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Lorraine Kelly's Baby and Toddler Meal Planner

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Author: Lorrainer Kelly / Publisher: Virgin Books / Released: 6.07.2006 / 256 Pages

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      09.03.2012 23:29
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      A great book for weaning

      Most people know Lorraine Kelly as a TV presenter, but what they may not know, and in fact, neither did I until recently, is that she has also published some weaning books. I received this weaning book 'Lorraine Kelly's Baby and Toddler Eating Plan' as a gift, alongside the Annabel Karmel weaning guide and used in combination they are both excellent.

      This yellow coloured paperback book was obviously published before the Government advice that babies should be weaned from six months, however, there are many that are weaned before this mark, such as my own daughter, and so this was a refreshing book to read to get ideas for her from four months on, although she was around five months when I first started weaning.

      This book claims to have over '100 healthy, quick and easy recipes' taking your through the baby weaning to toddler meal ideas. Lorraine Kelly is obviously not an expert on the nutritional aspects of food so has enlisted the help of top nutritionist Anita Bean in this book. Chapter 1, which I didn't actually read is completely devoted to balanced diets with lots of information (and diagrams) about food nutrition.

      Chapters 2 to 6 are then completely devoted to information and recipes for various age groups of children. Chapter 2 takes you through exactly how to being weaning - the equipment you need, the first foods to try, what to do when baby says no to food, as well as suitable and unsuitable foods for babies from four months when some may start weaning. There is also information about allergies, followed by several meal planners taking you over a four week period with a baby as young as four months. Since I was starting my baby still quite young at five months, I didn't really follow this guide, as I just took things at her pace, knowing I had plenty of time to gradually increase the number of meals she would have as well as the types of food. If you start weaning at six months, then these initial guides would probably be very useful. At the end of the chapter, there are pages given entirely to recipes that are suitable for babies from four months. At four months, these aren't really recipes as such, but more puree ideas. I found some of the combinations she suggested to be really good to try.

      Each recipe is very clearly explained and so far none that I have either ear marked to try or actually tried out have been in any way difficult to follow. There isn't a huge list of ingredients, and to be honest once you get to the six month mark, many of the recipes can be used for a dinner idea for yourself. I made my daughter mediterranean pasta from this book and my daughter loves it. Next time I make it though I am going to make it for my husband and I with the only difference being that I would use normal adult pasta. As well as clear guidelines, following the quantities given, there is information at the bottom of each recipe about how many portions it should take, whether it is freezer friendly, the nutritional benefits of the recipe and the preparation and cooking time.

      Despite there not being an photographs alongside recipes, these recipes are really really easy to follow, that even if you are a non cook, you could not go wrong with at all. Many of the recipes, even those for younger babies, can be adapted to suit your own meals, meaning you only have one main meal to cook. I end up returning to this book again and again, for ideas for recipes, information about weaning when I want to check something out, and sometimes to look ahead for what to expect.

      All in all, although you might wonder if this book is a bit gimmicky with a television presenter promoting a weaning book, I assure you it isn't, and is a book that is extremely easy to read, follow and with lots and lots of recipes to try out. All of those recipes that I have tried my daughter has enjoyed which says a lot about the quality of the meal ideas in the book. THis really is a great guide to weaning, and I usually end up consulting it almost every day!

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