I’ll be perfectly honest – I couldn’t imagine a need for a Baby-led Weaning Cookbook. I found Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods – and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett to be a quick, easy read, and a cinch to implement. What good would a cookbook do for something already going so smoothly, I thought. Isn’t the whole point to BLW to give your babe what the family is eating? Well, yes, and no.
If you’re a super-healthy eater, preparing a variety of tastes and textures on a regular basis, and salt and sugar don’t even know your address, then maybe you don’t need this book. But, for the rest of us, I’m going to get bold: The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: 130 Easy, Nutritious Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat (and Love!) a Variety of Solid Foods – and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy deserves a place next to Joy (of Cooking, that is.)
Let me be clear before I go any further. No one’s paying me to say this. Though the Experiment, the book’s publisher, sent me a free book, the agreement was that I’d review it and give away the copy I received. I’m actually not going to do that though. I can’t part with my copy, so I’ll be keeping the (oil stained, sticky paged) original copy, and sending one lucky winner a brand-spankin’ new one!
Sight-unseen, I thought this might be a nice little addition to my cookbook shelf for a year or two. But after a thorough test-drive, I’m convinced I could put away all my other cookbooks and just use this one (and maybe that one with 101 chocolate recipes…) It’s less than 200 pages, but packed with great information, recipes, color photos, technique tips, and snippets from BLW Mamas.
This hardcover book is set up in two sections. The first is an introduction to the BLW philosophy, as well as a run down of the basics. I found it to be a well-organized and prettier version of the original soft-cover Baby-led Weaning book.
The second section is recipes – 130 to be exact. The recipes are organized into breakfast, light lunch, soups, salads, vegetables, several “mains,” and a few other fun categories. We tried the book for a month and cooked almost exclusively from it. While I’ve never been one to follow recipes exactly, I found I didn’t have to. Almost every recipe is forgiving and can be changed or improved to your family’s taste with the smallest tweaks.
I was impressed with the variety of cuisines too. This isn’t your Momma’s baked chicken and meatloaf cookbook. Some of our favorites were the Spicy Lamb Patties, Onigiri, Moroccan Chicken, Fish Pie, Thai Green Fish Curry, Broccoli Quiche, Saag Paneer, Oven Baked Eggplant and Zucchini Risotto, and Simple Scones (quite a few times…).
One of the best features of the book is the “Basic Techniques and Recipes” section. Some of us may know how to make stock or pastry dough, but others may think dough is from Pillsbury, and stock comes in a carton. Gill and Tracey make it easy to master a few basics that can serve as a foundation for a pretty rockin’ menu. Don’t know what to do with veggies? They give you the low-down on every possible way of cooking them. Wonder what the rules are for freezing? They cover that too. I’m still surprised how much great info is packed into under 200 pages!
If you’re on the fence between the cookbook and the first BLW book, you’ll likely find the cookbook a great place to start. It has all the information you need on the whys, hows, and whats of feeding your baby from six months and beyond. And your partner just may thank you for cooking something other than sweet potatoes for dinner.
Want to win a copy of The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook? To enter, leave a comment below with your baby’s favorite food, and your email address, by June 10th, at 11:59pm.
If you’d like additional entries, leave separate comments after completing each of the following:
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4. Post a link to this giveaway on your FB or Twitter.
Interested in more BLW fun? Check out the following links for recipes, tips, and stories. More to come throughout the week. If you have your own Baby-led weaning post you’d like us to add to this page, please email megan @ theotherbabybook.com, and we’ll link up!
Mummy in Provence - Ten Tips on Starting Baby Led Weaning
Rosemary from Rosemarius Officinalis – First Tastes and Baby-led Weaning
Janelle from My Son Adrian – Three months of Baby-led Weaning