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on 18 November 2004
At last a really well-written, easy to read book on child nutrition with excellent and realistic recipes. And it is written by real experts. Unlike Annabel Karmel who purports to be an expert, the two female authors of this book are not only mothers but paediatric dieticians. They know more than simple nutrition, they know the physiology and psychology of babies and children as they relate to food and they explain it in a simple, informative and non-patronising way. But most of all, the book is crammed full of great recipes for all ages. No need to buy several books for different ages, it's all in this one - from babies to school kids, from lunchboxes to parties.
My children are now 5 and 3 and I have only just found this book. I wish I had found it when they were babies. The two female authors write so reassuringly about the stages of a baby/child's learning that you feel like you have got two friends on your side who are holding your hand through what can be a daunting process. They really explain WHY a child behaves as they do and how you can best teach your child to enjoy food. They also cut through the fact and fiction about healthy eating and explain what is and isn't good for your child. All this stuff about LCP's and iron absorption -it's actually quite straightforward!
Part 1 of the book talks all about nutrition and how to put together a healthy diet for your child. It's not long, and it's not patronising. They talk about healthy eating, food combining and essential nutrients. They cover 'coping with feeding problems' and 'managing allergies and intolerances' but for me, the best bit is the advice about sensible shopping and how to read those labels.
The book then moves on guide you through the different stages of your child learning to eat from when he begins solids to when he goes through that delightful self-feeding stage! The recipes in these bits are good but probably nothing you haven't come across before. What is really good, though, is the explanation of how to engender a positive attitude towards eating and the essential do's and don't's of feeding your child.
Finally, the book gives absolutely loads of great recipes for 3 years and upwards covering breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks and drinks. There are even ideas for nutritious party food and recipes that you can cook with your child.
Now that that my family is through that avocado and banana mush stage, it is the daily grind of school lunchboxes and appetising dinners that I was in need of inspiration for.
As the title says, there are 365 recipes and they all seem to be quite straightforward and, well, tasty. OK, there are a few more outlandish suggestions like teriyaki orange salmon parcels and tofu stir-fry but mostly they are just hundreds of different ways of preparing the basic foods and flavours that most kids like. (And besides, the outlandish ones are good ideas for dinner parties!)
For example, my kids love the chicken nuggets and homemade chips and these are so easy to make and far more healthy and tasty than the shop bought variety. This book teaches you that using oil and fat in your cooking is OK because you use far less than is in the shop bought stuff and it is the right kind of fat. Kids actually need a high fat diet (unlike most adults!) so it is OK to use oil and make stuff crispy and then add a bit of salt because, let's face it, that's what makes it taste nice! Hurray, they actually give recipes that taste nice to kids.
And my daughter's lunchboxes have perked up enormously since I started making the recipes for potted chicken spread and salmon and prawn spread, pitta bread crisps and, believe it or not, SALADS like chicken noodle salad and tuna pasta salad.
And as for the puddings - mine only ever got yoghurt or fruit before. I thought puddings were bad for them. But, as the book explains, puddings give you a second chance to get healthy things into them like eggs, milk, fruit, and cereals.
Every single recipe is marked with symbols so you can see if it is high in a certain nutrieint or if it is suitable for vegetarian, wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and nut-free diets.
The reason I would recommend this book so highly is because it gives you all the information you need about feeding your child, at all ages, in just one book. It is concise and to the point and then gives just heaps and heaps of good recipes. This book really does what it says on the can - there are 365 recipes and it will take you more than a year to try them all out so you and your kids will not get bored of the same things time after time.
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on 10 December 2004
What a fantastic book if you have kids.
Being a busy mum of two under 4 I always struggled what to cook them for dinner, many a time I would end up cooking two dinners one for my kids and one for me and my husband, now I have this book I just cook for everyone as the recipes are easily adapted for adults too. I just wish this book had of been out when my two kids were babies as there are lots of interesting and exciting things for them to eat. Some of the recipes are really simple and your little ones can help you cook too. 10/10 for this book
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on 31 January 2006
If you only ever buy one cook book in your life - make it this one! Regardless of the fact it's based on the needs of children, it's a fabulous all rounder for the whole family. Simple and easy to use, great ideas and full of nutricious tips. I've seen other "baby" meal planner books and they don't even come close to this one!
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on 14 January 2005
I can't praise this book highly enough! It's very well laid out and even the pages are tough enough to be wiped down easily. I have tried loads of the recipes already with my own toddler and have recommended it to all the parents in the nursery where I work. I was amazed to find how easy it is to mske root vegetables into a fun and nutritious meal. My son's favourite is Toddler's tortilla but I have yet to try any recipe that he won't eat! A real find!
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on 1 March 2006
It will probably live on my counter rather than book shelf like all my other cook books! I've only had it a few days & have made about 5 different things from it already & marked most of the pages I want to try out! Pretty straight forward meals, snacks, breakfasts etc with supermarket ingredients (nothing too fancy you wont be able to get hold of). Great breakfast ideas I want to try as son doesnt seem to like eating in the morning. I love Annabel Karmel books, but i think this one tops them! Love the way the book can be opened on the page & stay there too!
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on 22 July 2007
I actually bought this book about 2 years ago in a cheap bookshop not really knowing what I was buying. This book is wonderful. Such quick and easy recipes to make.
The individual carrot cakes were a massive hit for my daughters 1st birthday. Most recipes suit adults and children alike. Recommended to all my baby friends!
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on 13 February 2011
Am really pleased I bought this great little (or should I say big) book!
As a busy mum to my 3yr old son, making him nutritious fresh meals is important to me and for some reason I would find it hard to come up with different ideas for lunches/dinners etc and didn't want to resort to quick, convenient alternatives from the supermarket. Anyway after finding this book on Amazon and reading the favourable reviews I decided to get this and so far have been delighted!
The book is separated into ages and has sections for Breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks along with a meal planning section.
I particularly like the fact it tells you if a recipe freezes well or how long it will typically keep as I like to make ahead and freeze some dishes, so this is very useful.
If you have kids and need some ideas I'd say get it as I'm sure it will get plenty of use!
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on 4 September 2008
I feel compelled to comment about this excellent recipe book aimed specifically at babies, toddlers and children. It is the best book of its kind out there and has been an absolute lifesaver. My 1 year old doesn't like food much... in fact he only started eating at 9 months. I tried all sorts of food, bought and otherwise. Quite simply, the most success I have had is with recipes from this book. I currently have one in the oven and one on the stove as I'm typing. I really love the format too. Much more useful than the Annabel Karmel books and a must have for all mums (and dads!).
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on 1 May 2009
Book contains a range of food split into age appropriate sections. Plenty of choice for finger foods even though they're in an older section. Things aren't fried in oil as is suggeested in the Annabel Karmel books. Foods are more interesting with a greater range and combination and flavours. My child was enjoying mild chicken curry at 8 months from this book!
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on 16 January 2009
This is a great book, I have made loads of the recipes, in fact I have made the banana bread recipe probably about fifty times. My copy has been splodged on, ripped by enthusiastic toddlers and it's still going strong. We all eat the meals made from it. It gave me inspiration when I was an exhausted mum feeling overwhelmed by weaning. My kids loved the various mashes. The only one I couldn't make work was first chocolate pudding, which never set for me, probably the exhaustion kicking in!

I tried annabel karmel, but i was put off by some of the weird food she suggested, all seeming to involve boiled fish or chicken livers.

If you are thinking about buying this, do, you will definitely get your money's worth. There is a recipe for sweetcorn chowder I think, which has bacon in it, which is absolutely delicious.
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