Quick & Easy Weaning, Annabel Karmel

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Weaning your baby can be a tricky milestone for any parent, but with her years of experience and wealth of expertise, Annabel Karmel is on hand to help.

In her new book, Quick and Easy Weaning, Annabel aims to take the stress out of your baby’s transition to solid food, guiding you through the weaning process step-by-step, from your baby’s very first purée to introducing more complex flavours and textures.

Featuring 100 delicious recipes, including tasty purées such as Baked Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash, first tastes of grown-up foods like My First Beef Bolognese, and nutritious sweet treats like Pear, Apple and Blueberry Crumble, Annabel makes it easy for you to give your child the very best start in life.

Publisher: Ebury Digital, June 2014

Reviewer: Briony Stebbings

Already a household name Quick & Easy weaning is the latest book from Annabel Karmel. It covers everything you need to know about feeding your baby it the first year and is jam packed with amazing recipes and helpful advice.

My little one is 9 months old and I found I was provided with an abundance of information about the first stage of weaning, just getting him his first tastes and moving on to 3 pureed meals a day, but from that point apart from knowing the next stage was texture I felt a bit lost and on my own. There are plenty of books and articles out there, almost too many, overwhelmed I just plodded along doing what I felt was best. When this book arrived on my doorstep I we were happily eating textured food and even some lumps, I still didn’t know if what I was doing was right and I was running out of ideas and recipes of what to feed him.

The first thing I did when I got this was to flick through all the lovely recipes and look through the pictures, getting some ideas of what I could be doing for him. All of the recipes have a simple guide letting you know if they are freezable, what age they are suitable from and the approximate amount of portions they make, this makes the book really simple to use.

There are recipes from first tastes and purees, to more ‘grown up’ food like pizzas and stir-frys. What I like is that for a lot of the recipes that can’t be frozen they are suitable for the whole family- take the Salmon Nuggets for example, not suitable for freezing but despite being designed for a 9 month old they are most certainly suitable for a peckish mummy and daddy! Personally I find this brilliant, I’m pescatarian – my husband isn’t ;  I often find myself having to cook two meals of an evening, so having to cook three often leaves me feeling like banging my head against the fridge door! I have to say my new favourite sarnie filling is cream cheese, cucumber and sweet chilli sauce, another recipe from the book, so you see what I mean, not just great for the baby but meals you can enjoy together as a family.

As well as an abundance of great recipes at each new food stage there is loads of straight forward and useful advice. ‘How do I know when my baby is ready to wean?’, ‘Getting into a routine’, ‘Allergies’ it’s all covered. There are also really handy weekly meal planners, giving you ideas of what to feed and when to feed it. I actually liked reading back over the stages we had already completed to see how what Annabel suggested compared to what I had done. Reassuringly we were on pretty much the same page, and as any new mum will tell you, you literally do nothing other than worry if what you are doing is right, so it was nice to see that I was on the right track. I also got some new ideas like using grated apple as a way to introduce more texture, I would never have thought of doing anything other than making apple puree for him until he was old enough to eat sliced apple or finding out that he could eat weetabix.

Now we are getting finger foods into the mix there are loads of great recipes ideas and even more practical hints and tips, like dealing with teething and (fingers crossed I won’t need it) choking.

I would recommend this book to any parent, old or new, the recipes are great and the advice is what I like to call good old sensible advice. I haven’t read anything I thought was dumbed down, preachy or just plain ridiculous, it has all been just nice, take it or leave it advice.  I can honestly say I wish I had had this book from when my son was born.  I love it and will be using it for quite some time to come.  Even when he is older the recipes are all healthy and tasty so I will be making and feeding them to him and us for many years to come.



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