4 Baby Cookbooks That Will Get Your Mouth Watering
So you’ve decided to make your own baby food at home. You’ve purchased a food mill. You have your bibs and spoons and placemats all ready to go. Your apron is on. The baby is hungry. So what’s on the menu?
Whether you’re stuck for ideas on what to make, or just looking to broaden your horizons when it comes to dishing out the purees, check out these must-have cookbooks. Armed with loads of facts and scrumptious recipes, you won’t have to choose between delicious and nutritious when it comes to feeding your baby.
By Tamika L. Gardner
201 Organic Baby Purees is a great book for the real newbie who is completely at a loss on where to start. Using these super simple, easy-to-prepare recipes, parents who don’t have a history of cooking whatsoever will be making organic baby food in no time at all. And purees are just the beginning; the book covers recipes well into toddler years.
The earliest recipes are incredibly basic: Applesauce, pureed peas, banana mango mashup, and the likes. And the author sticks to her guns when it comes to later stages as well. Simplicity is her mantra. So if you’re an avid cook looking for surprising new combos, you’re not necessarily going to find it here (at least not with the purees).
What you will find is a focus on the organic ingredients and how to serve up the best nutrition at each and every stage. Plus, the book is filled with tips on stocking your pantry, cooking tricks and techniques, and how to evaluate food for safety, toxicity, and nutrition levels.
At times, the recipes go against the advice of its own author – for example, instructing you to boil rather than steam (which better preserves nutrients). And on occasion, you may find recipes asking for agave or other sugars, which obviously aren’t the best choice (just use apples or plums instead!). But it more than makes up for it with loads of simple recipe ideas and cooking tips for the kitchen novice.
The biggest downside? With so many fresh and wholesome ingredients, we were all craving more pictures!
Selected recipes include: Apple-tastic Oatmeal, Chicken and Barley Stew, Gingered Pear Crisp, Atlantic Cod Dinner, and Zucchini Corn Muffins
By Karen Ansel
The Baby and Toddler Cookbook features 90 recipes that even busy parents can make. Plus, it’s full of nutritional info, tips, and tricks to effortlessly get your little one onto a path of healthy eating, and lessons on how to properly store your food (and for how long).
The book is divided into chapters based on your child’s age, starting at six months and making it through to three years old. In the earliest months, the recipes are quite simple – as they should be for this age. Chapters begin with important details on the nutritional needs of your child at each stage and feeding tips as well as portion control.
You’ll not only learn how to make a variety of healthy recipes, but also how to introduce new ingredients, when to move to coarser textures, and how to ease into finger foods. Busy parents who don’t have a lot of time to cook will appreciate all the information on making larger batches of food ahead of time and freezing it all for future use.
Selected recipes include: Apricot and Coconut Milk Rice Pudding, Split Pea Soup, Baby’s Chicken Chili, Smoked Salmon Dip, and Fruity Yogurt Smoothies
By Michele Olivier
So you’re a foodie at heart. And you want to raise one too.
No flavors are too adventurous. You’re looking for something that’s not the usual baby food fare – and you want your children to develop their palate. Then, Little Foodie is for you.
With over 100 easy-to-follow recipes for babies 4 to 24 months, you’ll have plenty of scrumptious eats to taste-test...uh, I mean feed your baby. Recipes range nicely in the effort and time required to make them so you’ll be able to find meals for even your busiest weeks.
The book also provides information on off-limits foods at different stages, common allergens, and finding locally sourced ingredients. Plus, there are some good details in there on storing foods for future use.
Best of all, you’re not going to find any of those bland purees here. Recipes include spices and herbs (and their nutritional benefits) so that you just might end up spooning some onto your plate as well. We absolutely love all the tidbits on different cultures and their approaches to baby food. So inspiring!
Selected recipes include: Fluffy Apple and Quinoa Pancakes, Pumpkin and Thyme Puree, Carrot Mango and Raisin Finger Salad, Huevos Rancheros Cups, and the DIY Toddler Sushi Bar
By Jenna Helwig
If you’re hoping to raise your kids free of processed foods but you don’t want them growing envious of all the animal crackers that will be munched right before your eyes, you have to pick up this book.
Real Baby Food is filled with 100 easy, no fuss recipes that cover the entire range of healthy habits from first solids right through toddlerdom. This book will be your go-to resource for simple single-ingredient purees to full-blown toddler meals with grown-up taste. Plus you’ll learn important essentials like how to recognize food allergies, how to cook in bulk, and freezing and defrosting foods.
The book is broken down by age group and once you hit the toddler recipes, you’ll end up making these meals for the whole family. We love the “Kick it Up” and “Age it Up” suggestions to help your little one discover additional flavors or how to eat favorite recipes in more age-appropriate ways. And the Family Dinners section provides great ideas that are well-loved by kids and adults alike, eliminating the baby food prep altogether. Plus, if you’re really dedicated to the no-processed foods/no corn starch mindset, you’ll even be able to make Maple Graham Animals for your little ones. Who’s envious now?!
Selected recipes include: Pumpkin Banana Mash, Maple BBQ Mini Meatloaf Bites, Homemade Peanut Butter and Strawberry Roll-Ups, Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps, and Crispy Butternut Squash Triangles
What’s your go-to resource for home cooked baby foods?
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