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I was sceptical that I even needed a book to help me feed my kids: I mean, you just boil veg and mush it up - don't you? But this little book really helped me be a bit more imaginative when it came to feeding the family. It's not just a book of recipes - there is a lot of very useful advice about weaning too, which I didn't find I was offered by healthcare professionals (though I know from friends that some can be a fantastic resource for advice and ideas when your baby starts showing an interest in solid food). The recipes themselves are categorised by age and are simple and easy to follow. There are few weird and wonderful ingredients and the techniques are not at all difficult and are well explained in the recipes. I ended up not using all the recipes slavishly - but did use a lot of them, but even just as a guide to ideas of how to branch away from mashed butternut squash and baby rice it was worth its weight in gold. Just ask my kids!
You receive some much information about milk feeding in the lead up to having a baby but very little about the next stage - weaning. Thank goodness for Annabel Karmel. Alongside a planner to help you get through the weaning stage (which I followed roughly but at least it gave me an idea as to what I was doing) she continues on to provide a huge range of recipes and a brief summary about what they can and can't eat at each stage and what to expect behaviour wise. The meals are so good and simple to make that even my partner and I eat them and I have even altered how I previously made home made burgers to match her recipe as its so yummy! You can use this book from day one of weaning all the way through until toddler and beyond. Unlike most baby food these receipes actually have flavour when made and the stages are so clear and broken down so even myself, the worse cook, can follow them and produce lovely food and snacks. Most of the recipes use ingredients you generally have at home so when I run out of ideas for meals I just sit down and get some inspiration and then freeze (she tells you what you can and can't freeze) and even has a happy or sad box to tick as to whether your little one enjoyed the meal.