Most children love noodles -- with mac and cheese and spaghetti being perennial kid-friendly favorites.
But Melissa Mikesell Barlow, of Fruit Heights, wanted to go beyond the usual pasta dishes with her children's cookbook "Noodlemania" (Quirk Books, $15.95).
"Pasta comes in so many different shapes and sizes, there are strings, ribbons, twists, curls, tubes, flowers, shells, bow ties, letters, elbows, and more," she said. "I thought it would be fun for kids to experiment and help create their own meals and have more options."
So Barlow's "50 playful pasta recipes" include Little Ladybug Salad, Robot Bites, Gooey Green Noodles, Curly Worms, Silly Sea Creatures, and Pink Pepperoni Flowers. Photos by local photographer Zac Williams add to the fun.
Barlow said noodles lend themselves to different sauces and veggies, for better nutrition.
"If your kids are helping you, whether it's shopping at the grocery store, or chopping up things, they are more likely to eat it," said Barlow, a mother of three preschoolers.