SOURCE: Edelman

March 03, 2006 06:00 ET

Rick Bayless and Other Famous Chefs Bring Big Taste to New "Small Bites" Cookbook

Hidden Valley® Collection of Kid-Approved Recipes Available FREE at hiddenvalley.com/smallbites

OAKLAND, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 3, 2006 -- When it comes to kids' meals, parents strive to prepare a variety of wholesome and fun foods their kids will eat. The good news for moms and dads is that a recent survey(1) revealed 71 percent of kids are willing to try new recipes (even if they're green). Since nearly three-fourths of the kids surveyed also admitted they won't eat vegetables without Ranch, it prompted the Hidden Valley® team to partner with food -- and kid -- experts to create "Small Bites: Ranch Dressing Recipes for Kids," a 40-page cookbook with taste-tested, kid-approved recipes, to give parents new meal ideas using foods kids like to eat.

"As a parent and cookbook author, I know it is invaluable to explore new recipes and foods with your kids," says chef Rick Bayless, a "Small Bites" contributor and owner of the renowned Topolobampo and Frontera Grill restaurants in Chicago. "A cookbook created just for kids will encourage them to start a lifelong habit of trying and enjoying new foods." Two of the recipes in "Small Bites," "Tasty Tater Salad" and "Cool Ranch Cole Slaw," were adapted from Bayless' latest cookbook, "Rick and Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventures: Recipes and Stories," written with his 14-year-old daughter.

In addition to Bayless, three other food and nutrition gurus rounded out the team of recipe contributors.

--  Sheila Ellison, author of "365 Foods Kids Love to Eat," creator of
    completemom.com and mother of six
--  Jodie Shield, MEd, RD, former spokesperson for the American Dietetic
    Association (ADA), co-author of two children's books that focus on child
    nutrition and mother of three
--  Aaron Bashy, head chef and owner of The Minnow, a Brooklyn restaurant
    which offers cooking classes for children and father of two
    

For the cookbook, this group created finger food, lunchtime, side dish and main dish recipes and shared real-life stories on how they solved various mealtime problems with their own kids. Parents will also find activities to keep little ones busy while they wait for their meal.

To be sure "Small Bites" made the grade, each recipe faced a taste-test panel of kids ages six to 11. Their favorites include "Bloomin' Lasagna," which transforms ordinary lasagna into a garden of noodles by rolling each one into the shape of flower; "Cheese Please Fondue," a warm and cheesy dip for vegetables and bread sticks, and "Gone Dippin' for Fish Sticks," an extra-crispy way for kids to enjoy fish.

"As a parent I've learned there are certain foods, like Ranch dressing, that I can use to get my kids to try new foods," says Jodie Shield, MEd, RD, former spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA) and co-author of two books that focus on child nutrition. "Since the USDA included Ranch as an option with vegetables in the new MyPyramid for Kids, Ranch has received a lot of attention from parents. Now with the 'Small Bites' cookbook, they can find new recipes their kids will actually eat all in one cookbook." Shield's recipe, "Bagel Smiles," combines whole-wheat bagels, whipped cream cheese and Ranch with colorful vegetable face decorations.

Free copies of this limited-edition cookbook can be obtained at hiddenvalley.com/smallbites.

For more recipes visit hiddenvalley.com

(1) Impulse Research, 2005 on behalf of the makers of Hidden Valley® Ranch dressing

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