Newest Review: ... whether i needed one in the first place when starting to wean my daughter, looking at this proved i absolutely needed a book and this woul... more
How to feed your kids!!
Baby and Toddler Meal Planner - Annabel Karmel
Member Name: Julie449
Baby and Toddler Meal Planner - Annabel Karmel
Advantages: Fantastic recipes and information
Disadvantages: Alot of information to digest
Annabel Karmel's new complete baby and toddler meal planner, has 200 quick, easy and healthy recipes for your baby. This is a best selling book and the edition I am discussing here is the deluxe, illustrated and updated edition.
I bought this book when my child was only a few months old, to learn more about weaning and I still use it now and he's 3.
The book is full of colourful pictures and writing makes the book attractive and intresting to look at, and the pictures come in useful.
The book begins with a short 2 page introduction from Annabel Karmel, which outlines what the aim of the book is, and her reasons for writing it, including the tragic loss of her own daughter. This part of the book also tells us the differences between this version of the book and the original.
There are 5 chapters in this cookbook.
Chapter 1- The best 1st foods for your baby.
This section is purely information rather than recipes. I found it good to read through the information here a few times and try to digest it all before moving on to the rest of the book. This section includes information on, UK department of health recommendations,
why milk is still the major food,
nutritional requirements ( proteins, carbohydrates, fats, sugars and starches )
the essential vitamins and minerals (vitamins A , B complex, C, D, E, calcium and iron)
high risk and potential high risk foods
question of allergies
cow's milk protein allergy
There is also a section on preparing baby food, which covers sterilising, steaming, boiling, microwaving and baking. A list of equipment you will find handy to have, including, a baby food grinder, electric hand blender, food processor and a steamer. There is also information on freezing baby foods. A handy little guide called "when can they have" lets us know when its ok to introduce your child to certain foods, for example soft cheese is at 12 months.
Chapter 2- Ist stage weaning
This chapter has a 4 page introduction with information on when and why to start weaning, first fruits and veg including a handy easy to read guide. There are 3 small paragraphs, 1 on fruit, 1 on vegetables and 1 on rice, each paragraph has some helpful tips on the paragraph's subject matter. There is also some information on textures, quantities and drinks, and just before the recipes begin there is a handy easy to read guide on "tips for introducing solids".
The first section of recipes are for fruit and vegetable first tastes. Each one tells you how many portions it makes. This section includes, apple, pear, banana, carrot, sweet potato and many more.
The next section of recipes are for fruit and vegetables, after first tastes accepted, and some of the recipes included are courgetter, broccoli & cauliflower, mango, peach and many more. There are also combinations in this section, for example, peach and banana. These combination recipes come with a happy or sad face next to the title of the recipe, so that you can mark on it if your child likes or dislikes this recipe. Some also come with a snowflake symbol to show that the recipe is suitable for freezing.
After the recipes in this chapter there are exampl meal planners, one for first tastes and one for after first tastes accepted. The first tastes planner is set up for 4 weeks and is a really helpful guide as to what time of day to introduce solids. The after first tastes planner is set into two weeks. I found these meal planners really helpful. You can change the meals around to suit your child's tastes , but they are a great guide as to when to fit the solids in throughout the day.
Chapter 3- Second stage weaning
There is a 6 page intro into this section which again has lots of useful information. Some of the sections included in this are as follows,
Less milk, more appetite
The foods to choose
A vegetarian diet
Textures and feeding pre-term babies.
The recipes are split into sections, and like the previous chapter the recipes come with happy or sad faces. Below are the section in this chapter and some of the type of recipes you can find within these sections,
Fruit- Banana & Blueberry, Peach,Apple & Strawberry Puree
Vegetables- Baked sweet potato with orange, and Courgette gratin
Fish- Salmon with carrots and tomato, Fillet of cod with sweet potato
Chicken- Chicken with sweet potato and apple, Chicken in tomato sauce.
Red meats- Braised beef with sweet potato
Pasta- tomato and courgette pasta stars, my first bolognese sauce.
Like in the previous chapter this chapter finishes with a meal planner, again you can change to suit your child's taste but has a great lay out as to when to have certain types of food.
Chapter 4- Nine to twelve months
This section has a large 7 page intro again with a whole load of information, which includes section on,
Toward the end of the first year,
the foods to choose,
meat, textures and quantities,
what to do if your baby chokes
fruit and ice lollies,
dried fruits, and much much more.
The recipes are again split into sections, below are these sections and a few of the recipes you will find in this chapter,
Breakfast- my favourite pancakes, and cheese scramble
Fruit- baked apples with raisins and fresh fruit lollies
Vegetables- Risotto with butternut squash, and sweet potato & spinach mash
Fish- Salmon & broccoli pasta, and Salmon footballs
Chicken- Chicken & apple balls, chicken with winter vegetables
Red meats- mini cottage pie, and beef casserole with carrots
Pasta- pasta stars with veggie sauce, pasta shells with chicken & broccoli.
There is also a 9-12 month meal planner at the end of this chapter that covers 7 days.
Chapter 5- Toddlers
The introduction for this chapter includes information on,
Enjoying mealtimes together,
My child won't eat
The foods to choose
Junk food substitutes
Fruit & desserts
Some of the recipes you can find in this chapter are as follows,
Vegetables- Stuffed Potatoes, and home-made fast food pizza
Fish- Salmon fishcakes, and mummy's favourite fish pie
Chicken- Marinated chicken on the griddle, and sesame chicken nuggets with chinese sauce
Red meats- Annabel's tasty beefburgers, cocktail meatballs with tomato sauce
Pasta- spaghetti primavera
Fruit- Apple and blackberry crumble
Dessert- Mini cheesecakes
Baking for toddlers- carrot & pineapple muffins, white chocolate button cookies and animal cupcakes
The book is rounded off with an index and some acknowledgements.
This book is jammed packed with information, and recipes. It might seem alot of information, but I feel its really worth while reading through it all. It has all the details you'll need to know. I would say it is best to read through the sections as you need them , or a few weeks before you plan to start the next section, as if you try to read it all in one go it can be alot to take in and get confusing. I felt it was best to read through things a couple of times so I could fully understand and digest all the information laid out for me. The recipes are all really easy to follow. I loved the smiley face icons and snowflake symbol, this became a really quick easy way to remeber what i'd tried and what i hadn't, what my son liked or disliked. The fact that alot of the recipes were freezable meant that I could make them up in advance, when I had time . Most of recipes use ingredients that you many already have in the house and if not they were easy to get hold of. Some of the toddler recipes can be adapted to make meals for the whole family. I really love the baking section at the end, some great cakes etc to make with the kids on a rainy day. This isn't just a cookbook, it is a great guide for new mums. It gives all the information needed to make the decisions on what to feed your child and family.
Summary: A great guide for new mums
- Halogen Cooking Made Simple - Paul Brodel
- Delia's Cakes - Delia Smith
- Good Food: Low-Carb Cooking
- Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course - Gordon Ramsay
- MasterChef Cookery Course
- The Little Book Of Herb Tips - William Fortt
- Good Food: More Veggie Dishes - Sharon Brown
- The Little Book Of Pasta Tips - Andrew Langley
- The Little Book Of Chefs' Tips - Richard Maggs
- Jamie's 15-Minute Meals - Jamie Oliver