Cooking Around the Country With Kids

Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities

What Others Are Saying

Mary Fran Stransky, a busy Mom and freelance proofreader  says:
I love Cooking Around the Country With Kids! I just made my best batch of Shrimp Pasta ever! Now I am planning Thanksgiving around your recipes.


Karen G. Heredia, Homeschooling Mom, writes:
by Amy Houts is a book for all families with children.  One of the suggestions that I give to families when facilitating parenting classes is that children should be included and have responsibilities that revolve around mealtimes. COOKING AROUND THE COUNTRY WITH KIDS is a perfect resource for families.  The great thing about this book is that it also teaches children about the United States, where our food sources are, and cooking skills, too.

The format of the book takes us to ten different regions in the USA and has great suggestions for family activities, geographic descriptions and food growing facts, along with recipes from the region.  This makes the book a great resource for both home and school.  It could help bring variety into family meals along with teaching cooperation, nutrition, planning, kitchen safety, reading and math skills along with geography and culture.  It would be a great plan to find one evening each week when everyone is home and make it the “Cooking Around the Country” night at your house.  Include the children in all aspects of this special evening, from writing the grocery list, shopping, meal preparation, and all the way to meal clean up.

In this book, Amy introduces the concept of American cultural diversity in a way that captures a child’s interest and helps bridge their understanding of how the different cultures in America came to co-exist yet continue to celebrate their uniqueness. This has greatly helped me explain the expression referring to America as “The Great Melting Pot”.

As I advanced through the pages, I found my own knowledge of American history and geography expanding. Already, this book has helped my children make a physical connection with the different geographical regions. Amazingly they were not only able to locate the state on our map but they were able to provide a few historical facts which had been mentioned at the beginning of the chapter.

As a homeschooling family, we are always on the look-out for great science projects. As with most homeschooling families, we have quite an age range to cover which makes science an interesting challenge. The ages span from 3 to 10 years of age.  Amy beautifully introduced the relationship between cooking and chemistry then proceeded to lay out an experiment using popcorn. We were able to complete this project together, making age appropriate adjustments with the documentation and reporting. Science is always more fun when, upon completion, you get to eat your project!

Mary-Lane Kamberg , Author of I DON’T KNOW HOW TO COOK book and co-author with Rolland Love of HOMEGROWN IN THE OZARKS: MOUNTAIN MEALS AND MEMORIES, shares the following:
Stir together regional foods and easy-to-follow directions. Sprinkle with a pinch of geography. That’s the recipe for fun and learning for children and adults in Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities. Additional hands-on activities create memories to last a lifetime. A must for every family library.


Amy Houts has written a wonderful cookbook. Her COOKING AROUND THE COUNTRY WITH KIDS: USA REGIONAL RECIPES AND FUN ACTIVITIES is well researched and well written. The book has recipes that are easy to follow, for either children or for non-cooking adults.  It even made me want to cook something!  This book is a natural extension to many areas of the school curriculum.  It could easily make science, geography, math and American history really come to life in the classroom!  The connection Amy Houts makes between each region, its own history and the foods we eat is truly interesting and could help children appreciate, understand and enjoy the cultural differences that make up our country.
-Lisa Thiesing, Children’s author and illustrator


COOKING AROUND THE COUNTRY WITH KIDS is another winner from the author of COOKING AROUND THE CALENDAR WITH KIDS. The combination of food history and information about regional cultures makes cooking with these delicious, child-friendly recipes a thoughtful and engaging activity. The recipes are perfect, not just for cooking at home with children but for class parties, scout meetings, and other themed get-togethers.
-Cindy Kane, recipe contributor,

This USA-themed recipe book contains a generous helping of hearty recipes sprinkled with historical facts, tasty learning activities, sweet geographic descriptions, and a hint of patriotism. These simple, quick, unique, and child-friendly recipes help to connect children (and adults) to the edible pastimes surrounding natural and regional resources in America.  From the Great Lakes to the Mountains, and from chowder to chicken ‘n biscuit dumplings, this book encourages children to re-engage with the history of the United States through a preparation and cooking of traditional dishes that have been inspired by the unique features of the land they love.
-Joanna Robinson, Ph.D, Editorial Manager – Learning Horizons

Amy Houts’s new cookbook is a real treat! The wide range of recipes and activities will appeal to adults and kids — even the most finicky eaters. The easy-to-make recipes mean that adults and children can work side by side, making this cookbook valuable for busy parents and attuned to youngsters’ shorter attention spans. The supplemental information is presented in easily manageable chunks. Kids learn fun food trivia (the average American eats 58 quarts of popcorn a year) and food facts that most non-farm kids won’t know, but should (the corn eaten by farm animals is not the same as the sweet corn humans love). This book is an excellent way to introduce children to new tastes and different cultures.
-Mary Hertz Scarbrough, author of  MISSION: SPACE CAMP and other books for children

From Elephant French Toast to Goober Bread, Amy’s regional stories & fascinating facts provide the perfect kitchen conversation while kids learn to measure, whisk and stir. These delightful recipes are delicious fun; the fresh activities inspire me to make my own peanut butter or my own play dough (my favorite, of course!).  I wish I had grown up in the Houts’s creative household!
-Susan Eaddy, Clay Illustrator

There’s nothing more fun, for kids or adults, than a cookbook that has plenty of writing along with its recipes. Cooking Around the Country With Kids is full of interesting history spiced with a bit of science and a lot of regional appeal.  Children from all over the U. S. will enjoy reading it, learning from it, and-of course–using it to make delicious, kid-friendly recipes.
-Ann Hodgeman, author, ONE BITE WON’T KILL YOU

This cookbook is not only fun and interactive but informative as well. Exploring American food and culture with simple but delicious recipes is sure to be a hit with adults and kids alike.
-Shari Barr, Children’s writer

This new book by author/cook Amy Houts is a sure winner. It’s a great way to introduce children to geography, history, and healthy cooking, all in one delicious book. With fun activity suggestions, perfect make-together recipes, and history highlights, it will whet children’s interest in learning more while promoting family enjoyment.
-Neala S. Schwartzberg, Ph.D,  Developmental psychologist, and former editor Parent & preschooler Newsletter

As a Professor of Cultural Diversity and certified elementary school educator, I am excited to see this collection of recipes and activities.  Optimal learning occurs naturally and in context.  Using this wonderful resource, children and adults can explore cooking, while having fun and learning.
-Nancy F. Browning, Ed.D.

Amy Houts’ new cookbook for children, COOKING AROUND THE COUNTRY WITH KIDS: USA REGIONAL RECIPES AND FUN ACTIVITIES, is a great addition to any family’s kitchen. The recipes are authentic and dishes that your family will truly enjoy eating. The tips and activities suggested can be adapted to children of any age or ability.  This cookbook has taken cooking with children to a new level.  Exploring the various regions of our country through foods provides a unique learning opportunity. What a wonderful experience in diversity to share with our children!
-Barbara Crossland, Ed.D., Chair, Department of Curriculum & Instruction