Book takes playful approach to kids’ food

Tired of books that tell you how to hide the broccoli in a pan of brownies? Need a fresh approach to making healthy food fun for the kids? Check out “Bean Appetit.”

The book, from the founders of Bean Sprouts cafe in Madison, Wis., offers goofy, eye-rolling chapter titles — “Let it Bean” and “Peacasso” — and kid-friendly recipes the little ones can make.

Some of the recipes rely on gimmicks — tomato faces and spinach-and-chicken palm trees — but most present a full-frontal view of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

A spinach-and-cheese omelet becomes a finger-friendly “Ready to Roll-Up” and the apple-sweet potato “Snuggle-Up Soup” gets served in a hollowed-out apple.

Part activity guide, part cookbook, “Bean Appetit” also includes skill-building challenges, such as how to crack an egg and how to use chopsticks. Tips on table manners are supplemented with conversation-inspiring questions (“If your family were to form a band, what would you name it?”) and fun food facts (a hard boiled egg will spin longer than a raw one).