Foodie magazines for kids!

Which would you rather have your kids learn — where food comes from (and how to cook and eat it) or the habits of dinosaurs?

This pointed question comes from Jill Colella, the St. Paul founder of not one but two gorgeous bimonthly magazines for kids that encourage food savvy as well as early reading: Ingredient is for ages 6–12 and, new in 2015, Butternut caters to ages 3–6.

“We love dinosaurs, but there are very few adults who think about dinosaurs every day,” says a Butternut webpage. “Here’s what adults do think about: If the curbside to-go parking spot is open as they swing by a chain restaurant to pick up dinner on the way home from work. If their kids will ever eat beans or only just bright orange macaroni and cheese. If, between the granola bars in their desk drawers at work and the vending machines, they will have a satisfying lunch. If they will find a way to use the veggies they bought with good intentions at the farmer’s market before they start to rot. Again.”

Colella knows what it’s like to be a picky eater. She was one herself until she learned to cook in her mid-20s. 

We think this makes the cookbook author — Grow It, Cook It (DK, 2008) and Jewish Holidays Cookbook (DK, 2008) — uniquely suited to teaching kids about food.

She’s also a former English teacher with a passion for literacy.

Every issue includes oodles of photos, farm adventures, critical-thinking questions, puzzles and STEM concepts. 

And you won’t have to worry about preachy content: “We believe in kale and cookies. You may not, and that’s okay,” says another Butternut webpage. “We believe that food and eating are personal choices. Butternut tries not to yuck anyone else’s yum. We do not have an overt health agenda. We avoid words like ‘good’ and ‘bad.’”

Print and digital subscriptions — $35 and $10, respectively — are available at ingredientmag.com and butternutmag.com

Gift sets (which include a year’s print subscription) are available at local Kowalski’s markets.