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The best baby and toddler cookbooks

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If you love cooking, preparing home-cooked meals is a great way to save money and make sure your family is eating lots of fresh, tasty food. Making time to cook from a recipe scratch can be tricky for parents, but finding new meals that your family love makes it worth it.

Following recipes from a cookbook doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. Recipes using simple, fresh, healthy ingredients can form the basis of so many meals that parents and children will like.

However, it can sometimes be difficult to keep everyone happy at family mealtimes, mainly due to the fact that toddlers are notoriously fussy about what they eat, so aren't going to enjoy the majority of food you put in front of them!

From cooking simple purées for weaning babies onto solids, to tackling fussy eaters and providing healthy, nutritious meals on a daily basis, we've picked the 10 best cookbooks to help you put easy and delicious food on the table for your kids.

Which foods should toddlers and babies avoid eating?

  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Saturated fat
  • Honey
  • Whole nuts and peanuts
  • Some cheeses
  • Raw and lightly cooked eggs

How much should my toddler be eating?

Your toddler should eat three healthy meals a day, plus one or two snacks.
Make sure your child eats from each of the basic four food groups each day:

  • Meat, fish, poultry, eggs
  • Milk, cheese, and other dairy products
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Cereals, potatoes, rice, flour products

Cooking healthy meals from scratch really encourages children to eat a variety of flavours and ingredients.

Not every parent has time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking everyday, but healthy meals can be quick and simple, especially if you cook in bulk for several days.

Buying a special book for weaning and feeding your baby or toddler can help to give you ideas on what to cook and give them a varied diet to eat.

Basic purees are easy to make, often just blended fruit and vegetables and you can adapt toddler meals to suit children of any age or even the whole family.

This cuts down on food waste, preparation time and means you can all eat together as a family.

Look for a cook book that has a whole host of recipes that are quick and easy to make and also suitable for weaning and creating healthy family meals.

Annabel Karmel has published a series of well-known cookery books for babies, toddlers and young children, which are all available to buy at Amazon for a reasonable price.

When should toddlers stop eating baby food?

Weaning your baby on homemade purees is the most common way to start them on solid food, unless you are following a baby led weaning regime.

Baby led weaning is when you don't feed your baby pureed food at all and you start the weaning process by letting them feed themselves with little chunks of food.

Baby led weaning means that babies are in control of what they are eating and how much they eat.

The foods would usually be soft pieces held in the hand, rather than being offered on a spoon.

Some people think that the baby led weaning method is better as children who are allowed to choose their own food are also believed to be less unlikely to become fussy eaters.

It's fine to combine both feeding methods to see what types of foods your child prefers to eat.

Once your baby starts to bring their hands and other objects to their mouth, you can start to offer more finger food (usually around 9-12 months).

Children can start to self-feed from this age, but will not use a fork or spoon until after 12 months of age.

Read on:

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