Friday, June 5, 2015

Kid Approved Goes BiCoastal

Just about a year ago, I met Tiffany Hinton (aka GF Mom Certified) and her sweet family at a Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event. I was intrigued by her story of how she began her mission to help others when she explained that foods were the cause of her issues. Now a proud mother of three, she is a down-to-earth voice of the gluten free world with a great sense of humor, a great attitude and a brand new book. Much to my delight, when I offered to review her book and it arrived, she mentioned that it was the first hard copy that she had been waiting for from the publisher but instead, she sent it to me. She even signed it for me (she's gluten free and awesome like that).

Since I was scheduled for a trip, I decided to take her book Kid Approved with me. What better way to see what was inside and have enough time to go through it with no rushing. Luckily, the book made it through TSA and on my way to the Mylan Event, I boarded the plane, book in hand. I was wedged in between an older lady that wouldn't look at me and a sleeping dad whose wife was across the aisle, watching him sleep (ohhh, the looks- you should have seen the looks!! Especially when we landed, he woke up after she spent five hours with two crying kids and she leaned over and said "Did ya' have a nice nap?!). Needless to say, I was happy to have such a nice distraction.

"This is not just a cookbook, Kid Approved is a solution guide for you to keep your child safe in a world of fun and wonder." Right away, loved it! This describes the book perfectly. We are all so focused on what foods to avoid, what not to do when we have food allergies but Tiffany hits the nail on the head- food allergies are not about being afraid of your foods, it's about finding out how to use the foods that you are able to eat. Life should be fun (and safe) but mostly fun so why not teach your children to enjoy both? When you remember back through your childhood, how many of those memories are about a favorite recipe that you made with a family member or even a particular smell? That is what it's all about and Tiffany shares that with us.

"Take time to do what makes your soul happy. Like eat chocolate." She had me at chocolate! Throughout Tiffany's book, she includes cute quotes and sayings that remind us to be patient, to involve our families with the cooking (which, I truthfully still need to work on myself) and to accept that imperfection is perfect. I love that her photos are all true-to-life images of her and her children preparing, cooking and even making a mess. To me, it's easier to identify with recipe photos that we can instantly envision happening in our home as well, which gives this book an added personal touch.

"I licked it, so it's mine." If any of you have followed myself or GF Mom Certified, you will instantly understand why this quote made me chuckle at the beginning of the Breakfast chapter. I would share a picture but I think it's better to leave it up to your imagination and check out what's inside the book itself.

"Pack your EpiPen" Tiffany also includes an important reminder in her Birthday Solutions chapter. There are tons of cookbooks, food allergy guides and recipe collections out there but having a reminder to always be safe and prepared is just as important as the recipes themselves. This is especially true for family and friends that may be given a copy of Kid Approved to try to learn how to prepare safe meals for someone with food allergies. Thanks for having that in your book Tiffany!

"1/2 Cup Sweet Potato Flour" .. Wait, what?! There's sweet potato flour and I have never seen or heard about it???? How? Where? Gosh, I suddenly feel uneducated and I have been cooking for my allergic son for thirteen years! And, oh my gawh, you can make a grilled cheese with the cheese on the outside of the bread????? So, now not only am I feeling a tad behind in my cooking skills but I am starving. But this is why we all need to get new books like Kid Approved- it goes to show you that no matter how much you know (or think you know), there will always be room to learn something that you didn't know before. Cooking, learning...makes my brain hurt but at the same time makes me want to go cook something (Maybe, even lick something so it would be just mine).

"Food Feeds Fertility" This was the most awesome surprise for me. There, on page 170, was the interview that I had written about Tiffany (HERE). And there I am, wedged on that plane ride during horrendous turbulence, wanting to jump up and down and scream "Look, everybody, she put me in her book!!" but I can't. I mean, I was so honored and excited and proud and I couldn't share it at that moment, not with anyone. No tweets, no whispering, no messages (stupid airplane mode). But perhaps, it was a moment that was meant just for me to enjoy and take in. Perhaps, this was a sign that sharing what we do with our personal lives, our journeys, our foods and how so much surrounds us each and every day to show me that we are allowed to enjoy everything, even if alone. Perhaps, as Tiffany inscribed in her book to me, it's "where dessert comes first."

I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a gluten free, family-friendly cookbook. It also includes a shopping list, menus and a surprise extra at the end of the book (yeah, like I would ruin the surprise and tell you what it is!) Please stop by her site, place your book order for Kid Approved (she has others too!) give her a like and let her know that Nutrimom sent you- I promise Tiffany will take the best care of you.

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