Nosh and nurture your children with Jewish-food counting primer

Adding up bagels, kugels, and latkes, oh my!

Nosh With Me image

When chef and dietitian Micah Siva learned she was going to be an aunt, she was excited to read the baby a Jewish children's counting book that focused on her passion--Jewish food.

The only problem? She couldn't find one!

So Siva and her husband, Joshua, teamed up during the pandemic, to write 1, 2, 3, Nosh With Me , accompanied with illustrations by Ukrainian artist Sviatoslav Franko.

Geared for ages 0-6, the book--featuring the Sivas' Sheepadoodle dog, Buckwheat--teaches children to count to ten using Jewish foods: bagels, kugels, latkes, and more. The book's second edition, which just hit shelves, also features a simple challah recipe.

This time around, Siva, who is pregnant, looks forward to sharing the book with her own little reader in the near future. "It's been so fun and important to us as a family to make something that instills not only Jewish values, but also our love for Judaism," said the San-Francisco based Siva, who travels often to Chicago. "The whole process is fueled by our wish that the next generation continues to be excited about being Jewish, in any way they feel comfortable--and my way is through food."

Siva's work spans beyond the children's book. As a recipe developer, she has a passion for vegetarian and vegan Jewish food that "carries on the Jewish food traditions that my grandma taught me, with a modern lens."  

In fact, Siva is currently cooking up a vegetarian Jewish cookbook, due out in March of 2024.  

A vegetarian since age 12, she hopes the cookbook helps families find plant-based ways to enjoy Jewish food--even if that means leaving chicken soup or brisket off the menu.  

"You don't have to be vegetarian or vegan to enjoy this book, but if you're open to trying a new recipe, it's a great way to have fun in the kitchen while making something good for yourself--and the environment," Siva said.  

And for vegetarian and vegan Jews, Siva wanted to write a book that normalizes being both plant-based and Jewish.  A lot of Jews have adopted a plant-based lifestyle, or try to eat less meat, for religious or environmental reasons," said Siva, who are "looking to connect to Judaism through how they eat."  

Learn more about the children's book here . Learn more about the upcoming cookbook here .

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