March 23, 2016

The Forest Feast for Kids with Erin Gleeson

The Forest Feast for Kids | The Naptime Chef

By Erin Gleeson

Last year I spoke with Erin Gleeson about her magnificent book, The Forest Feast. I couldn’t get enough of the beautifully illustrated volume featuring mouthwatering vegetarian recipes. It is one of a kind. This spring she followed up that book with a second volume aimed at children. It features beautiful photography and watercolors, as well as dozens of recipes children will love to make and eat. Last week I had a little chat with Erin about her latest endeavor which you can read below. And don’t forget to enter to win a copy of your very own!

The Forest Feast for Kids | The Naptime Chef

By Erin Gleeson

1) What inspires you when you think of cooking with children. All the recipes in the book look amazing and perfect for children!

Color! I think eating colorful produce makes cooking and eating more fun. Not to mention, healthier!

2) What are a few guidelines you use when cooking with kids. For example, are there specific ingredients and tools you lean toward using? Certain recipe guidelines?

I included illustrated guides that show how to cut certain vegetables, like chopping a butternut squash and dicing an onion. I think using a fun new tool like a spiralizer can also ignite new interest in cooking for kids. Carrots are undeniably more fun in the shape of noodles.

The Forest Feast for Kids | The Naptime Chef

3) Is there anything that has surprised you about cooking with children? For example, I found that cooking with my own children was much more fun that it would be. They pick up on many interesting flavor pairings I wouldn’t necessarily think of!

My own son is only 18 months and he’s only just started cooking with me in the kitchen and it is so much fun. We have been making challah bread weekly on Fridays and he loves standing on a chair beside me and helping dump the ingredients into a bowl. We are still working on his flavor pairing ideas – so far, it’s ketchup with everything.

The Forest Feast for Kids | The Naptime Chef

By Erin Gleeson

4) What’s next for the Forest Feast? I love all the cooking you do with children AND adults. We can’t wait to see what you have in store!

Thank you! I have an entertaining book with menus for parties coming out in September 2016 called The Forest Feast Gatherings that I am really, really excited about. It has a lot more watercolor painting incorporated and was so fun to put together. I also have a line of stationery and gift items that feature my artwork, and am hoping to expand that into dishes and household items in the near future. Stay tuned, and happy cooking!

To enter to win a copy of The Forest Feast for Kids:

  1. Share your favorite vegetable dish to make and eat with your children!
  2. Contest runs from March 23rd through March 30th at 7:00am ET. Winner will be announced in the April 1st newsletter. Good luck!

(All images above copyright The Forest Feast, used with permission. Please do not reuse or repost images.)

  • When my kids were younger I had a hard time getting them to eat vegetables. I’ve learned over the years that roasting them is the key to get them to not only eat them but ask for them! A mixture of roasted broccoli, cauliflower and carrots is their favorite. We eat a lot of corn on the cob in the summer, my favorite vegetable when its in season. I wish they liked asparagus, I haven’t given up yet!
    jlammers002 at woh dot rr dot com

  • miranda

    We love mashed sweet potatoes

  • bill

    Corn on the cob is a big hit

  • gary

    cheesy mashed potatoes work for us

  • Mo Salvati

    Pizza dough, they get to push the button and dump and measure. So fun and sweet.

  • Karen D

    I like making a salad with greens they grew in the garden

  • Shira

    Does pesto count as a vegetable? That’s my kids’ very favorite and my 5 year old loves to help prep the basil for the pesto!