More book reviews (all books from the Seattle Public Library)

Here is a list of books that are available from the Seattle Public Library on cooking for infants and toddlers (as well as some for older kids). There are usually wait lists for these books, but don't be discouraged! Just put yourself on the list and they will contact you when the book is at your local library.

Super Baby Food, by Ruth Yaron. 2nd Ed. Revised. ISBN0-9652603-1-3. Very informative book. "Absolutely everything you should know about feeding your baby and toddler from starting solid foods to age three years." A little on the judgmental side (except for one paragraph in the introduction on page 3). Not all of us have the time, energy or inclination to make of baby's food from scratch. But she makes a good point that it is simpler than most think. Check our pg. 7 for a reference chart on prep and storage of food for infants. There is great insight into starting your baby on solids. As with any advice though, keep in mind that every baby is different. There are also tips on introducing finger foods, self feeding with fork and spoon and travel foods. Then there is a month by month summary schedule for introducing foods in the baby's first year, methods for freezing and thawing foods and then recipes, recipes and more recipes! Don't forget to check out the appendices!

Blender Baby Food, Nicole Young. ISBN 978-0-77880118-4. Great recipes for infants (purred veggies, fruits and grains) and even older kids (smoothies and dips). There are meal planning charts as well that are useful. This one had the longest wait list at the library, so definitely a favorite of moms around here.

Easy Gourmet Baby Food, Chef Jordan Wagman & Jill Hillhouse, BPHE, RNCP. ISBN 978-0-7788-0182-5. Some good advice in the introduction from the Chef and also from the Nutritionist. The Chef talks about variety being one of the best ways to introduce foods and set the stage for a non-picky eater. If your child doesn't like sweet potato steamed, try giving it to them roasted. The Nutritionist talks about the importance of whole foods and fresh ingredients and gives her list of the 12 "Consistently clean" (least contaminated by pesticides) fruits + veggies: onions, avocado, sweet corn, pineapples, mango, sweet peas, asparagus, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli, and eggplant. The "Dirty Dozen" (most pesticide residue): peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, grapes (imported), pears, spinach, potatoes. There are recipes for starting solids (6-9 months) like roasted Banana puree, roasted beat puree and avocado, carrot and cucumber puree. Recipes for Establishing Preferences (9-12 months) include: Mediterranean Fried Eggplant, Roasted Onion Soubise, Chicken with Roasted Butternut Squash and Leeks. Food for Toddlers (12 months +) includes recipes for: Citris Fruit Salad with Fresh Basil, Best-Ever Barbecued Corn, Warm Barley with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan Cheese and Pacific Salmon Cakes. The last two sections are Snacks and Desserts and "Not for Adults Only" Reading through this book made my mouth water! Definitely for those who love to cook and experiment.

Fun Food from Williams Sonoma. 25 Recipes that children can cook. ISBN: 978-0-7432-7856-0. Great first recipe book for kids and its broken up into: kids classics, after school snacks, oodles of noodles,, put on your oven mitts, don't forget the veggies and time for a sandwich. Good step by step instructions to teach kids how to cook and get them involved and interested in food!

The Baby Food Bible, Eileen Behan. ISBN 978-0-7432-7856-0. Great informational/reference book. Its a good one to give you ideas on what to give your baby, how to prepare it and how to store it. There are also recipes for the ingredients discussed.

Better Baby Food, Daina Kalnins, RD CNSD + Joanne Saab, RD. ISBN: 0-7788-0030"Canada's Complete Source"Good information on feeding newborns(breast milk/formula) through toddlers. There is a great chapter on Nutrition facts discussing recommended amounts (US and Canada) and foods which are good sources of vitamins and minerals. For example children from 1-3 years old need 40mg of Vitamin C/day (according to Recommended Dietary Allowances for U.S.) and can be helpful in enhancing iron absorption. Its found in fresh fruits like mangoes, oranges and strawberries and lesser amounts in fruit juices. Then there are chapters of great recipes, organized according to meal. For example - Scrambled eggs with cottage cheese for breakfast, French Toast cheese sandwich for lunch, Chicken Pad Thai for dinner, Tangy salsa for snack and fall fruit compote for dessert...among many more.

The Everything Cooking for Baby and Toddler Cook Book. Shana Priwer and Cynthia Phillips. ISBN 978-1-593337-691-8. A book full of recipes for 4months through 36 months. Great place to get some ideas and mix things up. There are simple recipes for mashed sweet potatoes to recipes for the more adventurous like homemade bagels. An intersting recipe too for tomato risotto...hmmm...I'm going to have to try that one.

Homemade Baby Food, Pure and Simple. Connie Linardakis. ISBN: 0-7615-2790-7. Seems like a good book although I was unfortunately turned off with the first chapter. (Feel free to ignore me up on my soapbox) My issue with it is that in the section on breastfeeding, she makes it sound like you either choose breastfeeding or formula, that it is black and white. While this may be true for many, I know many mothers (myself included) who physically cannot solely breastfeed (even after trying everything!) and must supplement with formula or do not have a choice but to solely provide formula. Making it seem like a black and white choice for all perpetuates the pressure and guilt that new moms feel, especially those who have trouble with breastfeeding. It does not come easily or physically possible for all. (I'm off my soapbox now) The recipes in the book however are good and definitely give you more variety to choose from, so its worth checking out.

Baby Food. Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers. ISBN: 0-439-11017-3. This is not a recipe book, but rather a cute book with great pictures of animals made out of vegetables, like the whale calf made out of an eggplant, the baby monkey make out of a couple of kiwis, the baby giraffe made out of a banana and a lion cub out of a potato. Very cute!!

The library also has boxes available for different subjects. The baby food or "
Let's eat" box contains a printout of finger plays i.e.
"Pancakes" to the tune of "Ten Little Indians" - One little, two little, three little pancakes, etc... It also contains a couple of board books - Let's Eat/Vamos A Comer, ISBN 0-671-76927-8, with pictures of different foods and food related items with the English and Spanish words; Max's Breakfast, Rosemary Wells, ISBN 0-8037-2273-7; The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle. ISBN0-399-22690-7; and I smell Honey, Andrea and Brian Pinkney, ISBN 0-15-200640-0. There are three other books as well: Eat up Gemma, Susan Hayes, ISBN 0-688-08149-5. Pancakes for Breakfast, Tomie DePaola, ISBN 0-15-259455-8 - no words, just pictures and make up your own story; and Games to Play with Two Year Olds, Jackie Silberg, ISBN: 0-87659-169-1.

Ok, a long post, but hopefully it has some useful information for you. This selection of books from the library is better than what I've found in book stores.

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