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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 27 May 2004
My husband & I purchased this book on the advice of our health visitor and have not looked back since. The daunting task of weaning our son (he is our first) was made very simple by following the sensible & practical advice about nutrition & the introduction of new foods to babies & toddlers Annabel Karmel offers.
By starting our son slowly on baby rice for the first two weeks as suggested & then gradually introducing more adventurous foods, we now have a healthy, lively & energetic 19 month old, who eats everything that is placed in front of him with no fuss.
The recipes ranging from 'Lovely Lentils, Baked Sweet Potato & Orange' to 'Fillets of Fish in Cheese sauce' have meant that our son has been eating balanced & nutritious meals without additives or preservatives since he was four months old.
The meal planners are invaluable, saving time when there is little by having a weekly straight forward outline that is simple to follow. Freezing recommendations & portion guidelines have halved the time spent in the kitchen as favourite recipes can be stored for use at a later date & we get to spend more time with our son.
For our son's 1st birthday all the dishes were made using this cookbook and the adults loved the variety of food on offer as much as the children. Some family favourites are 'Chicken with cornflakes' & 'My favourite pasta with broccoli'
I highly recommend this book as a first recipe book for parents facing the weaning process.
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on 16 December 2008
I bought this book on the recommendation of so many mums, and it was a great help to get started through the minefield of weaning - I found the first and second stage recipes a great help, although some of the second stage ones are a bit too similar.

Unfortunately, having now reached the 9-12 month section, I'm finding it a bit less useful. The recipes still seem to be based around creating a purée, when my 9-month old is quite happy with lumps and likes finger food. I was also very surprised to see the 9-12 month menu planner with milk feeds 5 times a day, and had hoped for some direction in reducing these.

I notice Amazon package this book with the 100-purée book - having bought one and borrowed the other from the library, I'd say the content is about 90% the same, so save your pennies and just buy one!
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on 7 September 2001
I was surprised by this book. Every one I knew pointed me in the direction of Annabel Karmel, but this is really all old hat. Of course, children need fruit and vegetables, but, on balane (and I speak as a fully qualified nutritionist with two children), the meals are not all that healthy and they (importantly) are not practical. In other words, not for the average parent.
The concept of real nutrition seems to have been ignored in favour of fun. While I endorse fun fod for kids, it teaches them nothing if they eat 'fast food alternatives' all the time. I reccomend Karen Sullivan's Commensense Healthcare for Children, which seems to have much, much more of what practical, busy parents need to know. Shame, really. A good book in the making, but it fails to deliver.
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on 30 December 2011
If anyone buys this book,before you give your baby that mixed Dried-Fruit Compote pg 36 which includes dried apricot, read info on pg 96 about warning on dried Apricot.
That pg96 is for babies from 9 months but what the recipe on page 36 doesn't say is that 'important information' which reads; 'Some dried apricots are treated with sulphur dioxide to preserve their bright orange colour; these should be avoided as they can trigger an asthma attack in susceptible babies. Don't give your baby lots of dried fruits as it can be difficult to digest- and laxative.'

Since the information can only be found from 9 months recipe,I had already made lots of it and literally fed it to my baby every day as she was only about 6-7months then and had not read the follow on pages [in this case pg96 which is for babies from 9 months. How I found out? Well my baby is 9 months now and was looking for 9 months recipes and came across this vital information which was left out at the time the recipe was introduced earlier.

My baby is currently being treated for possible Asthma linking to a cough she has had for 2-3months linking to the time I gave her this recipe, and I do not wish that any babies get this too. Be warned and if possible, give your babies fresh fruits and vegetables only instead of dried ones. I have emailed Annabel's company and suggested that this book be withdrawn and they should appologise to any mums who have tried this recipe without knowing.

I believe when it comes to babies one has to be careful and it's a shame that this was ignored or not well quality checked.Shame
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on 6 December 2005
This book has been absolutely brilliant in helping me to introduce all kinds of food to my baby who is now nearly 10 months old ( I am still using it). Whilst I am a keen cook and have commom sense, when it comes to feeding babies I was not sure on how adventurous I could be. This book has given me total confidence and some great ideas and my baby has not yet refused any kind of food I have given her. By the way, you do not have to be an advanced cook to use this book.It really makes you think about texture and flavour and avoids your baby having pureed pear for months as some other books suggest. A must have in the kitchen and in baby's tummy!!
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on 10 April 2008
I have follwed the older version of this book avidly from beginning weaning my daughter at 5 months to where wer`re at now (9 and a half mths).
I have kept renewing this new edition (updated with current feeding guidelines and better recipe ideas)from the library so often that Im going to have to buy my own copy now as I`m not sure how many more "loans" I can get out of it!
But seriously, I really recommend it and all the mums I know use it daily too.
It`s got great ideas on how to start weaning and how to move babes through new foods and textures, ace recipe ideas, meal planners (which balance their diets for you - meaning one less thing to stress about) so all you have to do, is sort out a mass shopping, batch cooking and freezing session once a month! (Which is hard work -but well worth it..becoming a mum certainly forces you to become more organised.)
Then with a freezer full of good home cooked meals you can relax and just sort out fresh (unfreezable) breakfasts each day!!

One update to this edition, is the addition of which recipes are actually safe to freeze, among other good suggestions.

Get it, u wont regret it!
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2006
The book has a general introduction, then sections on first stage and second stage weaning, 9-12 months, and toddlers. In the first stage weaning section there are 4 seven day meal planners. In subsequent sections there are seven day meal planners. There is also general information in each section.

I found the general information useful and interesting. But - to my own surprise - despite this I am not very keen on the book and would not recommend it as "the only weaning book you will ever need". I see it more as being a useful back-up. There are three reasons for this.

First, I didn't find that the section on first stage weaning provided me with enough information and guidance. I was very nervous about weaning, and really wanted something which gave much more information about suggested feeding amounts. As a result I tended to rely much more on Gina Ford's weaning book.

Second, I don't feel entirely confident about the protein content in some of the main meal recipes. My understanding is that a baby aged between 9 and 12 months needs about 50g animal protein a day - but the meat and fish meal servings here just don't seem to me to provide anything like this amount. Maybe I'm missing something - but I don't want to have to worry about this.

Third - I found that my baby absolutely refused to eat a very high proportion of Annabel's recipes, particularly the vegetable ones. I don't think this is just because he is a fussy eater - because he really isn't. He just gobbles up the recipes from other books without any complaints. But Annabel's are surprisingly unpopular. I'm not sure why this might be. The only thing I can think of is that many of the recipes are very simple - perhaps they have been over-simplified? Or perhaps my baby is just an odd-ball!

Anyway, the end result is that I used the Gina Ford weaning book as my weaning bible, and flicked through this one a bit for fruit and breakfast recipes. The fruit recipes I must say are delicious. But I'm not so keen on the rest of it.
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on 10 December 2013
A really disappointing book. If you cook at home and eat reasonably healthy you will be puzzled by the idea of giving mayo and sugar to your baby. Most recipes are so basic that they barely qualify for a recipe. If your baby is at the first stage of weaning, then you really don't need to buy a book to know that you can whiz peas and courgettes together for your child. I have recently bought a family cookbook with wholesome everyday recipes for the whole family, including babies and toddlers, and it is much better than Karmel's. I would recommend buying a good cookbook and modifying the recipes to suit your baby.
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on 11 October 2001
This book is a must for Mums who want to provide healthy nutritious home-made food for their kids. It isn't always easy to prepare vegetables and fruit in particular, in ways which children will accept. This book provides the solution for a healthy diet. My son has rejected nothing yet, he loves the food on offer and eats well. The majority of our population would benefit from a similar diet as most people don't have enough natural fibre in their diets. Quick and easy recipes, most can be frozen, using a wide variety of ingredients. Unlike some other review comments, I find the recipes exceptionally easy to follow and the meals quick and easy to prepare.
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on 10 April 2006
My husband and I found this book to be invaluable. We have used it both as a resource to check when & what we should be feeding our little girl, & as a recipe book to make all her foods for her.
She now (at 7 months) has a varied diet including fish, chicken & vegetables that she eats with pleasure & enthusiasm. This book provides great ideas for food combinations that you wouldn't necessarily consider, one of our daughters favourites is banana & avocado.
We think it is essential reading for every parent & will give a copy to all our friends when they have children.
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