What is a perfect baby food cookbook? If you ask me, I would go for an array of simple and nutritious recipes combined with nutritional advice many parents need so desperately during this formative period of introduction to solids. And please give me some gorgeous pictures to pick me up on those exhausting early mornings.
Jenna Helwig’s book Real Baby Food is all of the above and more. Here are just some of the questions it answers for you:
- What is a good first food?
- How often my child needs to eat?
- How much is a serving and what happens if the baby wants less or more?
- What about food allergies?
- How can I store baby food and how I can combine different purees so that my baby has more variety and I have less waste?
When Jenna invited me to help her write Real Baby Food I could not be more excited. The timing was just perfect as I was expecting baby number 3 and the topic of introduction of solids was becoming closer and dearer to my heart every day.
My favorite parts of this project? Getting an early access to Jenna’s delicious recipes as I was doing their nutritional analyses (shhhh) and digging deep into recent research and guidelines to provide the most up to date nutritional advice. Yes, I am that geeky.
The book turned out just great if I can say so myself. Here are just a few of my favorite things about it:
1. Easy to follow, with beautiful pictures and short, delicious recipes.
2. The recipes focus on variety, with addition of spices and herbs early on (great for educating those little taste buds!)
3. Although recipes look perfect, there is noting intimidating about them. The book will teach you how to make your own baby cereal, tomato sauce and other staples that seemed too much work to make at home.
3. The book inspires to be creative in combining the versatile purees in different ways through the brilliant Puree Playdates chart.
4. It comes with comprehensive nutritional essays on important topics such as The New Rules for Allergies, Baby Led Weaning, Raising a Vegetarian or Vegan Baby and Toddler, Should Your Baby Go Gluten Free and others.
5. It is full of adventurous combos: rosemary roasted pears, curried cauliflower with chickpeas, sweet and sour tofu sticks and beets in yogurt with dill are just some of my favorites.
Enter below to get your copy of Real Baby Food cookbook. Good luck!
Beets in Yogurt with Dill
Makes about 1½ cups
Forget the fact that these beets are smooth, creamy, and surprisingly sweet. They are worth making for the bright magenta color alone.
1½ cups chopped, cooked beets (about 10 oz.)
2 tablespoons plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/8 teaspoon chopped dill
1. Purée the beets in a blender until smooth.
2. To serve, stir together 2 tablespoons beet purée with the 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with the dill.
Nutrition per serving (¼ cup): 40 calories; 3g protein; 2g fat (1g sat. fat); 4g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 3g sugars; 37mg sodium; 44mg calcium; 0mg iron; 87mg potassium; 5mg Vitamin C; 438IU Vitamin A
Excerpted from Real Baby Food, © 2015 by Jenna Helwig. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Photo credit is:
Photography©2015 by Lauren Volo