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
Jennifer L. says
I would love a copy of this cookbook! I am expecting my first child in June. I love to cook, and I work in pediatric nutrition. I love that Natalia was involved- she has such a great approach!
I have a 1 year old and am always looking for new ideas for both him and his preschool-aged sister!
Jennifer L. says
Also, I already like you on facebook!
This book would be great to help feed some children that I help take care of.
Becca H. says
I have twin girls that are 5 months old. I haven’t started them on solids yet, and this cookbook would be incredibly helpful to me as I’m wanting to learn how to make their baby food. Thanks!
Becca H. says
I’m a long time follower of you on facebook 🙂
I followed you on facebook!
I have a five month old and I’m just starting to think about solids so this book would be perfect! Going to try that fajita salad recipe too, looks like it would be a hit around here!
This book sounds amazing! I have a 10mo old adventurous eater that I love trying new foods with. I’m also an RD and do presentations and consults for parents of young kids so any new ideas for feeding babies is always much appreciated! Thanks for sharing!
I would love this book as my LO has just turned 1 and I’m trying to find all sorts of healthy meals 🙂
I’d love to win because I just started feeding my 24-week old boy solids a few weeks ago!
Like you on Facebook too 🙂
It seems funny to me that the author says “to get more vegetables. ..” but then leaves out the peppers? I would think nutritionally various colors of peppers would have more to offer than Romain lettuce?
Kara D says
I’d love to win this because I’m struggling with meal ideas for my 11 month old daughter.
Kiersten Anderson says
I would love to have a copy of this book! We are just starting solids with our 6 month old and also have a toddler so this would be a great book to be able to read and refer to!
We are planning to add a 3rd little one to the family and I would love to try my hand at homemade baby food! Thanks for the opportunity to win the book!
“Liked” on Facebook.
I would love a copy of this book for my 10 month old son. Trying to get us all on a healthier diet 🙂
Liked on Facebook as well
Both of my sisters-in-law have or about to new babies, and I would love to share this great resource with them! Looks fun, and beautifully presented. And as a dietitian myself, I can be confident Natalia and Jenna provide healthful, appropriate recipes and techniques. Thanks!
Liked on FB as well.
I struggle to feed my 2 girls healthy wholesome foods. Any help would be appreciated!
I have a brand new baby boy. I would LOVE to read this and get some new ideas.