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Annabel Karmel's New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner - Annabel Karmel
Member Name: hopey123
Annabel Karmel's New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner - Annabel Karmel
Advantages: Easy to understand and follow instructions and recipes
Annabel Karmel is best known for her baby and toddler meals and recipe books. Annabel is also a mum so understands the needs of a book like this. To be honest I had not heard of her until I myself had a child and her book was recommended to me on more then one occasion. I ended up purchasing the book from Amazon costing about £8.00. RRP is currently £14.99. The book hasn't really changed in the 4 years I've had mine. It is still a best seller in it's line.
The front cover of the book is very funky with fruit and vegetable people. It has a hard cover which is good considering it is always kept in the kitchen and used whilst cooking recipes from it in the kitchen. In fact mine looks like new still but I did use it plenty and have dug it out today to make sure I still had it so will be ready for making new baby recipes from it.
The book is laid out very well indeed and starts with Introduction.
These first couple pages just run you through how important a healthy well balanced diet is for your child. We all want the best for our children so why not give them the best start by following some simple recipes and ideas from the book. The way your child is fed whilst in their early years makes up their eating habits for life.
A sentence that I find shocking is the following-
Don't be overwhelmed by the impressive lists of nutritional info on labels of commercial baby foods: Your own will contain the same goodness but without any added starches like Maltodextrin which is the same substance that provides glue on stamps and envelopes!
As a baby my son was given anything and everything to try, even food that I myself do not like he was given. One of his current favourites is Olives, Yuck with a capital Y, But he likes them as does his father and I'm sure had I not let him try them then he wouldn't like them when he gets older.
Chapter one is The best first foods for your baby-
Even when your child is weaning milk is still an important part of the diet. This section goes into some detail about the different types of milk be it breast formula and cows milk.
The other parts of this chapter cover a wide range of topics from vitamins, proteins and fats and minerals. The different sugars which are natural and refined. It shows which foods are high in iron, vitamins and calcium.
Some foods can be risky if given to a baby so it shows you which foods these are and at what stage they are safe to have them.
It also shows the best way to prepare and cook foods and how best to freeze some.
It can be a mind field when it comes to feeding babies so it is handy to see at what ages they can have certain foods or you should start weaning on certain foods.
Something I remember learning from this book when my son was young is that a baby under 12 months should never be given honey.
Chapter two Is first stage weaning-
This is where the recipes start but only after you have been given some what how and when information. These foods will be the first your baby has so introduce easy to digest foods gradually, I personally wouldn't try sweetcorn for some reason :-).
Fruit and vegetables and baby rice are the best to start with. Use a special weaning spoon as a baby can't lick off a spoon just yet.
The following recipe is from the weaning section and one my son used to love.
Sweet potato with cinnamon
1 sweet potato peeled and cut into chunks
A generous pinch of cinnamon
A few tablespoons of baby milk
Cover the potato with water and bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and mash together with the cinnamon and milk to the desired consistency.
After each recipe section they provide a meal planner so you can bit that extra bit organised.
Chapter three is second stage weaning-
At around 7 months a baby has less milk and more appetite. Again this section shows which foods you are now able to introduce which include fish pasta and chicken. The recipes have slightly more ingredients and sound a bit more interesting.
Chapter four is nine to twelve months-
Your baby may now become a bit more fussy with food and also want to fed themselves with the spoon, Yes this is the messy stage lol. Finger food can also be introduced at this stage like breads and rusks. Tiny sandwiches etc.
As recipes can now contain more interesting and nutritious grains these can be added to yoghurts and make interesting cereals too.
As I am looking through this book to help with the review I'm actually finding some recipes that I don't remember seeing before.
Another easy recipe I used was Cheese scramble which is basically scrambled eggs with grated cheese in it.
Chapter five is Toddlers
This is the final and largest chapter of the book.
Your child will now be eating most varieties of food and this section has many recipes for main meals, cakes, cookies and snack ideas. Some of the recipes may seem simple but others are easy but with a name like Mulligatawny chicken sound complicated but it is like giving your child fancy food which is way better then McDonalds. I do let my son have McDonalds as a treat.
In the last part of this section it shows you that some times presentation is as important as the actual food. A sandwich that is shaped like a train with cress acting as the steam from it's funnel looks better to eat then a plain sandwich.
I did find this book very useful when I first used it but seeing that I seem to have ignored some recipes before I hope that with my next child I will try to use it even more and make an effort to prepare more meals in advance from the book...
I think that some of the recipes can be slightly adjusted so can be cooked for all the family too.
For the price this book is well worth getting and as it covers the toddler stages too it can be of use for 3-4 years or more. My son is now 4 1/2 years old and can still make some of the recipes in there for him, I'm sure he'd like something from the cake or biscuit section or a train sandwich.
There is also a index in the back so if you have for example some pears but don't know what to do with them then just do a search to find the recipe from the index.
I hope I haven't bored you all too much but wanted to go through each chapter giving it a run down so people understood it wasn't just you average book of recipes.
Summary: A great book by a great woman.
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