When my boys were born there were a few things I was committed to trying to accomplish. Something right on the top of the list was making my own baby food. I wanted to try and save some money (making your own is SO much less expensive) and I liked the idea of providing meals for my children right from their very first mouthful. The big question was....where to begin?
I received First Meals by Annabel Karmel as a gift right before my boys started solids. This book was incredibly helpful to this neurotic first time mom. The book begins with loads of helpful nurtritional information and the how-to's of making your own baby foods. The book is broken up into sections (6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months, 18 months-2 years, 2-3 years and 3-7 years) and each section begins with specific nutritional tips and answers to common concerns for the age group. Karmel is knowledgeable about the "whens" of giving certain foods which was a huge help for me.
If left to my own devices I would have probably just boiled carrots and mashed them up for the boys. This is fine but so limiting. What about some yogurt and mango puree or a trio of root vegetables? Karmel helped me to realize that baby food does not have to be bland...add some cinnamon or ginger! Now, the downside of this book (for me) was that some of the recipes are a bit overwhelming. I love my kids dearly but I am probably not going to whip up salmon teriyaki with noodles and bean sprouts for lunch. I wish I was that motivated but most days I am not so much. The book does however offer some fabulous inspiration especially during those early days and for those picky eating days as well.
This book would make a great baby shower gift. Even if the mom-to-be does not intend on making her own baby food it supplies valuable nutrition information plus great meal recipes to inspire adventurous eaters down the road. Bon appetit!