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Blog - Ingredient Magazine

The Dubious Qualifications of a Kids' Food Magazine Publisher


Jill Colella Magazine Editor, Ingredient & Butternut

I often get asked why I do what I do, and how I’m qualified to do it. I'm the publisher and editor of Ingredient magazine and Butternut magazine. 

It’s a funny thing, though, since what I think I do and what it looks like I do to others is a bit different--well, actually pretty wildly different. Most people assume that I love food and am most interested in food, so that’s why I made a magazine about it. I do love and respect food, but most of my life, I’ve hated most foods (as a selective eater) and coped with a disordered relationship with food (a proclivity for bingeing for which I sought professional intervention.

I’m less interested in food than I am in feelings, specifically the feelings kids have about food (especially my own inner child).

As ridiculous as it may sound to some people, this statement will feel familiar to others: as a kid (and even sometimes now) I feel fear about food. Sometimes panic, and sometimes caution or suspicion, but almost always fear about anything different or new to me. My reasons “why” run the gamut, and the only way I’ve challenged the fear is through developing curiosity about food. I wanted to know more, and then I wanted to share that knowledge, and writing books and magazines for kids about food became the outlet.

I’d like to think that my awareness of the feeling of caution, pause, skepticism, fear—whatever we might call it—around food for myself is my qualification, my super-power. In a very immediate way, I know what it feels like to dread something new and to discover that it is wonderful. I won’t ever tell kids--or anyone, actually—to eat this or that, but I’ll always invite them to be curious. And for me, that has made all the difference, being in the feelings business rather than the food business. 

Hello, Summer! Lobster Roll Dip

Nothing says summertime like fresh seafood. Lobster rolls are a summertime favorite in New England. Lobster salad is served on a toasted and buttered hot dog roll. Even the McDonald’s in Maine serves lobster rolls! Try making the dip below as an appetizer. Your kids will enjoy measuring and mixing the ingredients.Lobster Roll DipMakes 16 servingsIngredients:8 ounces lobster meat, [...]

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Be Amazed: Make Your Own Pita

Are your kids out of school for the summer and lunchtime is starting to get boring? Getting them involved in cooking pita will make lunch fun again. The best part is pita can be made ahead of time, so it might be easier to prepare the night before. Watching the pita puff as it bakes will amaze and [...]

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Snack Time: Hummus & Pita Chips

HummusThis makes enough for 4-6 people to share. Try eating hummus with pita chips or fresh slices of cucumber.Equipment: blender or food processor rubber spatula small bowlIngredients1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained ¼ cup tahini 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 clove garlic, crushed ½ teaspoon cumin 2 teaspoons olive oil1.Place all ingredients except olive oil in blender or food processor and blend or process until [...]

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Weekend Project: Make Granola

Granola is a healthy and delicious snack. Depending on the brand that you purchase in the store, it can be filled with preservatives and extra sugar. That’s why it can be a fun family activity to make at home. Granola tastes great when sprinkled on plain or vanilla yogurt. It can also be packaged in a pretty sack with [...]

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Grilling Safety

Now that it is summer time, more families are enjoying grilling food on barbecues.Grills are just like the stove in the kitchen. A grill is a cooking tool that gets very hot and can cause burns.Adults should grill. Kids should not!Keep away from a grill when it is in use. Play at least 10 feet [...]

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​Passover Fun

Passover begins next week, and if you have never attended a Passover Seder, you might not know that it is a ceremonial dinner made long with many rituals and customs, including reading the story of Exodus.For families with small children, reinterpreting the rituals in a fun way helps kids stay interested and engaged with the meal. Before Passover, kids can [...]

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​Vegetarian Chili

Makes several servings and can be used to top baked potatoes or to make nachos. Easy to make as school and work schedules start to get crazy.1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained [...]

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Kids' Activity: Kitchen Concentration

Introducing new ideas and fundamentals to kids requires explanation and repetition. One of the best ways to introduce new ideas to children is through games. The game Concentration, sometimes called Memory, is great for kids as young as 3. This game will work very well for introducing kitchen gadgets and explaining what the different gadgets can do. [...]

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​Make Your Own Fresh Tomato Sauce

This recipe makes approximately 3 pints of sauce. Put it on your pasta or use it as pizza sauce.Equipment: large saucepan with cover wooden spoonIngredients:4 tablespoons olive oil 1 ½ cups onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, minced 10 cups tomatoes, seeded, peeled and chopped ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped ¼ cup fresh oregano, finely chopped 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 3 tablespoons [...]

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