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.
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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
39 thoughts on “Review of the Baby Led Weaning Cookbook”
What a great review! I have to admit, I’m like you in a) I love to cook and rarely follow recipes, and b) really? a BLW cookbook? is that really necessary? Buuuuut…. “Spicy Lamb Patties, Onigiri, Moroccan Chicken, Fish Pie, Thai Green Fish Curry, Broccoli Quiche, Sang Paneer, Oven Baked Eggplant and Zucchini Risotto…” Um, yes please! I *want* that cookbook! 😉
This book sounds like just what I need! My daughter’s favorite food right now is Chocolate – in any form! I need to get her to expand her taste.
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Sounds like a fantastic cookbook that would enjoy years of use by the whole family! AG’s favorite food is vegetable curry, followed closely behind by anything involving avocado. email@example.com
Thanks for the informative review! I also enjoyed reading the book, and am curious to find out how these salt/sugar free recipes tried out. I like the idea of not using salt and sugar in cooking so it’s nice to have these recipes all organized in one place. It’d be great to know which recipes you tested and recommend. I wish there is more information in the book about how to prepare green leafy vegetables or recipes using them. It was hard for babies to ‘chew’ when they didn’t have teeth or only have front teeth. I tried baking kale in the oven to make kale crisps and Veronica liked it, and that was my only success in getting V to eat leaves. She has a lot of teeth now so that’s not an issue anymore, but I still think it’d be a good addition to the book to include information on preparing green leafy vegetables for babies who just started on solids.
ps Veronica’s current favorite food is butternut squash.
Hmmmmmm food for thought! I have seen the book on Amazon but couldn’t see the point as I thought as you did that the whole point was eating what the family ate! I’d love to test drive the book!
Sounds like a great book. My boys favourite food is anything with rice or sweetcorn in it!
H’s favourite is Strawberries … his face is always too cute after he finish with them =)
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My little mouse’s favorite foods these days seem to be asparagus and avocado, though strawberries were a big (messy) hit the other day. He just turned 6 months old a couple weeks ago, so the eating thing is still quite new. My husband and I love making onigiri — what a great idea for a baby! We’re going the baby-led weaning route, but I wasn’t planning on investing in the book. The philosophy seems straightforward enough, and there’s info on the web. However, those recipes sound wonderful, even if only as an aid in brainstorming for meals (and I confess I’m beginning to get pretty curious about what kind of other BLW info fills that book). Thank you for the review!
I’ve literally just finished reading Gill Rapley’s BLW book, and I was wondering if there was any way to find new recipe ideas I could use for the WHOLE family that were *especially* BLW-friendly (pertaining to sugar/salt and ease of manipulation for babies.
My Roo’s favourite food at the moment (and has been for a little while now) is my home made Chicken Risotto.
Fingers crossed for winning the recipe book!
I can’t wait to blw!! My lo favorite food is still bm, but I’m so excited to do this!
My son’s favorite food right now is probably sweet potato…go figure. Haha, but he loves almost anything we let him try! This cookbook sounds like a really good asset!
My little guy’s favorite food is still BM! Excited to start Baby Led Weaning!
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I can only imagine how great this book is!
The BLW book was my baby manual to food – once I bought it I read nothing else…
I want to win this book so much especially as English language books are non existent where I am in France so I always have to order which is annoying at times!
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sadie’s favorite food right now is red fruit: strawberries, raspberries and watermelon! great review. i need to get my own copy of this book. i read the first part and glanced over the recipes…
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We’re just starting BLW now, but my daughter totally digs carrots!
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I’m not entering, because I already have the book. I just wanted to say great review, and that I bet my copy is even more of an oily mess than yours!
I BURNT the cover on the hob the other day while cooking. All the pages are stuck together with egg, and I have scribbled notes on almost every page. But I guess that’s the sign of a good cook book…?!
My daughter LOVES fruit! I’d say that either strawberries or blueberries are her favorite. 🙂
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I shared the giveaway on FB. This is really great, I’d love to have the book!
Haha, oh, never mind! I just realized that the date on this is 2011, not 2012! Feeling silly now.
I’ve read a few just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you set to make such a fantastic informative site.
Reblogged this on Full Circle Doula and commented:
A great review of the Baby-led Weaning Cookbook by GIl Rapley and Tracey Murkett!
Thank you so much! It really helped me to decide what BLW book to buy 🙂