There are a many many books on weaning, whether to go the baby led or puree route. I had no idea, but luckily had friends and family to ask for advice and the book that came highly recommended by someone who had weaned many babies was Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner – although it wasn’t the latest version at the time I knew that this person knew what she was doing as a former Nanny she had experience!
I wasn’t disappointed, this book isn’t just a recipe book, it’s a guide. The book is split in to sections depending on where you are with weaning so it is really easy to jump straight to the right section if for example you are coming back to the book months later and need help with Toddlers for example.
As well as plenty of brilliant recipes there is tons of really useful information on nutritional requirements, what do you need to know about Milk now your baby is starting to eat other foods, essential vitamins and minerals, water, etc.
There is also a section on Preparing your baby foods, what equipment does Annabel recommend and do I still need to sterilise?
At the beginning chapter two there is a handy checklist of signs that your baby may be ready to start solids such as:
- She is no longer satisfied by a full milk feed
- She is interested in watching other eat
- She is able to support her head and neck well when in a sitting position
At the beginning of each chapter there are handy tips on quantities, which foods to choose, a vegetarian diet, mealtime patience, what to do if your baby chokes, finger foods, what to do if your child won’t eat, etc
Annabel Karmel Meal Planners
In each section of the book there is a meal planner, which is particularly useful if like me you had no idea when to squeeze in milk with all this new food my little one was consuming!
There are meant as a guide to refer to and are useful to refer to from time to time if you need reassurance that your baby/toddler is eating enough / isn’t eating too much
My Favourite Annabel Carmel Recipe
What I really like about this book is that it is full of many baby and toddler focussed recipes but as you move through the book there are more recipes that all the family can enjoy.
We’re always being told 5 fruit and veg a day and I know when I’m giving Beth this recipe it’s just packed with veggies and although my daughter loves her food, there are some vegetables she won’t eat unless they are disguised … courgettes for example. In Annabel Karmel’s Hidden Vegetable Tomato Sauce recipe she incorporates tomatoes, onions, celery, carrots, courgette’s and mushrooms as well as a few more ingredients like garlic, balsamic vinegar and basil to create a delicious tomato sauce.
Every so often I’ll have a massive cook up and fill tons of little Tupperware boxes full of this sauce that can then be used as we need them:
- Pasta sauce stirring in a little bit of grated cheese before serving
- Home made pizza topping
- Add in some grilled chicken pieces and serve with mini roasties
I like the lay out of this book and I find it is a really handy reference guide. I pick it up when I’m not sure about something or I need some inspiration for my now toddler.
Like most books I would say you need to you use your common sense as well, you don’t need every piece of kitchen equipment she recommends for example!