A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What and Why Through the Ages
By: Tanya Steel
Published: September 11, 2018
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
By taking various eras of history and learning about the food the people ate, there is much to be learned about where our food comes from. Each era includes a brief history, common foods eaten during this time, kitchen tools used, fun facts, delicious recipes to coordinate with that era, and a pop quiz. All the information included is targeted toward upper-elementary-aged kids and up. So, the photos are eye-catching, the facts come in brief bites, and the recipes are kid-friendly with fun titles and easy to follow directions with minimal adult help.
My favorite section was the Renaissance time period including the area that we now know of as Italy. The recipes in this section included “The Apple of Shakespeare’s Eye”, an apple pastry, and “Uncruel Gruel”, raisin rice pudding. Both recipes I could see making with my daughter and loving. The Day in the Life for each section shares a year and what kids wore, how they spent their days like school or work, the games they played, and of course, the food they ate.
Parents and grandparents can get nostalgic and maybe even identify with some of the food talked about during WWII, the 60’s, and the 70’s. It gives parents an opportunity to talk about their favorite foods growing up. When instant food like frozen dinners, pop tarts, frozen fish sticks, and diet sodas first became common, kids will be surprised to see the progression of food over the years.
The book ends with a section on the Future World of food, imagining life on Mars in 2050. It offers ideas of what life would be like for kids in the future. Making Up-In-The-Clouds-Bread is a neat recipe for kids to make and try and the Marz Barz look delicious as well.
I took this book with me while subbing in third grade a couple weeks ago and the kids were already commenting on which recipes they wanted to try and the types of food people during the different time periods ate like snails, animal brains, squirrel, and peacock. I found this book so interesting and it is a great book for parents and kids to read and enjoy together. Teachers and Homeschooling parents can find an educator’s guide, HERE. You can also see a few sample pages, HERE.
Author Tanya Steel is a global food industry leader in every aspect. She initiated the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & annual Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama. Steel is the former editorial director of Clean Plates, Epicurious.com, Gourmet Live, and Gourmet.com, she was an editor at Bon Appétit and Food & Wine, and wrote for the New York Times for four years. She co-wrote the award-winning Real Food for Healthy Kids, and The Epicurious Cookbook, a New York Times bestseller. In addition to guest judging on Hell’s Kitchen, IronChef and MasterChef she has been featured on many national television shows including The Today Show, Fox & Friends, The Early Show, and Good Morning America. For more information, check out her website, HERE.
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See all the other great National Geographic Kids books I have reviewed, HERE.