Read an honest review of Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals, a kids lunch cookbook by Catherine McCord.
Just in time for back to school, Catherine McCord has a new cookbook out and it’s all about lunches. Catherine is a mom, trained chef, and the brains behind the Weelicious blog. The idea for her first cookbook, Weelicious, was to make simple, healthy, and delicious meals that her kids would eat. The book’s tagline is “One family. One meal.”
It expresses my own feelings perfectly. I hear all the time from moms (and a few dads) who cook two or three separate meals for supper to please everyone. Every night. Now I know that those parents are doing everything they can just to get their picky kids to eat something. But I also know that my one meal for everyone rule works.
If you’re one of the parents struggling to find meals that everyone in the family will eat, I recommend checking out Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes. I’ve borrowed it from our local library several times and the meals are always a hit. Recipes include breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts and drinks. There is also a section on making your own baby food and on working with picky eaters.
This week, we enjoyed the apple-vanilla pancakes, baked as waffles for breakfast. We have also had the cheese waffles – with and without bacon – several times.
Kids lunch cookbook review
The newest book is called Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals. In this “sequel” cookbook, the main focus is on lunch. Many of the recipes are also great for breakfast or snack time too. I made the kids a few of the lunches this week and every one was a success.
This is the chicken salad roll-ups. My kids take tuna salad all the time, but for some reason chicken salad has never come up until Sniffles(9) requested this one. I substituted Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise and used regular flat bread. For several of the recipes, Catherine suggests taking regular sandwich bread and flattening it with your rolling pin. I think that’s pretty clever, since flat bread can be expensive and isn’t something I always have. I did make the cinnamon roll sushi using flattened bread and the kids liked it too, although mine didn’t turn out nearly as cute as the book’s photo.
What I really enjoy about this cookbook is the flexibility. All of the recipes are simple and easy to follow. There is not really anything in here that you can’t find at the local grocery store. (Maybe the dragon fruit.) But if you don’t have a specific ingredient (like the mayo, above) they are flexible enough to substitute. There are over 160 recipes in this cookbook, but I think this is one of the only cookbooks that I would make everything, with the exception of baby food.
Like the first cookbook, this one includes tips for dealing with picky eaters. It also adds information on how to pack a lunch for school. Recipes are organized by category – sandwiches, veggies, etc. – and there is a whole section on PB&J. Even if that is the only thing your child will eat, this book has ten ways to make it.
If you’re wondering about the most important criteria on my cookbook grading list (photos), this one does well. Few cookbooks have room to print a photo to go with every recipe, but this one includes about two out of three. The photos are big, bright and colorful.
None of the recipes are complicated, so the photos are really for those who eat with their eyes before cooking, rather than to know how the finished meal should look. The photos are for my son, who immediately upon seeing my new cookbook, sat down and read it while making a list of meals that “look yummy” for me to pack in his lunch.
Buying the book
I recommend this book for anyone who is struggling with packing a lunchbox every day. And parents, grandparents, and babysitters who feed picky kids at home. And even real food-loving folks who are good at packing lunches, but are always looking for inspiration. This is a book that you will use.
If you want to try before you buy, I recommend checking your local library. I’d never even heard of Catherine’s blog before finding the first book there. You can also find many of the recipes on the Weelicious website.
Weelicious Lunches is available in bookstores starting September 3, 2013. The MSRP is $27.50 but right now I see the hardcover version on Amazon for $17.99 and the kindle version for $12.74. (Prices on Amazon are always subject to change.)
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher for review. All opinions expressed here are my own. Additionally, I have an affiliate partnership with Amazon and may be compensated if you purchase through my referral link.