Let me be frank: I think that any family (or individual) who is really interested in "eating right" NEEDS to own one of these babies. (Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker)
Why? Because you are more likely to make your own frozen treats if it is easy, neat and does not take up much cabinet space.
You keep the freezer bowl in the freezer all the time, so it's ready at a moment's notice (ie: you don't need ice & salt).
If you clean it out and dry it fast and get it back in the freezer quickly, it will refreeze faster and you don't have to worry about it "losing" its spot before it makes it back.
One recipe fits nicely in an empty Daisy Sour Cream or Cottage Cheese tub (the big ones from Costco & Sam's)
It's so easy to turn that there is NO reason that your children can't churn it.
And it's fast- only 15 to 25 minutes!
Why not one of the electric versions? Because they are big, take up more space, and like regular ice/salt Ice Cream makers they will die after a period of time..and they cost more.
Ours is the "Donvier 1-Quart Ice Cream Maker" we found ours at Goodwill for like $5, but I suggest looking around e-bay & Amazon....it would make a good "family present".
While you don't need to buy a cookbook because of the abundance of free recipes on the web these days, it is very handy and it gets your children interested in helping when they can pick one out, and you can still make Ice Cream when the internet is down! =)
Our book can be found here.