Guelph newcomer Lottie Aldarwish is releasing an illustrated cookbook and guide that teaches young children to cook.
Little Cookery: The Complete Guide to Teaching Young Kids to Cook will be released on Nov. 25 on Amazon.
Aldarwish moved to Guelph with her husband and two young sons from the Netherlands last August.
“My husband is Syrian and his family had to flee Syria. Canada has a unique sponsorship program; you can get a group of five people who would sponsor a family. Now my family-in-law are on the road to getting sponsored,” said Aldarwish.
Lottie and her husband, Sam, moved to Guelph earlier this year, leaving their home and jobs in Holland behind.
In Holland Aldarwish worked in IT, but decided to focus on the creation of her children’s book once arriving to Guelph.
Aldarwish said that she has always loved baking. While working in the corporate world, baking was a way to de-stress and relax.
Once she became a mother she found that her children wanted to join her in the kitchen.
“It kind of ruined the experience, but I decided to roll with it,” Aldarwish laughed.
She scoured many cookbooks, trying to find recipes that she could make with her son, but discovered that cookbooks for children were too basic, like making fruit kabobs.
With her background in design and user experience, Aldarwish began creating her own easy to follow recipes for her children.
By about three years of age Aldarwish's youngest son could follow her illustrated recipe independently.
“Then I started to design them properly, and that became the cooking section of the book,”
The first half of the book provides a guide for parents to get children active and involved in the kitchen, with helpful tips and hacks. The second half offers an illustrated guide for children to follow along and read the recipes independently, she shared.
The cookbook features a child-friendly design and uses an innovative coloured cups method. Children can read the cookbook and figure out which measurement is needed by following the colours that each measuring tool is designated.
Aldarwish tested out her recipes with her adult sister who has severe dyslexia, who found it extremely helpful and easy to follow along.
She is also offering cooking classes at local schools, and feels it is very important to teach independent cooking skills to children.
Guelph has been the perfect fit for Lottie, Sam and their two young sons.
“I have absolutely loved Guelph. People are so incredibly friendly and helpful, and open to new ideas. There are so many opportunities for small businesses to set up,” she said.
To find out more by visiting Little Cookery, where a free starter pack is available.
If you would like to find out more about the Aldarwishs’ family in Syria, you can view a series of video interviews with Sam Aldarwish here.