Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



ChopChop Magazine

ChopChop Magazine

Spring 2014 Magazines
Ages: 5 - 12 yrs.
Publisher: ChopChop Kids
Newsstand Price: $3.99
Subscription Price: $14.95 / 4 Issues
Review:

Kids will love ChopChop magazine, while grown-ups will be especially impressed by the food profiled. This isn't a magazine full of the sweets and colorfully decorated cookies that are usually showcased to attract the attention of a child, rather, it shows real food in a beautiful way. The full color images showcase the recipes wonderfully, but more importantly, they show a wide range of children clearly enjoying non-"kid" food and its preparation.

The graphic layout of a recipe is not usually something that would appeal to a child, but this magazine makes each set of instructions look like fun. Photos include the final result, along with pictures of each ingredient in many cases. Small design choices, like the font used for the title of the recipe, and the placement of "did you know" facts encourage kids' continued interest. There are a variety of different ways kids can prepare the food, so that a 6 year old and a 9 year old both found things they could do to make food they wanted to try.

Encouraging kids to try new foods and new twists on familiar favorites is a specialty of this publication. The first recipe our 9 year-old reviewer was inspired to make was the Vietnamese Chicken-Noodle Soup (with lots of accompaniments). In the same magazine, a full-page photo shows a puzzled kid looking at a large turnip. On the following page, the same boy and his sister are shown tasting, and obviously enjoying, the roasted turnip. In addition to recipes, the magazine encourages interest in food by providing other activities, such as gardening and ways to be active outside. The "Que es diferente?", ("What is different?"), is a favorite feature that shows two bowls of very similar food prepared in slightly different ways. Though kids have fun trying to spot the difference, they also see how a bowl of brown rice with avocado can look surprisingly different when fresh bean sprouts are added.

Even when reading the edition in Spanish, my oldest son (who does not speak Spanish) found recipes he wanted to try, asking if we could make the "Huevo duro", (they were just boiled eggs, but I admit, the photo did make them look delicious!)

Clearly, the ChopChop magazine is designed to interest kids in food, to encourage them to try new things, and to build their skill in preparing food. It hit each mark in our reviewers' households, leaving parents and children looking forward to the next edition, as the dog-eared previous months gather post-it notes of recipes to return to.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

Look for this product at:
ChopChop Kids
http://www.chopchopmag.org

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