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Down Syndrome NSW
Level 6/410 Church St, North Parramatta
9am-5pm Monday - Thursday
T: 9841 444

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Library Thursdays: Let's Cook! Healthy meals for independent living

For all those inspired by Master Chef and Iron Chef or those who simply want to cook and eat healthily, there is a new cook book in the library. Let's Cook! Healthy meals for independent living by Elizabeth D. Riesz and Anne Kissack (Appletree Press, 2010) is a highly visual cookbook created for adults with special needs who want an adult cookbook that is simply written with lots of pictures and clear steps. Riesz' daughter, Sarah, has Down syndrome and began cooking as a teenager. She began collecting recipes and these form the foundation of the cookbook.

There are over 50 recipes in this book. How to make food choices, how much to eat, serving sizes, food and kitchen safety, and kitchen tools are discussed. A graphic that helps plan a meal by building a "healthy meal" from three, four or five food groups is used throughout the book. The recipes are divided into sections by food group and sections within those: Grains, Vegetables (Non-starchy and Starchy), Fruit, Dairy, Meat & Beans (Eggs, Fish, Chicken & Turkey, Beef & Pork). They range from very basic: Baked Potato, Fruit Smoothie to more involved casseroles and other main dishes. A section in the back looks at making healthy choices when eating in restaurants and snacks. There is a great range of basic recipes. It is an American cookbook so there is the occasional unusual ingredient ["vegetarian or lowfat turkey breakfast links"] but for the most part it is very useable here. Frozen vegetables, instant rice and canned soups are often used presumably to make things simpler, but I probably would like to see a recipe for non-instant rice and more use made of fresh food. Still, the recipes are healthy and look great in the pictures. It is a great book for increasing independence and health.

It is the first book in a series called "On my own". I look forward to seeing the next titles in this series that focuses on "promoting and reinforcing life skills for the adult with special needs".

Also in the library: Easy Cook Books - an Australian series of visual cook books. Not as many words as in Let's Cook but it is also an adult cookbook. See previous blog.

If you'd like to borrow any cookbooks or anything else, just call or email.

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