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Top 100 Baby Purees - Annabel Karmel
Member Name: ashwick
Top 100 Baby Purees - Annabel Karmel
Date: 21/10/08, updated on 03/11/08 (48 review reads)
Advantages: Really useful, encouranges more variety in your babies' diet
Disadvantages: None really
If you're anything like me, after feeding my little daughter (at my first baby) nothing but milk for the first 6 months and then faced with weaning, I looked for all the help and advice I could get. Suddenly having to think about and prepare 3 meals a day ensuring each meal was provided the nutrients and goodness needed by a growing baby was a little daunting.
I first saw Annabel Karmel at the National Baby Show in London while my daughter was still tiny and I really liked her. Everything she said, although a lot of it was common sense, did make a lot of sense. The fact that jars of baby food can have a shelf life of 2 years or more, so cannot possibly contain anywhere near as much goodness as a meal that has been freshly prepared with fresh ingredients, really made me want to make my own food for my baby.
The book is divided into 6 sections:
1 - INTRODUCTION - this includes information on:
How and when to start weaning
Your baby's nutritional needs
Best first foods for your baby
Foods to avoid
Weaning pre-term babies
I found this very helpful indeed. My health visitor did talk through weaning very briefly and not in very much detail, so to have something to hand (especially when you're a first time Mum) is quite reassuring.
2 - First Stage Weaning: 6 Months
This section is full of a various purees to start to start you and your baby off. Some of the purees seem a little too simple - first instance the first is just carrot puree. But by each recipe it does say why this food is a good starter food (i.e. 'babies like carrots' naturally sweet taste', 'apples and pears are easy to digest' and 'bananas are full of slow release sugars that provided sustained energy'). So although it does seem ridiculous to have such simple recopies, it's the information that comes with them and to understand why they are good things to feed your baby I found to be a real help.
3 - After First Tastes: 6 - 7 Months
After your baby has their first tastes of food, they then go on to a wider variety of foods and this section has plenty of purees to try out on them including fish and chicken recipes. My daughter absolutely loved the Cinderella's pumpkin puree.
4 - Second-Stage Weaning: 7-9 Months
This section introduces thicker and lumpy purees and finger foods. I was initially worried about my daughter choking on finger foods initially, but she managed them really well and it didn't take long before she was chomping away (albeit with her gums!) on toast and bananas etc. There is now a whole range of food in these purees, loads of veg but also beef, chicken liver and different types of fish.
5 - Growing Independence: 9 - 12 Months
By now, your baby can virtually eat the same things as you - just a few exceptions like added salt, unpasteurised cheeses, whole nuts etc. Some of these recopies actually look quite delicious and I have made them for the whole family to enjoy and my daughter loved them. I found it a good natural progression from preparing separate food for my daughter to her eating the same food as the rest of the family. She is 30 months old now and we still make the quick rice pudding recipe for desert sometimes!
Each stage of purees details what age group they are aimed at, how many portions the recipe makes, cooking time, whether they are suitable for freezing and often a top tip. I found that there is a good range of veggie, meat, fruit, cooked and non-cook dishes to choose from. All are straight forward to make and most are very quick.
6 - The final very short part of the book gives a few basic vegetable/chicken stock recipes etc.
On the whole, I have found this a very useful little book full of tasty ideas and now my son is enjoying them just as much as his sister did. You could obviously manage without a puree cookbook and make your own up, but I think it's a really good guide and I would definitely recommend it as it stops you sticking to the same old things day in day out making your babies diet more varied and interesting.
(all of my reviews appear on Ciao under the same name - Ashwick)
Summary: A great little book full of tasty ideas
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