A New Cookbook Gets Kids in the Kitchen

Renowned chef and author, Art Smith, discusses his role in the making of Legacy of Recipes, a new cookbook from the kids of the Milton Hershey School.
Art Smith

Kipling Swehla

Chef Art Smith (formerly Oprah's private chef) recently teamed up with students in the Culinary Arts Program of the Milton Hershey School to create an e-cookbook. The book is a collection of festive dishes made with -- you guessed it -- Hershey's products.

The Milton Hershey School provides children of social and financial need with a structured home life and education. Did you know that when you buy a Hershey's product, part of the proceeds benefit the Milton Hersey School? All the more reason for us to eat chocolate!

Legacy of Recipes is available for free download at www.thehersheylegacy.com.

Parents.com: How can you teach children about the importance of proper diet?

Art Smith: Make sure to have kids cook with you. They like to cook and they're more likely to eat the food if they take part in preparing it -- it's about engaging them. Children are so real and authentic and they need to see the reality of life. They need to know how to cook and what it's like for mommy and daddy to prepare a meal.

Parents.com: Legacy of Recipes showcases recipes made with Hershey's products such as chocolate. How can parents teach children that it's okay to snack but in moderation?

Art Smith: You have to lead by example. Don't eat snacks in front of kids and then say "no" when they ask.

Parents.com: Easy enough!

Art Smith: Also, it's so important to make children aware of the world. Through food you can learn so much about different cultures. My friend of 32 years taught me all about South Indian cuisine and culture.

Parents.com: How can you introduce a picky eater to new foods?

Art Smith: Parents need to introduce a variety of foods to kids at a young age. If your kid only eats hotdogs, make sure you aren't giving him a high-fat dog. Feed him turkey or veggie dogs. If he likes French fries, make sure they're baked. There's white "albino" wheat bread that is actually whole wheat but kids think they're eating white bread. There are a lot of little things parents can do.

Parents.com: Did the young chefs at the Hershey Milton School teach you anything?

Art Smith: What child doesn't teach you something? They taught me to be patient, breathe and laugh.

Parents.com: What's your favorite recipe from the book?

Art Smith: The cocoa chili rub. Most people don't equate cocoa with a savory dish but trust me, it's delicious!

Parents.com: What's the most important thing cooking has taught you?

Art Smith: Life can be complicated and hard but there's something about a home-cooked meal that can make you feel good.

Copyright © 2010 Meredith Corporation.


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