Saturday, 7 November 2009

Captain Cook's Tuck Box

Captain Cook's Tuck Box; a very interesting title. But what exactly is in Captain Cook's Tuck box?

Does 'Hotch Potch pie', 'Caterpillar salad' and 'Worm pie' grab your interest? With recipes like that, this is surely going to be a CD-ROM designed to attract children's interest.

If you are trying to encourage healthy eating in your household, take a look at this CD-ROM packed full of healthy recipes and demonstration videos for children. I initially found this CD-ROM after googling 'healthy eating.' It is a topic being covered this term in Master Craftiness's class. Keen to give him a helping hand, we set about ordering this CD-ROM.

The CD-ROM takes around 10 minutes to install on your computer. You are then greeted with a page where you input your name and other details.
After set-up is completed you are greeted by a friendly parrot who provides comedy content to the disc. He welcomes you to the programme and provides little quirky jokes throughout your use of the disc. You are then required to input some details to make the kitchen area more personalised. Even down to hanging a picture of yourself on the wall. Immediately the personalisation draws in the child and causes them to become very involved in becoming a culinary genius. With rising concerns over obesity in our society, it is wonderful to see a guide that makes fresh fruit and vegetables so appealing.

Admittedly, the graphics seem a little dated and reminded me somewhat of a 90's school programme. However, this is an attractive quality. Anyone remember 'Storyworld' with Tony Robinson or 'Stop, Look and Listen?' It has the same sort of feel about it. It has taken things right back to the basics and when dealing with children, lack of clutter and simplicity is a very good thing. Too many children's computer programs nowadays are jam-packed and uneasy on the eye. The makers of this disc have carefully avoided that problem, by being selective about what information they show on each page. It is clear that 'Captain Cook's Tuck Box' has had a lot of input from children, which explains the level of appeal it has for children using the disc. An indicator of how good this disc is, is the fact that Master Craftiness spent around 30 minutes watching the 'How-to' videos.

Once you have finished personalising, the content of the disc really cannot be faulted. There is enough to keep your children busy forever! The disc contains three - graded cookery books for age 5 to 12 and children browsing these cookery books can even then create their own menu. If you have any aspiring chefs in your family, this is a great way to get them to think about the planning that goes in to healthy eating. With rising concerns over the level of obesity in our society, it is wonderful to see a guide that makes fruit and vegetables seem so appealing. We will no longer have to hear complaints over stinky cabbage!

You can be assured that you are on the right track in helping with your child's schoolwork as the CD-ROM is designed to support the cookery elements of the KS1 & KS2 design and technology curriculum.

Revamp your old-favourites or try out some new recipes. With over 200 child-friendly recipes there is going to be something that appeals to everyone on here.

Master Craftiness was really impressed with the disc, and has now informed me that he wants to be a chef when he grows up. We loved the disc because it showed how much fun you can have with food. More than just a recipe book, it contains videos of children cooking, and fun activities such as menu designing, dough modelling, making marzipan fruit, and printing out certificates of attainment.

We've already had a go at some recipes and they are fantastic!!! The recipes were really easy to follow and produced some brilliant results. In particular we loved the 'Conspirator's pudding'.

We really feel that this CD-ROM should be highlighted more by media and press, as there is a host of features on this disc which will get parents and children alike to rethink their eating habits, their presentation of food and even the way parents do their weekly meal plan. In fact I have incorporated the use of this CD-ROM into my weekly meal plan already. I get Master Craftiness to choose two new recipes from the disc a week, so that it helps him become involved in meal selections and prevents him from moaning about what we are having for tea. The fact that Master Craftiness is so involved in the production of the meal, makes him want to eat it all to prove to us just how good his work is.

It would be helpful if this disc was more readily available to buy in high-street stores, as the public would become more aware of it's existence. A disc like this provides life-skills and is really worth it's weight in gold.

Keep an eye on Sweet Craftiness in the coming weeks, as we will be featuring some of the Christmas recipes from the disc. There is a huge selection. Yummy!

Our verdict: 5/5

Available from Anastasis

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