Baby-led

***** Reviews for the Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook

March 8th, 2011

***** Great!, By josiejo (Carshalton)

The book has recipes for everything you’ll eat normally when doing BLW but as a low sugar or salt option, so you don’t lose any flavour or quality with your meal, and you’re all still eating the same thing (my 15 month old daughter hates it if she thinks we’re eating something she doesn’t have these days). I like how it’s got serving sizes too (usually 2 adults, 1 baby).

Example recipes include pizza, fish and chips, fish fingers, home made custard, many different types of muffins (I’m picking these ones out, as it’s good to have these as an option as a treat!) – as well as the more basic guides for the best way to prepare vegetables as you start. The more “healthy” (I say “healthy” as all the recipes are really!) meals include Frittata, Shepherd’s Pie, Thick Lentil Soup, Thick Butternut Squash soup, Goulash, Oven-baked Aubergine and Courgette risotto – so there’s a good wide range in there.

I wish we’d had this six months ago when I had more time as I’m now back at work. This book will definitely be used, but more at weekends.

I’d recommend this to any mum or dad who wants to take the BLW route, anyway!

***** Brilliant for kids of any age, By Stephanie Pearce

My son is 2 years old but has been weaned only using finger foods as per the original BLW book. I was so excited to get the cookbook anyway as I help a lot of other mums as they know I had a son who wouldn’t take spoon fed mush and has eaten independently since 6 months.

I think the book is brilliant. I wish it was around when I had started weaning as it has a lot more ‘how to’ than the original book. It has charts with suggestions based on what skills they have picked up (pincer grip etc). It has a whole chapter on breakfast ideas which aren’t just recipes but other suggestions too.

There are great suggestions and recipes for snacks that mean you can avoid all the expensive premade baby snack food. I’ve only had it a week and have already made homemade pizza, risotto and cheesey lentil wedges. I love that it contains recipes for foods like lentils and aubergines which are healthy and give variety, but you may not know what to do with them. With the recipes provided you know they don’t have too much salt like a traditional adult recipe, but are still tasty. I’ve found if I just leave salt out of normal recipes sometimes they are very boring.

I would give this 10 stars out of 5 if I could!

It doesn’t give step by step, week by week charts of ‘what to give’ but that is the whole point of BLW – you give the normal healthy food that the whole family are eating. And there are loads of ideas and recipes to enable you to learn how to do that – and most of it is very basic, even for inexperienced cooks.

You probably only need to get the cookbook as the info at the front is great and more can be found online. However, the original book is also good for more explaination – especially dealing with childcare and food, or tips for dealing with family who think the baby is going to choke or get skurvy if they aren’t spoon fed x numbers of certain foods.

***** Simple cooking with baby in mind – great for beginner cooks, By Tmesis

Our baby is 10.5 months old, and I’ve been using this book regularly since its release – I’ve probably tried 1/4 of the recipes in it.

We’ve lived on takeaway and restaurant meals for the past five years (no exaggeration – you can do that in NYC). I’m no cook: I know how to follow a recipe, but I find coordinating the timing of different elements stressful and have little confidence in my finished product. By rights I should be feeding my son from jars.

When I heard about BLW, it made so much sense that I immediately decided we’d do it, and I’m very glad we are: it’s a lot of fun and he must be learning much more. The catch, of course, is that I’m having to make him real food from early than I would otherwise have done. There are a lot of ideas on what food to offer in the main BLW book, and I was doing all right sharing ultra-simple meals with him – sticks of vegetable with fingers of meat, or tinned fish mushed in mascarpone on rice cakes, or pasta with sauteed courgette, or scrambled eggs on toast. But that has limited mileage, and I hadn’t the energy or courage to trawl through my husband’s recipe books to find meals that were (a) simple enough to cook with a baby crawling around your feet and (b) not full of salty ingredients.

So the big thing for me is that I find these recipes manageable. Timings aren’t an issue – if there are separate elements, they’re fine to sit around for a bit before being combined. There are plenty of crossover ingredients, so you don’t need a cupboard full of herbs and spices and if you use half a tin of something you can often find a use for the other half in another recipe. You don’t need more than the most basic pans and utensils. A medium amount of chopping is sometimes unavoidable, which is the thing I find hardest to deal with while marauding baby is awake, but it’s kept to a minimum, and there are plenty of recipes that don’t call for that if you’re in a hurry.

Because it’s all very basic, it would be a frustrating or dull book for more experienced cooks. But the assumption is that if you already know what you’re doing, you’re probably capable of ditching the salt and carrying on with your usual recipes. This book is for… well, me. Wow, thanks Gill!

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