If you’re still in that baby or young toddler phase, I’ve got a book for you. It’s called Real Baby Food: Easy, All Natural Recipes for Your Baby and Toddler written by Jenna Helwig, food editor for Parents magazine, with help from Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD.
What you will find, in addition to fresh, nutritious and easy recipes for babies and toddlers, is top-notch information organized by age (6 months to 3 years). Natalia Stasenko is up on the latest and greatest science and it shines through in this book. There’s information on food allergies, how to introduce solids, strategies for picky eaters, and other nutrition tidbits.
An important part of this book is its emphasis on taste training — exposing baby to as many tastes and textures as possible. This is a time children are very open to food so Real Baby Food helps you take advantage of it.
Here’s more of what the book offers:
- Step by step feeding advice
- Sample meals plans by age
- Top 10 starter puree recipes
- Fabulous finger food recipes like Smoky Squash Cakes and Sweet and Sour Tofu Sticks.
- Family-friendly meals including Tropical Pork Tenderloin, Honey Mustard Chicken, Coconut Curry Muscles and more!
What I like most is the book’s focus on health for the entire family. This means the goal is for babies to eventually eat what the grownups are eating, which not only encourages healthy eating for the whole family but is convenient and cost-effective.
To show you how tasty the recipes are, here’s one for Fajita Salad
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for the grill pan
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lb. skirt steak
- Pinch sugar
- 8 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
- 1 cup canned low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
- tortilla chips
- Put ¼ cup canola oil, the lime juice, scallions, garlic, cumin, and salt into a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Reserve 2 tablespoons of this marinade and pour the rest into a large zip-top bag. Cut the steak into 3 pieces. Add to the zip-top bag and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- Refrigerate the reserved marinade—this will be the basis of your salad dressing.
- Heat a grill, grill pan, or large skillet over medium-high heat, and grease with canola oil. Cook the steak until it reaches the desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium, depending on the thickness of the steak. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Whisk 2 tablespoons canola oil and a pinch of sugar into the reserved marinade to make the dressing.
- Slice the steak and serve at the table with the lettuce, beans, tortilla chips, dressing, and any additional toppings.
A great recipe and book. Let me know how you liked it in the comments!
For more easy recipes and tips on how to serve meals to kids, check out Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution: How to Create a Rotation of Dinner Meals Your Family Will Love