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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

cooking for baby

(image from Google)

I have already posted on this blog about making homemade baby food, so for more information on actually making your own baby food check out the post, homemade baby food, May 26, 2011.

I found four books to be really helpful in the beginning stages of feeding my child solid foods.

So Easy Baby Food by Joan Ahlers & Cheryl Tallman - This book came in the baby food making kit I got and posted above earlier on the blog. It has a calendar of first foods by age, detailing when you should feed your baby sweet potatoes versus grapes and meats. It also gives many recipes for making fruit and vegetable purees. A very hands-on, easy to read book. Definitely my favorite from this stage of solid foods.

The Idiot's Guide to Feeding Your Baby & Toddler by Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D. - A good book with lots of toddler age and above recipes in the back. I liked this book because it gave specific suggestions on how much food the baby should be eating, which was something I was always wondering. There is also a chapter on feeding your vegetarian child, which I know at least one good friend, Libby, intends to feed her daughter.

Healthy Meals for Babies & Toddlers by Valerie Barrett - This book is a basic book and had a few recipes. It was not packed full of information, but overall a good one to lend from the library perhaps. The one thing this book did have that others did not and that I found extremely useful was a weaning plan on page 10. It went through five stages of eating, from newborn to 12 months, approximately when and what the baby should be eating with milk and solids. It was really good to base our feeding patterns on. It also gave a good outline of what a serving for an infant and toddler should be.

Take the Fight Out of Food: How to Prevent and Solve Your Child's Eating Problems by Donna Fish - I read this book a couple of months ago when my new toddler decided he hated vegetables and liked bananas one day and then not the next. It was a great book! Really helpful. The best thing I learned in this book was to not make desserts a treat, just make them part of the meal so as not to glamorize them. Also, the other great thing I learned in this book was that feeding your child good nutrition is not something you should assess on a daily basis, but rather on a two-week basis. If you make sure your child gets some fruits and veggies in her diet in the two weeks, the majority of the meals, she is doing great. If you end up going to a barbecue or birthday party and she has cake and too many crackers or a few chips, it's OK. I loved hearing this, because when Owen started having a mind of his own about what foods to eat it was so frustrating to me, trying to make sure he got enough vegetables. Then I realized if I just make sure the majority of his meals are packed with good foods, on those lunch days where he throws the green beans it's really going to be OK. I definitely suggest everyone read this book, especially when your child gets to be a toddler or older.

I have a few books that I'm looking into reviewing from the library about cooking for baby. If you know of a good one, let me know! More to come...

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