Food & Drink

Mess de Cuisine

Ah, cooking with the kids. Pouring love into a delicious meal that nurtures and sustains your family. Planting the seeds of a lifetime of happy memories.

Right. Spend one harried weeknight trying to make it happen and your soft-focus fantasy will fall faster than they can say “Mommy, cheese soufflé? Yuck.”

Before you turn to Ronald McDonald, consider some advice from an unlikely place: the school cafeteria.

As Chef Bobo, Robert Surles rocks the lunch counter at the Calhoun School in New York City, earning props from The New Yorker and NPR. Now you can bring his techniques into your own kitchen: Chef Bobo’s Good Food Cookbook is a compilation of healthy meals that kids will not only love to eat but can also help make. Recipes include crispy fries made of oven-roasted rutabagas, salmon sweetened with a honey-and-soy glaze, and honey-oat cookies. Caramelized carrots or (even better!) steamed broccoli — you’ll be surprised to see what starts bumping chicken fingers out of the all-time-most-requested slot.

Now picture it: The whole family together. Cooking and laughing. Sharing whirled peas.

Getting them to do dishes? You’re on your own.

Available online at amazon.com or at your local bookstore.