The Adventurous Eaters Club
Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime
TV star Misha Collins and his wife, journalist and historian Vicki Collins, show families how to be mealtime adventurers so that kids might have a lifelong relationship with real food
Chicken nuggets. Hot dogs. Macaroni and cheese. These are just some of the greatest hits we offer kids at mealtime.
Misha and Vicki Collins totally get it. When their son West was a toddler, he began refusing anything that wasn’t bland and beige. At first, they succumbed, anything to end the mealtime battles. But with sinking hearts they realized fruit snacks and buttered noodles weren’t just void of nutrition, they were setting him up for a lifetime with a limited palate and a reliance on convenience foods.
So, as a family, they decided to lean into what they love best—adventure—and invited their kids to be playful and exploratory in the kitchen. Now, in The Adventurous Eaters Club, Misha and Vicki share how they created a home where mealtime doesn’t involve coercion or trickery, and where salad, veggies, fresh soups, and fruit are the main course. Combining personal anecdotes and practical tips with over 100 creative, delicious, whimsical recipes little hands can help prepare The Adventurous Eaters Club offers readers all the support, encouragement, and practical advice they need to make lifelong adventurous eaters out of their kids.
Supernatural actor Collins and his wife, Vicki, debut with a mixed if well-intentioned cookbook that introduces 100 recipes in the hopes of "welcoming children into the kitchen and inviting them to become adventurous cooks and life-long food lovers." Steering clear of junk food, the authors share techniques for integrating plenty of fresh produce into recipes while still making them appealing to children, such as green confetti frittata (the confetti is torn rainbow chard), pink gnocchi (beets dye the pasta pink), and mouse nibbles (a trail mix of mango slices, cashews, and popcorn). The Collinses advocate allowing children to help prepare meals, and many recipes include steps meant for little hands, such as shelling fresh peas for a pasta dish, shucking corn for a summer salad, and mixing dry ingredients for zippy ginger cookies. Unfortunately, some of the well-meaning ideas in this book come across as ill-advised (making homemade butter by "jumping, hopping, and shaking" cream in a glass jar) or unfeasible (they encourage children to eat messy spaghetti sandwiches, and are sure to turn off readers with a note that "the goal, of course, is to be completely covered in food"). Parents looking to cultivate healthy eating habits for their families will find some good tips here, but not all of the advice is worth taking.