberries, washed
- 1 large handful cherries, washed, pitted, and quartered
- 1 large bunch grapes, washed and halved
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Juice of 1 orange
1. Place strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and grapes in a large bowl.
2. Add lemon juice and orange juice to bowl; stir to combine.
3. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.