September 12, 2011

Review: Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler

It’s a lot of fun when your breastfeeding baby starts eating solids. Every meal is an adventure, there’s less pressure on you to nurse all the time, and usually, baby eats anything you give him or her at this stage. What a perfect opportunity to give your child a taste of the most nutritious foods on earth!

If you’ve been breastfeeding exclusively until this point (when your baby is around six months of age), feeding with solids is but an extension of giving your baby the best nutrition. Naturally, you’ll want to give fruits, vegetables and grains that are filled with nutrients and fiber.

If you’ve been formula-feeding, now’s the time to get baby used to different food tastes (formula tastes like cardboard, you gotta admit, whereas the taste of breastmilk varies depending on what Mama ate). This sets the stage to less fussy eating and gives baby a taste for whole foods rather than processed ones.

The best way to do this is to prepare your baby’s meals, instead of buying baby food in jars. Now those things are mighty convenient when you’re traveling, but otherwise, home-made is best.

Baby Love: Healthy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler by Norah O’Donell and Chef Geoff Tracy is the book to help you figure out what to feed baby, how to prepare it, and how to freeze it. (It’s best to make big batches of baby food and then freeze them in ice cube trays for convenience.)


Here are my thoughts on the book:

The Good

  • The book is gorgeous! The photographs will make you drool and inspire you to get cooking. The layout is clean and very easy to read (a big help to tired Mama eyes).
  • There are plenty of recipes, from the very basic mashed bananas (you may not need a recipe for that, but some bleary-eyed Mom or Dad out there might) to the more sophisticated risotto, to meals Mom and Dad can eat too.
  • The book gives plenty of tips and advice on food preparation, including shopping for high-quality ingredients and kitchen equipment, sanitation, food preparation, cooking fundamentals, and storing your baby’s purees. This will make you a better cook, period.
  • The hard-bound cover means the book will last a long time and will withstand minor spills.
  • The Chef’s Notes are wonderful little tidbits sprinkled throughout the recipes that can help make a parent’s life easier.
  • Even though pureeing fruits and vegetables sounds like a no-brainer, the book will give you plenty of ideas for food combinations you may never have thought of.

The Bad

  • Some recipes are truly basic (perfectly basic apple, perfectly basic pear, perfectly basic banana, etc.) and may feel like a waste of cookbook space.
  • Not being spiral bound, the book will probably not lay flat on your kitchen counter. I like to use a book holder like this in the kitchen:

The Bottom Line

If you need a little inspiration and some hand-holding when your baby starts solids, Baby Love is an excellent resource and such a pleasure to use as well.

Click here to buy Baby Love in and get 39% off.
PS: I received a review copy of Baby Love, but that did not influence my review of the book.

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Alexis Rodrigo