When it was time to start weaning Crevette six years ago, a friend recommended Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner. As soon as I opened the book, I knew I would love it. It read well, the images were bright, the babies happy and the food looked incredibly appetising.
I found the information about the best foods to give a baby at the start of the book really interesting. It gave me the confidence to get started. As soon as I opened it, I knew would find out everything I needed to know to start weaning my first born. I loved the meal plans, which I used and adapted for my first three children. It was like being held by the hand but having flexibility as well.
The recipes are really nice, simple to follow and some of them have become staples for the whole family, like Annabel’s cottage pie or the chicken and apple balls. The book is covered in food stains and does not get put away with my other cookbooks. Instead, it takes a place of pride in the kitchen on my cookbook holder.
Whenever one of my close friends has had a baby in the past six years, I have bought this book as a present. As you can imagine, when I was asked whether I wanted to review Annabel’s latest book, Quick & Easy Weaning, I jumped at the chance. It follows the same format as my much-loved meal planner.
I wish the section on Allergies had been in the first book as it would have saved a lot of heartache a couple of years ago. I had no idea about allergies at the time, and it would have helped me recognise the signs of food allergy in Jumpy.
First and foremost, the book is informative, well-written and interesting, with headings such as: No-cook purées, Milk, Offering fist foods, Raw or cooked, etc.
Until she was six months old, Wriggly was breastfed exclusively. On the day she turned six months, I bought her a couple of beakers and tried giving her some water. She spat it all back.
The following day and for three days after that, I tried giving her a couple of teaspoons of mashed organic carrots her big brother had proudly peeled for her, but it did not go down well. My initial attempts at weaning were a complete and utter flop. Every single time I was offering a spoon of purée; she would gag, and at times vomit if anything at all had made it to her throat.
That was followed by three days of mashed pears. Still no luck… A stick of cucumber brought more gagging and vomiting. Sweet potatoes? Well, I will let you guess.
I gave up for a bit as she was sick and was struggling to breathe as she was so congested, and kept vomiting. Despite her disgust towards any food I was offering, she was breastfeeding more and more regularly and sleeping less and less. She clearly needed more bulk in her diet.
The following sentence in the book struck a chord: “if they are really resistant to trying the food, take it away and try again another time – it should not become a battle.” She simply was not ready and I stopped stressing about it. She would eat eventually.
When Hubby gave her two small pieces of satsuma and she sucked the juice before she asked for more, we knew she might be ready. I resumed using Annabel Karmel’s weaning guide when Wriggly turned seven months. We tried puréed carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes, but my little girl was still gagging after each mouthful. Apple was the only purée she seemed to like. She was not a huge fan of baby porridge either, but she was eating a couple of spoons of the sticky mixture most mornings. She quite enjoyed plain rice cakes and feeding herself.
At nine months, my little girl now tries everything I give her. She really likes to be independent and loves eating steamed vegetables, yoghurts and biscuits. I still make some purées for her, and the ones combining fruit and vegetables are always a hit, like my mashed butternut squash, sweet potato, pear and rosemary. She also loves Annabel’s butternut squash, carrot and broccoli purée.
I have one copy of Quick & Easy Weaning by Annabel Karmel to give away.
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Entries are open until midnight GMT time on 31 March 2015. Good luck!
RAFFLECOPTER – Quick & Easy Weaning by Annabel Karmel
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Once you are logged in, the first and mandatory entry option is to leave a comment on this post telling me what you would recommend giving as a first food. For extra chances of winning, check the instructions in the form. You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment. You must also leave a comment for your entry to be valid.
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– I was sent the book as well as a copy to give away for the purpose of this review. No payment was received. All opinions and photographs are my own.