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New family cookbook created by UConn Department of Nutritional Sciences (Released 3/3/97)

by David Pesci, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Tired of trying to get your kids to eat broccoli, carrots or anything nutritious? Then why not try giving them "Porcupines," "Ham Mountains," and "Flying Saucers?"

Sound like prepackaged nonsense? Actually it's good food, and good for them.

The dishes are just a few listed in a new cookbook, Connecticut Cooks for Kids, created by two faculty members from the University of Connecticut's Department of Nutritional Sciences, and a nutrition education coordinator from the state Department of Education. The cookbook was put together to provide the state's day care facilities with easy, nutritious recipes. But the authors say it's also great for families.

"The recipes are easy to make and there's a lot of variety," says Ellen L. Shanley, lecturer in nutritional sciences, and a co-author of the book. "We've also provided a per-serving nutrient analysis for each recipe so cooks can see the breakdown on such things as calories and grams of fat for each serving."

Connecticut Cooks for Kids is the culmination of more than two years of work. Shanley of GLASTOBURY and her co-editors, Colleen A. Thompson, M.S., R.D., extension educator in residence, of WALLINGFORD, and Susan S. Fiore, M.S., R.D., a program manager in the State Department of Education from SOUTH WINDSOR, solicited recipes from licensed day care centers and family day care homes. In exchange, the participants received a free copy of the finished cookbook.

"In fact, we are giving one to every sponsor of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in the state," Shanley says.

Each recipe was kitchen-tested by students in UConn's Department of Nutritional Sciences for accuracy and taste. Once submissions were selected for the cookbook, a nutrient analysis was performed.

Connecticut Cooks for Kids is divided into eight main recipe sections: beverages, soups and stews, entrees, vegetables, fruits, breads and muffins, snacks and desserts, and other recipes.

The editors also worked to include sections that deal with child and family nutrition, food handling, and other important but often overlooked nutritional information.

"We have a section titled "Tips for Growing" where we discuss some topical issues, such as fat intake for children, children who want to eat the same thing every day, and ways to get children to eat fruits and vegetable," says Thompson. "We've also included several tips on ways to get children involved with food preparation. We've found that when kids can be a part of making the meal, they're more likely to want to eat what's put in front of them."

The cookbook features bright, full-color illustration by Karen A. Ritchie of MERIDEN.

The editors are hoping to have Connecticut Cooks for Kids in bookstores statewide. Until then, the book is available directly from UConn's Department of Nutritional Sciences for $12, which includes shipping and handling. Call 860-486-1787 or fax 860-486-3674 for order information.