book cover
"Ella's Kitchen: The Cookbook The Red One" is by Ella's parents so that they could have fun with their children in the kitchen.

Editor's note: Helping children eat healthy meals can be a challenge on the best of days. From creative meal ideas to helping children learn to cook to a nutritional guidebook, here is one of the cookbooks that have crossed our desks recently.

"ELLA'S KITCHEN: The Cookbook — The Red One" by Paul and Alison Lindley of Ella's Kitchen, Hamlyn/Octopus, $19.99, 192 pages (nf)

Easy on the eyes and better on the tummy, “Ella's Kitchen: The Cookbook — The Red One” is a blast to thumb through — and even more fun in the kitchen.

Parents and authors Paul and Alison Lindley created a child-friendly cookbook, inspired by their daughter Ella. The father of two said in the book's foreword, "Ella ... was selective about what she wanted to try. ... My solution was to do what I do best: be silly and childlike." He created "food-based games," encouraging her to smell, touch and experiment with her food. In doing so, eating became fun and successful. Thankfully, he notes, this also worked well on their second child, Paddy.

This hardcover cookbook includes full-page photos of the majority of recipes, with picture outlines for kids to color. Recipes are smothered with silly quotes and illustrations, as well as instructions on how kids can help with the cooking.

Recipes include Holey Moley Pancakes, Chick-Chick Chicken Pasta Casserole, fish with rice and peas, five ways to season popcorn and much more.

Ella Lindley, now 13 years old, says in the book’s foreword, “I think that letting kids get involved with food from a young age and letting them try new, exciting things is very important.”

And with that vision, her parents created a healthy cookbook that is truly designed for children.

Video: 'Ella's Kitchen: The Cookbook The Red One'

Paul and Anna Lindley of Ella's Kitchen elaborate on their first cookbook, "Ella's Kitchen: The Cookbook The Red One," inspired by their daughter, Ella.