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

ChopChop Magazine

ChopChop Magazine

Spring 2017 Magazines
Ages: 2 - 12 yrs.
Publisher: ChopChop Kids
Newsstand Price: $3.95
Subscription Price: $14.95 / 4 Issues

From the time they are tiny, most kids want to help out in the kitchen. My young ones started checking cookbooks out of the library even before they could read. Our frustration with kids' cookbooks was that they were invariably too basic, little more than learning how to assemble a sandwich, but cookbooks for adults assumed adult palates and advanced reading (and cooking) skills.

ChopChop, a "Fun Cooking Magazine for Families," manages to hit the level exactly right. The magazine includes recipes and instruction at a wide range of abilities and interests. Each issue opens with a "Junior" recipe - something a preschooler could manage with minimal assistance, such as fruit salad on a straw - and has plenty of kid-palate-friendly recipes, such as smoothies and pizza toast. But the magazine does not shy away from real meals that could be served to adults: pasta with vegetables, salads featuring feta cheese, and sliders. An entire issue of "breakfast for dinner" (popular with all ages, in our house) offered international recipes, including a Chinese porridge and an Israeli egg-and-vegetable dish. The recipes encourage young chefs to try foods they might find intimidating, and they don't hesitate to use spices. Many recipes can be managed by elementary children with only minimal assistance, but some are more appropriate for middle schoolers and up.

ChopChop magazine also focuses on developing kitchen skills. An article on caramelizing onions includes advice on how best to chop an onion (a skill many adults I've met have struggled with); another teaches how to make ricotta cheese from scratch. Recipes encourage healthy choices (whole grain ingredients, balanced plates, etc.) without making it preachy in any way.

Each issue also contains a few fun features, including a find-the-differences photo pair that features elements from the theme of the issue, a word search, exercise ideas, interviews with "Healthy Heroes" (old and young), and pictures and letters from readers. A Kitchen Science column explains the chemistry behind common cooking experiences (such as why egg whites turn white, or how cheese forms).

ChopChop magazine is packed. Any one issue offers more than a typical kids' cookbook, and at a fraction of the price. Parents and kids will find ChopChop a delicious way to explore the kitchen together.

Emily Crawford   ©2017 Parents' Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master's in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.

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