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Feb 22, 2011 06:45 PM

Best Baby Food Cookbooks


I have a 1 month old son, and when I introduce him to solid food at the 6 month point want to make sure I mix in flavors and textures as appropriate. Are there baby food cookbooks that sort of give you the best of both worlds - the basic puree, but also stuff that's more adventurous - a flan or custard, things roasted instead of steamed etc. This doesn't just have to be for 6 month old.. I'd like something that might work for many months as they try more and more solid food..

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  1. Not a cookbook, but the only resource I've used beyond common sense is the website It's a very good resource. Just have fun!

    3 Replies
    1. re: MrsCheese

      The Fresh Baby, So Easy has good staples, but nothing too fancy. I'd probably second the recommendation for the website.

      1. re: momnivore

        Also I'd suggest getting a handheld submersion mixer. Once ny boys got older (10 mos.) I would just use that to chop/blend whatever we ate for dinner to various appropriate consistencies. It was so much easier than a food mill or food processor.

        1. re: momnivore

          That's true and I ended up breaking the bowl of my processor after so much usage for baby food, so now I need a new processor! So better to go with a low cost investment item here. The bowl didn't crack, but the spring-loaded handle mechanism just fell out one day and I couldn't get it properly reassembled.

    2. Actually, when you start giving him solid food you DON'T want to mix anything. You want to give him one food at a time introducing new things about a week apart so that you can isolate any problematic food. Plus, they have an extremely high sensitivity to their first foods so seasoning isn't necessary or advisable.

      My grandson is approaching 6 mo and we've just begun giving him banana and moved onto steamed carrots. Here are simple cheap things that I have found most useful: This thing is so no tech, available, cheap and effective it's unreal. You can slip it in a baggie and have it with you everywhere. These spoons (I bought 2-packs of them at Target without the bowl) are wonderful -- soft, flexible, neutral termperature, baby can't take his/her own tonsils out with them when they try to feed themselves. They're *exactly* the same thing W-S is selling packaged by Bebba for about half the price. Puree any simple steamed veggie, sturdier fruit (like apple), or grain (like brown rice) leftovers in the masher bowl and spoon them into a silicone or silicone-bottom ice cube tray such as this then pop them into baggies in your freezer for anytime in the future. Simple low tech food mill that works as a piston (you provide the downward pressure that forces cooked foods upward) and sweeper (crank sweeper across die that purees anything including meat. Comes apart to wash the 3-4 parts in the dishwasher. Goes along to restaurants for meals on the go.

      When you've introduced a range of foods then you can start balancing a meal with some grain, veggie, fruit, well cooked and pureed meats from those leftovers you've been collecting in your freezer.

      Eventually, your toddler will eat what you eat. My kids went to Mexican and Indian restos and everything in between with us and enjoyed ethnic foods from the time they were between a year and 18 months.

      1. I went through the same thing last year (son just turned one) and couldn't find a cookbook that wasn't full of "steam vegetable and puree with water" recipes...duh! So I ended up mostly using like the other posted noted. It helped me think of other ways to make my purees more flavorful, either through blending foods or roasting, etc.

        1. I bought a few - Le Petit Appetite, Cooking with Baby - but must admit that I didn't use either at all, although I intended to. I am a great big recipe slave when cooking for the grownups, but I found baby-food making pretty intuitive; once you've tried each ingredient separately, you can try combining them. So once you've tried sweet potatoes, and apples, and then sprinkled a little cinnamon on the apples, try mixing all three of them together.

          I did want to say, though, with all respect to Rainey, that opinions on seasoning baby food vary; I had one camp of friends-with-babies who believed that you shouldn't season anything, because it will train their palates to accept salt etc. and it's best to keep their food plain and pure as long as you can get away with it, and another camp who believed that once you'd gone through the single-ingredient paces then you should season your baby's food as you would your own (within reason, i.e. go easy on the cayenne), because since the kid was going to eat your cooking eventually anyway you might as well get them used to it. Depends on what you and your pediatrician are comfortable with -- and, of course, what your kid will more-or-less-willingly accept. Mostly that last part. :)

          1. This one was great -- covers all the phases up to about age 5: