I miss having a baby around. I remember the excitement of having my now 5 year old try his first foods, which I made myself (or rather, pureed myself) – pears and sweet potatoes were well received; peas and avocado were not. I had signed books out of the library for guidance and inspiration, but at the time there wasn’t much out there that inspired me.
I’ve just discovered a new cookbook that makes me wish I had a baby about to start on solid food… The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet: Know What Goes Into Every Bite with More Than 200 of the Most Deliciously Nutritious Homemade Baby Food Recipes by Karin Knight R.N. & Tina Ruggiero M.S. R.D. L.D. (Fair Winds Press, November 1, 2010) is a beautiful book – the kind you want to pick up, flip through, and start using. Besides the recipes themselves, there are handy, healthy tips interspersed throughout.
On page 95, for example, they list a dozen healthy finger foods, providing snacktime inspiration with ideas such as lightly cooked apple wedges, fresh grated carrots or apples, cooked sweet potato chunks, soft avocado pieces and toast with butter or mashed bananas. There are helpful hints for the high chair, and advice on what to do when your baby refuses to eat. (Yes, they all do.) I’m ordering a bunch of copies of this book to take me through the baby showers and first birthdays I’ll inevitably be going to over the course of the year. And hey, it has an endorsement from Marion Nestle!
“Making your own delicious and nutritious baby food could not be easier as this lovely book explains. I can’t think of a better or more enjoyable way to start a baby on a lifetime of happy and healthy eating exploration than to mash and puree your way through every one of these recipes. You will want to eat these foods too!”
-Marion Nestle, Ph.D., Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and author of What to Eat
The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet is packed with recipes to suit every age and stage-from six months all the way to twenty-three months. From quick purées (think Mighty Tasty Blueberry and Pear Mash and No-Cook Prune Purée), to heartier meals like Sweet Omelet Surprise and Finger-Lickin’ Good Lentils and Potato with Cheese, you’ll find it a breeze to prepare any and all of the recipes you and your little one fancy.
And to make things even easier, each recipe also contains:
-Two methods for preparation-stovetop or microwave-wherever applicable, so you can whip up recipes in whatever time you have. Many microwave options make it possible for meals to be made in less than 10 minutes.
-An easy-to-spot snowflake icon on all recipes suitable for freezing, so you can make baby’s meals at your convenience, or in batches, to save time and money.
-A complete nutritional analysis, so you can be sure you’re giving your child the best possible start.
In response to an overwhelming demand, the authors created a free newsletter for parents called The Gourmet Baby– find all the back issues on the book’s website under “newsletter”, and sign up for a free subscription.
I can’t imagine a better book to help introduce your baby to the world of food – and make preparation more interesting than just steaming and mashing!