Emily has worked her way through the weaning process with twins and then again with a new baby girl and is a self confessed foodie. Emily wanted to bring something to the table that was delicious, nutritious and not simply repetitive for busy parents. She has managed to put it all together in 184 pages of inspiring recipes and information. Working her way through purees, meals, snack and drinks she takes you from weaning your baby to feeding your toddler.
I was heartened to discover that her recipes go far beyond the toddler years too, as my eight and ten year old happily ate what their baby brother was eating.
The first thing that struck me about this cookbook, was the gorgeous cover. A really sweet image and fresh colours. It sets the tone for the entire book. Beautiful.
But this book is so much more. It is extremely well planned and set out, so includes the terribly important basic first foods and timings right through to snacks and creative meals for the older baby and toddler.
I really think 'Food Babies Love' fills that gap and more. My baby Charlie is into his third month of enjoying food now and I want, like all of us, to offer him interesting flavours and textures to pique his love of food and, whilst doing that, to make him as healthy as I can. I also have two other boys to feed, and we all like to eat together as a family as much as possible, so the fact that Emily incorporates recipes in this book I was happy to serve up for all of us makes it an instant favourite. In fact it lives on the kitchen bench rather than on the bookshelf with all the other cookbooks I own.
One of the things I love about this book is that Emily has added great tips on adapting recipes to make them easier or more interesting at the bottom of the pages. She also has advice on planning and storing and has practical product recommendations for starting out. I also really like the way she refers to a recipes suitability in how many months your baby has been experiencing food, rather than at a certain age. This makes perfect sense to me as food suitability is down to their digestive system being able to cope, which happens after a certain age certainly, but also after they have been exposed to certain foods along the path, prior to the type of meat for example or the stock or spices.
I love her genius addition of vegemite to some of the recipes. I would never have thought of doing this! It adds a fantastic depth of flavour.
Some of the recipes in this book you might think traditionally too advanced for a young palate, but I think it shows fantastic respect for a babies ability to enjoy all manner of complex flavours. I always believed in offering as much variety as possible in order to ensure my babies ate pretty much everything, as nothing scared me more at the time than having fussy eaters.
Emilys experience seems to support this as does research stating that babies exposed to as many flavours as possible before the age of twelve months, are more likely to enjoy a childhood, and indeed adulthood, enjoying a variety of food. Emily has had this endorsed by Tizzie Hall.
From the delicious casserole above to the fish pie and red lentil dahl below, Charlie has been devouring meals with gusto all week. Admittedly when he eats it is somewhat unrecognisable given the mushing required, but the flavour is there and he was delighted.
Emilys writing is as helpful and practical as an informed mother of three can be, and she has backed it up with paediatrician aligned feeding recommendations.
It is clear that a huge amount of work has gone into this book because the quality is staggering. From the beautiful photography by Guy Lavoipierre to the food styling by Mish Lilley, Emily has had a fabulous team work with her to create what is a gorgeous and informative book about feeding our babies.
You can buy 'Food Babies Love' online from Emily or from selected stockists. Emily also has a blog where she talks about daily food life with her kids.
This really is a great gift for new parents or for when you just aren't sure or you've run out of ideas.
If you are interested in stocking this fabulous book you can contact Emily via her website.
*this is a sponsored post but my opinion is my own
**the photographs of the book used in this post are by my husband