September 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 9
Q&A w/Yvette Garfield from Handstand Kids
Handstand Kids' cookbooks aim to bring families, and communities, together
Yvette Garfield, creator of Handstand Kids, recently spoke to TDmonthly Magazine about how she came up with the idea for her product, why she thinks cooking can bring the world together, and how her company reaches out to charitable organizations.
Q. What career path did you originally envision for yourself? Did you ever anticipate working with children’s products?
A. Well, when I entered law school I was certain I would become a children's right attorney.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for your first product?
A. While I was traveling in India, I wanted to bring back a gift for my younger cousins. I thought how great a cookbook would be that introduced kids to a different culture, cuisine and language.
Q. What steps did you need to take to go from the original spark of an idea to actual production? How long did it take?
A. This spark came in 2003 (6 months before I started law school), and during law school I began putting the first book together. I launched the Handstand Kids Italian Cookbook kit in May 2007.
Q. What charitable organizations has your company worked with in the past?
A. We have worked with Common Threads, Jamie Oliver Foundation, Nothing But Nets, Happy Trails for Kids and CoachArt.
Q. Why did you choose to work with these particular charities?
A. These organizations work to better the lives of children nationally and globally.
Q. What experience do you have working with charities on a personal level?
A. With the charity CoachArt, which provides services for chronically ill children, I have taught cooking classes to their students and I have taught their coaches on how to best teach cooking to children with challenges. For the launch of our most recent cookbook kit, Baking Around the World, we donated 20% of sales from our launch party to CoachArt.
Q. What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in the toy industry? Why?
A. Introducing cookbooks that get families excited about cooking healthy meals together is a huge personal accomplishment for me. When I hear from parents of picky eaters, whose children are now adventurous eaters after using our cookbooks, it is greatly rewarding. In a time when childhood obesity and Type II diabetes are pandemic, Handstand Kids offers a solution to bring families together and keep them healthy.
Q. How do you hope your products affect children’s' lives?
A. My goal is to create a global community of healthy kids who want to give back through their new skills of cooking. On our website, we have a Community page where kids can find out which charities they can cook for or hold food fundraisers for.
Check out some of Handstand Kids' cookbooks below.
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The Handstand Kids Cookbooks are fully-illustrated, international children's cookbooks that introduce children to the language, culture and cuisine of three different countries (Italy, Mexico and China) while encouraging healthy eating, community involvement and helping out in the kitchen. Each kit comes uniquely packaged with a cooking accessory. The Italian Cookbook is packaged in a pizza box with a chef's hat, the Mexican Cookbook comes in a tortilla bag with a child-sized oven mitt and Chinese Cookbook is packaged in a take-out box with a set of chopsticks.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 30186 (added 8/24/2010)
The Handstand Kids Chinese Cookbook kit features easy-to-learn recipes, such as The Great Wall of Chicken Lettuce Wraps, while teaching about the Great Wall of China; and Kung Pow! (Kung Pao Tofu), which shows characters doing karate. The Handstand Kids Chinese Cookbook introduces readers to the Mandarin language and comes in an adorable takeout box with a pair of child-friendly chopsticks. "The Chinese Cookbook introduces kids to the language, culture, and food of China in a delicious and healthy way! Children learn about new countries while gaining cooking skills that will assist them in being healthy and interested in the world around them," Yvette Garfield, creator of Handstand Kids, told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 22927 (added 3/23/2009)
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Kids will learn how to cook simple, yet delicious Mexican dishes, while learning about the vibrant Mexican culture. Each book is packaged in a tortilla bag with an oven mitt. "Ingredients and utensils are translated in the intro so kid chefs get to learn Spanish," Handstand Kids Founder Yvette Garfield told TDmonthly. Awards: TDmonthly Top Toy 2008. Launch date: May 5, 2008.
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ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17972 (added 3/17/2008)
Learn more about toy companies who are giving back with TDmonthly's 2012: A Year of Charity Giveaways:
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Writer's Bio: Justina Huddleston graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College with a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing in 2009. After graduating she was the on-site director of the Boston Children's Museum gift store for a year, selling educational, developmental, and creative activity toys that tied in with the museum's exhibits. Justina also interned at children's book publisher Candlewick Press before moving from Boston to Los Angeles, where she is now Editorial Director of TDmonthly Magazine. Read more articles by this author
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