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Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

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Closter Pastry Chef's Cookbook Caters To Kids With Special Needs

Ally Nathaniel of Closter wrote "My Playful Kitchen" to help kids and parents bond. The easy-to-follow recipes and pictures help youngsters and kids with special needs learn independence.
Ally Nathaniel of Closter wrote "My Playful Kitchen" to help kids and parents bond. The easy-to-follow recipes and pictures help youngsters and kids with special needs learn independence. Photo Credit: Ally Nathaniel

CLOSTER, N.J. — The kitchen truly is the center of home for Closter’s Ally Nathaniel.

The pastry chef-turned-author’s latest book, “My Playful Kitchen,” is a cookbook for kids and their parents or caregivers.

“The purpose is to help parents and their kids bond and create better relationships,” said Nathaniel, a mom of three.

She has been teaching cooking classes for several years in Englewood, Tenafly, Closter and Cresskill schools.

Nathaniel compiled the recipes and researched food-related facts to make “My Playful Kitchen," intended for 2- to 9-year-old children. It also helps kids with special needs learn independence in the kitchen.

"The book presents recipes using a method of self-explanatory images which show detailed step-by-step instructions as well as the utensils and ingredients that need to be used," the author said.

It presents a new way of thinking on how to support young children and empower them through easy-to- follow cooking instructions.

Among the favorites are chocolate balls — something she made as a child in Israel — and pizza quesadillas.

“I came up with pizza quesadillas for my kids when they were little because they are picky eaters,” said Nathaniel, who wrote for an Israeli family magazine.

“I needed something that would be easy to make and nutritious.”

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