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Feeding Your Baby and Toddler - Annabel Karmel

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17 Reviews

Genre: Health / Family / Lifestyle / Author: Annabel Karmel / Paperback / 192 Pages / Book is published 2007-12-21 by Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd

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    17 Reviews
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      09.11.2013 11:06
      Very helpful




      This book was bought as a gift for us when we had our baby and we've just got it out recently and started to look through the recipes and advice given and we're very impressed!

      The book is aimed it everyone with children from very young babies just starting to be weaned right up to school aged children.

      The book is laid out really nicely with big bright pictures and advice/tips running along the margains. It is really approachable, when I look at a recipe I don't feel intimidated by a long list of ingredients or by complicated looking instructions, instead they all look very straight forward and very simple to create.

      The book is devidied into chapers:
      Weaning your baby
      9- 12 months
      12- 18 months
      18-2 years
      2-3 years
      3- 7 years
      So as you can see covers children of all ages!
      Each section explains what essentials your child needs and what they should be consuming as well as what they should be avoiding. Advice about how to wean your baby off the bottle/breast and onto solids and beakers is given as well as giving you advice about how much milk they should still keep in their diets.

      Weaning your baby.
      This section contains all the basics about what nutrients tiny babies need and what they require as they reach the 6 month mark. How their sudden increases in motor ability means that they start to use more energy and so need different nutrients and how their liver enzymes require different vitamins to what they previously had.
      Advice is given concerning foods to avoid such as caffiene and cows milk and also on how to introduce early foods, what consistency they should be and how to create that consistency.

      The recipes here are very basic ones with fruit and vegetable purees being the bulk. They also show how you can make purees in different ways by the way you make your vegetables- for example how boiling can make you lose a lot of the vitamins from your vegetables whilst steaming is deamed as 'better'. Advice conerning helping your baby adjust to eating to fit in with your eating patterns and how to make them try different foods is also included.

      9-12 months.
      Encouraging your older baby to start exploring different textures is given in this chapter. It stresses the fact that finger foods should be used so that your baby is able to feed themselves and understand different foods more. Encouraging self feeding is also advised in this age.

      The recipes are very rich in energy stressing that babies of this age are suddenly getting active with crawling and attempting to walk and so they need more energy rich food. Recipes include: fruity baby muesli, butternut squash and pasta, tomato and tuna pasta sauce.

      12- 18 months.
      This section has a good variety of recipes aimed around balancing a good diet for your baby. It is explained how milk is still vital in a child's diet of this age and how other dairy products should be introduced too.

      Making meals fun is a big emphasis of this stage and the advice given by Annabel Karmel is really easy to follow and really quite basic really but sometimes you just need someone else to tell you! She also gives advice about what to do if your child is ill which I think is really important and useful to have.
      Recipes in this section include; root vegetable chips, chicken sausage snails and joys fish pie.

      All off the recipes look fun and interesting and would definitely get your baby willing to try them as they look so appealing!

      18 months to 2 years.
      This chapter recognises that babies start to have grazing habits so advises you on what sort of snacks you should encourage your baby to graze on. It is important at this stage to limit sugary foods and Karmel gives advice on how to do this and what alternatives are out there and how easy they are to make.

      A large section on how to tackle the fusser eater is included here which reads really well and is straight forward to follow.
      Recipes in this section include:vegetarian croquettes, crunchy chicken fingers, honey and salmon skewers.

      2-3 years.
      This stage is aimed at children who have active days and how important it is for them to have a balanced, nutritional diet. It encourages involving your child in cookery, making them join in and see how meals are prepared and help to get their interest and understanding.
      Recipes in this section include; cheesy bread animals, Hungarian Goulash and sticky toffee pudding.

      3 -7 years.
      This section is great! It gives advice about what to put in lunch boxes and set menus for throughout the day. It gives advice on how to ensure your child eats healthily away from the home and how to encourage carers to continue this trend.
      The recipes in this section are all really varied and interesting and would definitely get your child involved should you want to. Examples of the recipes are for turkey pasta salad, curried veg and rice and chicken enchilladas.

      At the back of the book there are a few set menus for the week for each stage. They are all really varied and interesting and are a great way to get you to plan ahead and either follow them or use them as an example and create your own.

      My opinion.
      I think this book is brilliant. It covers everything and lays it out in a way which is easy to read. When you have a toddler running around there's no time to flick through books trying to find the appropriate information but with this book it's very clear and easy to find so you don't have to worry about not being able to find it! All recipes come with information about what vitamins and nutrients they include and why they are important so you know exactly what your baby is having.

      i like the fact that all recipes seem do-able and that there is a great choice instead of just a few.
      It was really easy to read and understand and so I really rate it, I think that everybody will be able to understand this book and carry out a majority of the recipes.

      I frequently consult this book when I'm thinking about what to cook (Even for us adults too there are some great ideas!) and if I am concerned about what the kiddies are eating/meant to be eating.
      I would recommend this book to you. At £14.99 from mothercare it was well worth it.


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        25.03.2013 15:57
        Very helpful



        We love this book!

        I am hopeless when it comes to cooking and always have been. I get ideas in my head and think ooo I can make that! But then in reality it ends up being a disaster! I can make anything if it involves a jar of sauce or using a microwave but actually cooking from scratch is not something I have ever been very good at. When I had my daughter I hoped that somehow I would become a whizz in the kitchen but I realised that just becoming a mother doesn't mean you suddenly know how to cook! I knew I had to do something and so I bought this book by Annabel Karmel and it helped to give me ideas on what to cook as well as helping to actually guide me through the cooking process which was just what I needed!

        === Cooking for your baby ===
        It is really important to cook fresh foods for your baby. Babies need as many vitamins as possible to help them to grow and often in prepared jars of food they don't have as many as they could do if they were fresh and so cooking fresh foods can be very important. Within this book it has ideas for purees for those babies which are spoonfed and also more finger food type meals for those babies which are following the baby lead weaning side. Whether you are spoon feeding or baby lead weaning there are lots of options in this book.

        === Contents ===
        This book really did help me learn an awful lot. It isn't just a book full of recipes but has lots of information which really helped me. There is a section devoted to your kitchen which tells you basics about food hygiene, storing food, freezing and reheating, kitchen equipment and so forth. This information is really useful, I didn't know things to do with when you keep food and when you throw it away and how long it can last in the fridge for and so forth. I think sometimes you can be quick to flick straight to the recipes and leave out the first chapters but they are really important. There is another chapter on healthy eating and how to have a balanced diet. It explains about watching out for salt and the issues too much salt can have with a child's body. There is also information within this section about allergies and intolerances, again this is so useful. The next section is on weaning your baby and this was really very, very important for me as I didn't know anything about it and didn't really have anyone to ask. The information within this chapter helped me to know what to do, it talks about equipment you may need, foods to avoid, new tastes and so forth. It doesn't talk about baby lead weaning really which I assume is because this book was written before this kind of weaning became 'fashionable'.

        The recipes are very easy to follow and they introduce you to them slowly, beginning with first tastes. It is so very simple it even tells you how to prepare a melon for your baby. It talks you through what to do. Millie used to love sweet potato and the recipe in this book is very straight forward telling you how many to prepare, how long to cook them, how to mix with baby's milk and then how many servings it will be for. It really is a very basic cooking book for some items like that but for somoene like me who was a complete novice in the kitchen and would always burn a potato it was really very useful for me to be lead like this through learning how to cook.

        It is broken into age groups. The 9-12 month section I found the most interesting as it was all about introducing new textures and making slightly bigger portions. Everything is relevant to your baby's age so this age is all about your baby being more active so will need more energy rich foods. It talks about encouraging self feeding and experimenting but also tells you to maintain the amount of milk they have. One of my favourites from this section was the raspberry, pear and peach puree which Millie loved and I loved making her, it was so lovely to cook with fresh fruits and to make something that looked so lovely and bright! It would get a bit messy if she tried to eat it with her fingers but that was all part of the fun!

        A lot of the recipes throughout this book work on the fact that food should look good to encourage children to try it. A lot of the recipes show some exciting looking foods for example jelly boats! These are scooped out pieces of fruit such as an orange and then jelly filled up inside it with a little stick put in the top to make it look like a boat! I made these for Millie's first birthday and they went down very well especially with the parents!

        One thing that I learnt from this book is how to make homemade chicken nuggets. I never thought I could make anything like that and would always just buy a frozen bag but the recipe in this book is so easy I can't believe I never tried it. There are lots of ideas from little snacks like the jelly boats and the chicken nuggets to bigger whole meals like a risotto and lasagne. It is hard not to be inspired when you read through this and see all the lovely things you can make.

        === Following recipes ===

        The recipes are easy to follow. There are not pictures for each of therecipes but this didn't really put me off. At the beginning of each recipe it tells you how long it will take you to prepare it, how long to cook it, how many portions and what nutritional value it has. It is so interesting to see all the vitamins that you can create with a meal. It also has on the side of the recipe the ingredients needed along with the various measurements. The recipe itself is talked through in bullet points with simple language. If there are any tips for the recipe this is added too such as "This salad's delicious dressing is popular with my children as a dip for raw vegetables" and I really liked these little tips that make this seem like a more personal book. I never struggled with following the recipes even when they were more complicated. The only problem I had is that the book won't lie flat and will sometimes flip shut and I'll lose my page!

        === Learning ===
        I have learnt so much since I bought this book. I have learnt about nutrition and various things to do with what children should and shouldn't eat. I really never ave it much thought before but now I realise how important it is I am so pleased I bought this book. I have also learnt how to cook! I am certainly not a brilliant cook but I still can't believe I can make my own chicken nuggets and it's so easy to do! I can make lots of meals now and don't need to refer back to the book. I have really enjoyed learning about how to put meals together and most importantly the nutritional values that these meals have, I think that was the most interesting part of the book just knowing what goodness I was creating even from meals that you wouldn't expect! There are recipes in here which Millie and I cook together so she is learning about cooking too which I think is lovely. I never really cooked when I was little and I love that I am teaching Millie to have this skill. There are some lovely cookies and milkshakes that we make together and she adores.

        === Does it inspire? ===
        Yes it inspires me so much. There are menu planners in the back which give you an idea of how to feed your family for the week and I will admit I followed these for a while as I was a bit afraid if I veered off then Millie wouldn't be getting the right balance of foods but now I've learnt what she should and shouldn't eat and we don't follow things quite so literally! Millie and I still use this book despite her being five now. We flick through it and choose what to cook. I think the recipes which have pictures tend to always be the ones she picks but who can blame her, a photo looks so much better than a few paragraphs of instructions! Whenever I'm not sure what to cook I get this book out and Millie and I look through it together and I'm sure that her having an input into it makes her more inclined to eat it too! Never once have I had a problem with her eating unlike some of my friends.

        === Any negatives? ===
        I think perhaps some people may say it's negative because it doesn't include baby lead weaning and is so very basic you may feel patronised. I found it essential to be this basic in explanation as I was hopeless at cooking but if you know what you are doing and have had children you may not find that this book works for you. I found it to be so educational as well as inspiring though that I thouht it was great. The book won't lie flat, if it was ring bound that would be better but that is all I can think of to criticise it really.

        === Basics ===
        This book retails at £14.99 and is published by DK publishers. It has 192 pages.

        We highly recommend!


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          24.06.2012 11:15
          Very helpful



          Great for the whole family

          This book has been given to me as a present from a friend when i was still pregnant. I did look at it then and thought that it will come useful when i start weaning my baby and i was very right. I started weaning my daughter when she was 4.5 months, I have used recipes from this book as well as another annabel karmel book. I particularly like this one as it has recipes from first baby purees all the way to the toddler meals.

          This book is extermelly informative, provides advice on how to start solids as well as nutrition your baby needs. Book has many many sections including:
          Weaning your baby - loads and loads of baby puree recipes
          9-12 months - varied menu for a growing baby
          12-18 months first family meals and finger foods
          18-2 years - selection recipes from breakfast, snack lunches, soups etc.
          2-3 years
          3-7 years
          In addition it has a section on fussy eater recipes that can come very handy if you have a fussy eater or fun foods section gives ideas on how to make food looking fun for toddlers. I could go on and on.
          Most of the recipes can be frozen, i used to cook them in a bulk and freeze in ice cube trays. My daughter is 16 months old and i keep continue this book, there is plenty of recipes that i havent tried yet, they are very tasty I could them as our family meal e.g couscsous with ham and peas is delicious or honey and salmon skewers are fantastic and quick for the bbq.

          I would definatelly recommend this book i am very grateful to my friend for this gift. It has made weaning easy for me as my daugher loved (s) all the recipes.


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          07.09.2009 15:26
          Very helpful



          Essential guide to weaning

          This book was recommended to me before I started to wean my baby, and I must say it has been a godsend. Not only does it cover every aspect of dietary needs of your baby but also of the family to. I have a fussy eater for a husband and so have used the book on him to practice the hidden vegetable recipes and ideas and it has worked a treat. I have seen him eat more variety of food since using this book that before. My baby is on the first tastes purees at the front of the book, they are spot on and she loves them. The book also tells you how to store the food and reheat it. The book is seperated into age categories from first weaning (4 months) through to pre school and beyond as well as family meals. The recipes are fun and exciting and it shows you how to encourage your baby (and husband) to eat a wide variety of foods I would definately recommend this book to everyone. The book also contains meal planning ideas for your baby and also for the whole family.


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          04.08.2009 22:51
          Very helpful



          All you'll need for inspiring recipes for children.

          My son has now reached the stage where regular milk feeds are just not enough for him. He can sit up pretty well, his hands are always putting random objects into his mouth and he has an alarming interest in my mugs of coffee. All this, apparently, points to him being ready to start on solids - one of the most exciting milestones in a baby's first year! So we have started on baby rice and purees, and I am eager to learn more about nutritious food that I can prepare over the coming weeks and months.

          I had seen many Annabel Karmel articles in magazines and on websites, and seen her on television programmes such as This Morning, where it was plain to see that she really knew her stuff. She has many books on the market, and extensive experience in the field of child nutrition. I picked this book after flicking through a few, some of them are fairly similar in nature.

          The recommended price for this book is £14.99, however it is currently £9.74 on Amazon.

          This book is a complete guide to baby and toddler nutrition, and as such starts from birth. The first chapter mentions briefly breast and bottle feeding, and goes on to talk about the different nutrients needed in a child's diet. There is advice on healthy eating and food allergies, and a list of storecupboard essentials. Useful kitchen equipment is mentioned, and then we're off! Weaning begins!

          The rest of the book is divided into sections according to age.

          Weaning your baby (6-9 months)

          This section covers the basics of simple purees and baby rice. It gives clear instructions on how to introduce those first foods to babies, and tells you how much a baby should be taking which is something I was unsure about. There are recipes for fruit and vegetable purees, which makes enough for about 8 feeds in one go, so plenty to freeze for later.

          Once smooth purees are out of the way, the chapter finishes on more textured food and further ideas for interesting flavours.

          9-12 months

          By now, babies should be trying more solid food, and so recipes tend to focus on things that can easily be eaten using their fingers. There is advice on teething, and more ingredients are added to the recipes, including red meat.

          12-18 months

          This chapter discusses what to do about food if your child is unwell, and looks at how you can make meals fun for your child and encourage them to eat food they perhaps might not try otherwise. The recipes take advantage of the fact that a child can eat far more foods now, and covers a wide range of nutritious meals. There are some very fun looking snails made out of chicken sausages, mashed potato and peas! I also like the jelly boats made by filling quarters of orange peel with jelly - such a simple idea but something I would never have come up with myself.

          18 months-2 years

          More recipes, focussing on older toddlers this time. There is advice on fussy eaters and strategies to cope with this, and a section of the recipes is dedicated to food that might encourage even the pickiest of eaters to have a go. Meals in this section are high energy food, bearing in mind that toddlers of this age are constantly on the go, and are quick to prepare.

          2-3 years

          This chapter offers advice on getting children cooking, and recipes are intended to encourage children's interest in food. There are example of party food and some nice ideas for simple but effective iced birthday cakes.

          3-7 years

          The final chapter looks at food approriate for children going to school, and the nutrients that they need in order to function well throughout the day. There are plenty of recipes for packed lunches, and for healthy snacks when they get back in from school.


          Right at the back of the book is the part that I found very useful - menu guides for the different stages. As a first time mother, it was helpful to have a guide to follow for timings and quantities. I am only on the first menu at the moment, but it seems to be working well so far!

          The main plus point for this book for me, aside from the menus? The wonderful photos illustrating the recipes. Each picture looks mouthwateringly good, even to an adult! Care had been taken over the photographs, and indeed presentation is a part of Annabel Karmel's food 'philosophy' - if it looks good, children are more likely to eat it.

          This book was bought with the intention of using it to create nutritious food for my son. However, many of the recipes are suitable for whole families, and children and adults alike will love them. This is a great advantage when cooking for a family - no need to prepare separate food for children and adults.

          I would recommend this book to anyone with children, and especially to first time parents like myself who would like almost step-by-step guides to weaning and beyond. An absolute delight!


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            17.06.2009 17:18



            take her ideas and mix and match for yourself

            I found this book contains excellent advice about the nutrients found in specific vegetables and fruits etc so you can work out a clear balance for you growing baby's needs - panic not though it is simple to use with good ideas but if like me you are no fan of cooking and get stressed just use her receipies roughly and mix and match that way yes you are following her main idea of fresh is best and can get some great combo tips but wont go insane pulling your hair out because you dont have all the ingredients and cant make it to the letter - treat it as a fab book for tips and then get creative with what you find works for you and your baby - there are some ideas i would never have thought of eg chicken and grapes etc but my son loves my idea of chicken and pear because thats what was in the fruit bowl.


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            26.05.2009 14:52
            Very helpful



            Fantastic book if there is one you should buy this is it

            Annabel Karmel is one of the top babies and children's Nutrition experts, she has numerous books out on how to wean your baby, dealing with fussy eaters, right through to books about feeding the whole family. What this women does not know is not worth knowing, in my eyes she is a saint.

            I am a really big Annabel Karmel fan, as she has helped my son become one of the best little eaters there is (he will eat everything and anything).

            Annabel Karmel's Feeding your Baby and Toddler was brought for me when i was pregnant and I have been using this like my bible ever since.

            The book is hardback with a picuture of a baby on the font being fed with a purple heading stating the book is by Annabel Karmel - Feeding you Baby and Toddler, the book is 192 pages with many chapters in ranging from Bottle feeding and Breast feeding and through the stages of weaning up to 7 years plus and feeding the family:-

            The Chapters included are:-


            Early Nutrition
            Healthy Eating
            Food Allergies
            Kitchen Basics


            Startin Solids
            Exploring Tastes
            First Tastes: recipes
            New tastes and textures: recipes

            9-12 MONTHS

            Growing appetites
            A varied menu: recipes

            12-18 MONTHS

            Changing Needs
            Food for the senses: receipes

            18 MONTHS - 2 YEARS

            The active Toddler
            Fast food for toddlers: recipes
            The fussey eater: recipes

            2-3 YEARS

            Early childhood
            Fun foods: recipes

            3-7 YEARS

            Pre-school and beyond
            Healthy snacks: recipes
            Family Meals: recipes
            trying new tastes and textures, growing appetites 9-12months, Food for senses 12-18 months, Fast Food

            This book covers everything as stated in the chapters, and it was really helpful to find out about allergies and at what age a child is supposed to be eating strawberries, peanuts, honey etc.

            Before i had my little boy i did not have a clue, but this book has guided me through all the weaning process and when he would be ready to move on to more textured food and then to solids. there are well over 150 recipes in this book from vegetable and fruit purees to lasagne for the whole family. One of my sons favourite weaning recipes was peach, apple and strawberry puree.

            I found all the recipes in this book really easy to follow, and the ingredients were always easy to find in your supermarket (we all know what its like when following a recipe and you can't find that last ingredient). At the top of each recipe it states how long it will take to make, how many portions for, what the food provides e.g. fibre, vitamin C and E and potassium etc, and whether the recipe is suitable for freezing.

            Alot of the food in this book can be batched cooked and then frozen in individual portions, so you only have to take the food out as and when you want to use it.

            I have not tried all the recipes in this book but probably about 85-90% and i can say they have all come out looking and tasting delicious. There are also recipes in the book that show how to hide vegetables for the children who will refuse point blankly to eat any.

            Now my son is alot older we make the chocolate brownines and oaty biscuits together we have not made for a while but it is back on my list now summer is nearly here is natural strawberry and yogurt ice lollies which he loves. Even my partner is grateful i read this book he gets fed better than ever now.

            The book cost about £9.99 (when i have seen it in mothercare) but i guess you can get it cheaper on places like play.com or amazon. If there is one book that you are going to buy for your children and family this is it.


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            31.08.2007 12:58
            Very helpful
            1 Comment



            A must read for first time mums.

            My daughter Ellie is nearly 5 months old, so I felt it was time to start thinking about the joys of introducing her to solid foods.

            Being a first time mum and wanting to do things right, I decided to buy a book to give me some hints and tips, so I made a trip to my local WH Smith store.

            I was astounded by the amount of books to choose from on the themes of weaning and baby / toddler feeding. To be honest, I didn't really know where to start or which book to choose.

            I chose the Annabel Karmel book because it seemed to have a good variety of different information and the kind of things that I needed to know. The book also had lots of photographs to accompany the written information, which I felt would make the task of reading and absorbing the information more enjoyable and useful.

            It was not the cheapest option, priced at £14.99, but with nearly 200 pages and an A4 sized, hardback book, I did not feel that this was too expensive for a book that will guide me through the first few years of Ellie's eating life.

            **** The Author *****

            Annabel Karmel is a leading children's author and an expert on child nutrition and childcare. She is a trained Cordon Bleu cook, combining research on child nutrition with her expertise on food. Her recipe ideas have been tried by babies and toddlers. She has three children of her own.

            Just today, Annabel appeared on the show 'This Morning', with recipe ideas to tempt fussy eaters to eat fruit and vegetables.

            ***** Layout of the Book *****

            The book is divided into 6 main chapters. These are:

            *** Weaning your baby
            *** 9 - 12 months
            *** 12 - 18 months
            *** 18 months - 2 years
            *** 2 to 3 years
            *** 3 - 7 years

            Each section is divided into sub headings including recipe ideas, facts and advice.

            There is a brief synopsis about each of these sections at the beginning of the book, which is a useful guide to each chapter.

            There are also shorter chapters on:

            ** Early nutrition
            ** Healthy eating
            ** Food allergies
            ** Kitchen basics
            **Menu planners

            Each page in the book consists of sub-headings, written information and photographs.

            The book is incredibly easy to read and follow. Relevant information can be found easily. It seems to include everything that you could possibly need to know.

            ***** Facts and Advice *****

            The book is crammed full of useful facts and advice to help with every stage of development from babies and weaning through to school age children.

            Personally, I have found that the information I have read so far has not only been very useful, but has been interesting as well. Although I have not started the weaning process yet, I already feel much more confident about how and when to do this. I also feel that I know which foods are the best ones to choose in order to give my baby a good balanced and nutritional diet. The information on how to prepare the food has also been extremely helpful.

            ***** Recipe Ideas *****

            Every chapter in the book has some written recipe ideas to suit each stage of development. There are over 200 recipes in the book and there is even a section on family meals.

            I have not tried any of the recipes yet, but they seem easy and straightforward to follow. I'm looking forward to trying them out.

            Each recipe follows the same structure and includes:
            a list of ingredients, useful information (i.e. preparation and cooking time, how many portions it makes, the food groups that the recipe meets, whether it is suitable for freezing) and simple step by step instructions.

            Some recipes are accompanied by a photograph. They sound and look delicious.

            ***** Menu Planners *****

            The book includes a section of sample menus, divided into different stages of development. These include ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper and in between snacks, with references to recipes within the book.

            This is a great idea for a starting point and I will definitely be using the menus for the first 4 weeks of weaning.

            There are also menu ideas for healthy snacks and party food.

            ***** General Impressions *****

            Although at the very early stages of reading and exploring this book, my first impressions are very positive. I'm sure it will be a very useful guide and I have a feeling that I will be referring to it many times over the next few weeks, months and years.


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              03.08.2006 20:15
              Very helpful



              Annabel Karmel helps you feel confident about feeding your child.

              Annabel Karmel is a well known cookery author for children and a trained Cordon Bleu cook. I have often seen her recipes for babies and toddlers in parent and child magazines, which promted me to buy this particular book. I wanted to get some sound advice and some different ideas on what to feed my baby once he was starting solids and beyond.

              I purchased this book from WHSmith in 2002. It was £12.99 and worth every penny, in my opinion.

              This book really stood out for me, when I was looking for a comprehensive guide to feeding my son. It has a bright cover , depicting a child enjoying his food, some food photos, and the title couldn't be clearer!

              "FEEDING YOUR BABY AND TODDLER. The Complete Cookbook"

              In her introduction to the book, Annabel Karmel points out that the recipes in her book are 'designed to combine "child appeal" with sound nutrirional principles.' This is what attracted me to the book, along with the fact that it is very clearly set out into different age groups. It is extremely easy to read and to follow.

              She also writes about her very personal experiences of losing her first child to a viral infection at the tender age of thirteen weeks. This, she says, although her child's illness was not food related, made her more determined to give her subsequent children the best possible start in life. Her second child, a son, was a very fussy eater which made her more interested in child nutrition. I think that her introduction really gives a new parent confidence that this is 'the book to have' because it is borne out of Annabel's own experiences.

              The layout

              Before the advice and recipes for the different age groups, Annabel gives a lot of very useful information regarding the following:

              Early Nutrition

              The 'building blocks' of child nutrition are introduced, and vitamins and minerals explained, along with some notes about food allergies and intolerances.
              Advice on your baby's milk , and water are the first things discussed.

              Store Cupboard

              A guide to foods that you will find useful to have in your cupboard so you can whip up a good meal, even if you haven't been shopping. There is useful advice included, such as choosing full fat dairy products for children under 5, and to be aware that processed foods can sometimes contain annato and tartrazine which have been known to provoke allergic reactions in children.


              Equipment highlighted that will help make food preparation easier and to aid the child to feeding himself when ready. I must say, that before I had my food processor which I have used with my second baby, I looked for a mouli, an example of which is shown in the book. This is a type of hand operated food puree device which holds back any indigestible husks or skins. My parents and parents-in-law all said, oh yes, we used these, so I thought they would be easy to get hold of. I was wrong! I couldn't find one anywhere and came to my own conclusion that they must be an antiquated piece of equipment now, with most people owning food processors!

              Preparing Baby Food

              This shows a variety of ways to blend and puree, again, showing the evasive mouli as well as a food processor. Annabel also points out the cooking techniques, boiling, steaming, microwaving and baking. ( since writing this review, I have realised that Annabel has included some addresses of Kitchen suppliers, who may sell moulis, but when I was looking for one, I did not find one easily without this information).

              Freezing and Reheating

              Useful tips featured here, such as freezing batch cooked purees in ice-cube trays and freezing, so you only need to use a couple of cubes of food at a time. (for tiny tummies)

              Food Hygiene

              Basic hygiene advice such as sterilising methods and food safety tips.

              Now the main chapters of the book are set out in age groups.

              ~~~~~~~~~~ 4-6 months ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              I think this is the chapter I read and re read with my first child. I think most new parents are obsessed with 'getting it right' , and this is in a really easy to read and understand format which is encouraging to the new parent, rather than purely instructive. Annabel's style is very precise with the health aspects, such as pointing out not to introduce possible allergy inducing foods too soon. She does, however, instill a sense of confidence that you, as the parent can trust your instincts, for instance, not to be rushed into introducing solids too soon. Take it gently, and don't be too anxious.

              There are a lot of interesting health and safety points in this section. For example: Do not add any salt to foods as immature kidneys can be strained and cause dehydration. Do not add honey as it carries a slight risk of botulism infection to babies. Do not save half eaten food as bacteria from the saliva on the spoon will be present.

              Ideal first foods are clearly presented with lovely bright pictures of the foods and what they look like as a puree on the spoon! This includes vegetable and fruit purees as well as baby rice. My children never liked baby rice. I just started them on the fruit and vegetable purees from the start. There are very simple recipes for puree blends in this section which couldn't be easier to follow. Annabel highlights the nutritional benefits of each food and gives ideas on which blend nicely with each other.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6-9 months. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Moving on from purees. This chapter shows how baby's diet can become a little more exciting, as fish and meat can be introduced, along with bread and cereals, dairy products, eggs, and lumpier, or hand-held foods.

              There is also advice for parents who follow a vegetarian diet themselves, which I think is a very good section to add. There is sound, nutritional advice on how to give your vegetarian child the best from their food.

              A few recipe examples from this chapter are: Dried apricots with semolina, (which my son loved) , fish with carrots and orange (my son refused to eat!), and butternut squash and apple (loved by both children).
              When my son was little I was quite excited to try out these recipes. However, I was quite disappointed when he refused to eat my fish and orange creation, after lovingly preparing it for him! I haven't actually made that since, but now I have more confidence in my abilities, I tend to create my own. He is three now, and both he and my daughter love fish pie, so I make that quite alot! I tried not to worry about my children refusing things to start with, but kept offering them different tastes and textures. Luckily my son is not fussy at all now and eats more of a variety of foods than my husband!

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 9-12 months ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Annabel explains that at this age, the main focus of your child's meal are solid foods. Chopped or mashed foods can replace purees and he may insist on feeding himself. (not my lazy boy though! My daughter is more independent on this one!)

              It is highlighted in this chapter that iron is important in the diet more now because the baby's initial iron store is depleted after 6 months of age. Iron rich-foods include egg yolk (well cooked), oily fish, lentils, dried apricots, cabbage.

              Teething and dental hygiene is also mentioned. Finger foods may be more appealing now because teeth are coming through, but do not leave your child alone with any food for risk of choking.

              There are lots of ideas for more inventive meals in this chapter to include meals and also finger foods. My son loved the cheesy pasta stars, and he is a big fan of red, yellow and orange pepper sticks for dips or on their own. I have always loved peppers so I always have some in the fridge. I remember going round the supermarket with my son once, buying a red pepper.He took one from the shelf and took an enormous bite. What a lovely juicy grin he was wearing too!

              More exapmles of recipes from this chapter are: Fruity baby muesli, quick chicken couscous, baby's bolognese.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 12-18 months ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              From this age it gets easier for your child to eat the same meals as adults. The recipes are intended to appeal to children but also suit the taste of the whole family. This appeals to me because we can all eat the same thing but have some fun with it too. Annabel points out that children do have different nutritional needs to adults so you still need to be aware. For example, adult fat and fibre advice would not apply to a child. This is well explained here.

              Foods during illnesses, consipation, and regression, are also explored here.

              This is the chapter where the food positively bursts from the page to tantalise your tastebuds. There are loads of lovely glossy pictures of the foods which really make it tempting to try out for yourself. The foods are exciting looking but very easy to create.

              Some ideas from this section are: Root vegetable chips (a great favourite in our house with young and old!), Bow-tie pasta with ham and peas, chicken sausage snails (haven't tried these, but I might do now as the picture is so cute!), Jelly boats.

              My son, daughter and I had so much fun making jelly boats. They are so simple and tasty and look fantastic! Ours were a little different to the featured boats. Instead of putting triangles of rice paper on cocktail sticks for sails, we put in Cocktail umbrellas! (Del-boy boats!) Annabel suggests using the juice from the oranges as a drink, but I made some shaped, orange juice ice-cubes with ours.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~ 18 months - 2 years ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              Still encouraging new tastes so your child has a varied diet, as tastes are decided early in life. This chapter tries to give some creative ideas because, as the author knows from personal experience, there may be periods of faddy or erratic eating. There are ideas for 'fast' foods which should encourage a reluctant child to try new foods. I personally, really like these later chapters because your toddler can join in with the creations. This is definitely a way to help them try out new things as they will always want to try their own creation.

              Annabel highlights that as your child becomes more independent, you may need some 'strategies' and there is advice here for coping with tantrums, fussy eaters, sociable mealtimes, and limiting sugary foods.

              There are loads of photos of food made in to funny faces, pinwheel sandwiches (which are a great hit in our house), and usage of colour at mealtimes which is a big deal. If your food looks attractive, then your toddler will be more likely to eat it.

              My son loves making his own sandwiches using different shaped pastry cutters. He also likes rolling up jam sarnies and cutting them up into pinwheels, like a quick swiss roll.

              A taster of recipes from this section: Mini pizzas, Sweet and sour vegetable stir-fry, Multi coloured rice with kidney beans, salmon starfish, crunchy chicken fingers, banana muffins, and many more tasty ideas. The colourful pictures really make an impression and give instant ideas, even if you don't have the time to create a whole menu! I find that I often browse through, just to get some ideas and then create my own versions with what I have in the house at the time.

              ~~~~~~~~~ 2-3 years ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              There are lots of ideas here on how your child can join in with food preparation which will develop a good interest in food. There are ideas for quick fix energy foods for a growing, active child, and also advice on obesity.

              Foods to make you smile are always a hit. What a simple idea: A 'mock fried egg', which is some vanilla yoghurt on a plate with half an apricot on top!
              There are lots of fantastic bright photographs of the food, with the children joining in and enjoying themselves. Here we see some ideas for party cakes and savoury nibbles. Also more meal ideas. Eg: Heart shaped chicken nuggets, chicken caterpillar kebebs (not made with real caterpillars!), hungarian goulash, tasty meatballs.

              ~~~~~~~~~~~ 3-5 years ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              At this age, you may have a little less control over what your child eats, if they are at Nursery or school. This chapter encourages to stick with a varied diet and to give your child a good breakfast.
              Annabel points out that parents need to practice what they preach as far as food is concerned!
              International tastes are introduced, with tasty ideas such as beef tacos, paella, and 'sleeping canelloni' which you will see how to make in the book. (they have little mushroom faces and olive feet.. cute!) There is a recipe for Chewy apricot and chocolate cereal bars which I think I will have a go at soon.

              ~~~~ Menu Planners ~~~~

              At the end of the book, there are menu planners which are really handy little charts. They are separated into the various age groups and give a 'quick glance' suggested weekly menu for your little one. They are intended to give you help with varying your child's weekly diet. I have found these quite handy when in a rush, but more useful for the early weaning stages rather than toddler age.

              There are some useful addresses on the last page of the book:
              Action Against Allergy
              The Anaphylaxis Campaign
              British Dietetic Association
              The Coeliac Society
              The Food Comission
              The Vegetarian Society
              Cooking For Children
              Lakeland ltd
              Squires Kitchen

              Annabel Karmel's Feeding Your Baby and Toddler, is published by Dorling Kindersley Limited.

              I have found this book to be the most useful baby and toddler cookery book I have in my bookcase. I refer to this the most because it covers such a broad range of ages and offers what I believe to be sound nutritional advice. As I have previously said, there are many ideas I get from the book, even if I do not follow the recipes to the letter. Annabel Karmel writes in a style that is extremely informative, but you can also believe what she says because she is a parent of three herself, and has written this book using her own experiences.

              I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone with a baby or toddler.

              Thank you. Joanna.

              Please note: This review has appeared on Ciao.co.uk under my username lipsalve. It is my own work about my own experiences.


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                09.09.2005 23:07



                Good cookbook

                When I started weaning my baby I followed the ideas and nutrition advice in this book. I found it easy to read and follow. It has worked better for the young baby/first stage feeding than for later feeding as my baby is allergic to milk and I don't feed him gluten yet.

                Easy to read and colourful with pictures showing you what the food should look like and what the texture should be for each stage, it suggested food I would not have thought of giving my weaning baby.


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                08.10.2000 05:56
                Very helpful



                This book is a particulary good book for babies and toddlers. It is up to date and contains vlauable nutritional advice and when to introduce new foods into your babies diet. When my daughter was younger I used this book all the time, even now we use it quite a lot! There is a good section on baking for the toddler! I think this is Bethanys favourite section!! The book is very clearly laid out in easy to read sections. Each age group is tackled seperatley, with new and fresh recipes for each age range. The main aim behind the book is the idea that 'fresh is best' which I agree with but dont always have time for. None of the recipes are particualry hard and you would be hard pressed to find a book of as a good a quality containing so much advice and information.


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                07.09.2000 06:10
                Very helpful
                1 Comment



                Aimed at the fussy eater (but suitable for all), this book may seem a little expensive at first. But as it covers stages from weaning your baby, up through different stages right through to 5 year olds, it really is quite good value. It has over 150 recipes, including first weaning food, finger foods, cakes, biscuits and even party foods. There is lots of nutrition advice for each stage, and also a meal planner, giving a guide on how much your child should be eating. The advice and recipes given for weaning your baby are excellent, and should help and put most mums at ease during the weaning period. All the recipes are esy to follow, so you don't need to be the world's best cook. Some are a little more time consuming than others, but that goes for all recipes anyway. Older kids can even help with the food aimed at them. Lots of good recipes, so everyone should find something to suit. For the fussy eaters, there are recipes that visually appealing such as chicken sausage snails, boat shapes, character fairy cakes and more. There are lots of good pictures showing how the food should look, and my efforts weren't too far off the mark. A great book with lots of interesting recipes, nutrition and other tips, which is nice and colourful (so colourful, my toddler loves reading it) with lots of good pictures.


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                  18.08.2000 21:10
                  Very helpful



                  This book is an ideal first read for anyone facing the daunting task of weaning babies and feeding toddlers. It has good basic information on foods and divides recipes in to age ranges beginning at 4-6 months and ending with 3-5 years. The recipes are lovely, although I would have liked more vegetarian options. Some items are more suited to parties or gatherings of several children, as they are time consuming to prepare for just one child. An example of this is the Chicken Sausage Snails which uses three tiny strips of carrot, a tiny amount of shredded cabbage and four peas for decoration. In this instance, it would be ideal if the whole family ate the vegetables, therefore a few items are used for the toddler meal. On the whole I have found that visual meals, such as shaped cheeses, bread and items made in to faces, boats etc. don't work for my children but the menu ideas and ingredients are well worth reading. It'll be a wonderful guide when I do need to think of children's parties.


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                  11.08.2000 20:27
                  Very helpful
                  1 Comment



                  Annabel Karmel's Feeding Your Baby and Toddler was recommend to me ahead of the daunting task of weaning my daughter. So many people try to give you advice, "use tinned food", "I always use only fresh food", "I use tins and home cooked food", to say all this gets confusing is an understatement. So I popped off to my local Mothercare and purchased this book. It cost £12.99 but it does cover from the first stages of weaning through to recipes for 3-5 year olds, so it'll last a few years. It has more than 150 recipes and includes labour saving tips to ease preparation. It also includes advice on nutritional requirements for every stage of your childs development. I found, and am still finding this book very useful and would recommend it to you to ease that 'scary' weaning time.


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                    11.08.2000 17:12
                    Very helpful
                    1 Comment



                    When I had my little boy I breastfed him. But when it came to weaning him on to solids, I didn't know where to start. I then found an excellant book by 'Annabell Karmel', she starts you right from the beginning and give you the confidance to cook for your baby. The book is packed with useful information at each stage of the baby's weaning. For example 4-6months, 6-12 months etc right up until 3-5 years. It only takes a few minutes each week to steam some vegetables and then freeze them in some ice cube trays. when your baby is hungry, you just pop out a veggy cube and defrost in the microwave. You can also do the same with cooked fruit. Also in the book is an outline of daily menus so you know that you are not feeding your baby to much or too little. Cooking your own baby food is a lot cheaper and it is better for them. I know baby jar food is a lot better these days than before, but you cannot trust them 100% to have the same nutriants in them as your home cooked food. And when you go out, it is no problem, I brought a tiny cool bag that is about 8" x 6" that keeps the food fresh when we go out. The equipment you may need is a couple of plastic freezer friendly pots, a hand held mixer and the 'annabell' book. Thats all I needed. My little boy is now 19 months and he loves his vegetables and all good food. (He also loves the home made desserts.)


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