Isobel Mary Champion
My Top 10 Weaning Recipe Books!
Updated: Apr 3, 2021
The month of February has been all about weaning for me, I am running a free online Weaning SOS surgery all this month, and you can read Nutritionist Emma West and my own top tips for starting weaning in our recent blog post together. This post is all about recipe books, which when you are doing any kind of cooking, are always good for some inspiration, some professional guidance, and a few nice personal stories from the author!
I have chosen my top 10 weaning recipe books, which has been a really fun process - digging out my own sticky favourites from when I began my own weaning adventures as a nanny nearly 15 years ago, and finding out which fresh new voices are out there, and how attitudes to weaning have changed.
Weaning can be a very stressful time if things do not appear to be going smoothly, and I have worked with many first (and second!) time mums who have put themselves through the wringer because they think they are failing their baby, if their baby just keeps clamping their mouth shut tight! Sometimes all you need to do is take a break, take some time to yourself, and relax a little bit, and things will feel a lot better afterwards. So don't forget - your baby will only eat when they are ready, and when they feel like it!
Sometimes a little inspiration, a guiding voice, and a few glossy pics can really boost your weaning spirits, so why not take a browse through the selection below, get yourself a handful of recipe books (I recommend having more than one, and trying a few different methods and mantras!), and see what works best for you and your baby!
Here is my top ten, starting with number 10! These are my own personal current favourites, and may not suit everybody, but I hope I have included something to appeal to most parents!
10. Fast & Fresh Baby Food Cookbook: 120 Ridiculously Simple and Naturally Wholesome Baby Foods Recipes
by Jaqueline Burt Cote, 2015, Rockridge Press
Written by a mother of 3, these recipes are cheap, quick and simple. What more could you want? A great book for your bookshelf.
Click here to buy the Fast & Fresh Baby Food Cookbook on Amazon!
9. River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook
by Nikki Duffy, 2018, Bloomsbury Publishing
The message is simple - babies can eat proper grown up food, and I love it! I had a copy I used to flip through myself as a nanny, and it is a great contrast to many of the other baby food cookbooks. It includes a foreword by Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall, who gives us his own words of wisdom gained from his own experiences with his children (got to love a bit of Hugh!).
Click here to buy the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook on Amazon!
8. Babyled Weaning for Vegans: 60 Plant-Based Recipes for Babies and Kids that Adults Will Love
by Rachel Boyett, 2017, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Rachel Boyett created her own book after finding there were no vegan weaning cookbooks when weaning her own daughter, and the results are perfect for other vegan parents! Some seriously tasty recipes here (and I confirm, adults will love them too!).
Click here to buy Babyled Weaning for Vegans on Amazon!
7. The Allergy Free Baby & Toddler Cookbook: 100 Delicious Recipes Free From Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Soya, Gluten, Sesame and Shellfish
by Fiona Heggie and Ellie Lux, 2016, Orion
Put together by two mums who both have kids with multiple food allergies, this book is ideal for any other allergy mammas and pappas, or for those wanting to learn more or entertain guests with allergies.
Click here to buy The Allergy Free Baby & Toddler Cookbook on Amazon!
6. Little Veggie Eats: Easy Weaning Recipes for All the Family to Enjoy
by Rachel Boyett, 2020, Vermillion
Life-time vegetarian and mum of three created a recipe book for like-minded weaning parents! Love it!
Click here to buy Little Veggie Eats on Amazon!
5. Whole Food Baby: 200 Nutritionally Balanced Recipes for a Healthy Start
by Michele Olivier, 2016, Apple Press
Baby food blogger Michele Olivier puts an end to bland, dull baby food with ancient grains, herbs spices. I love the fresh and colourful pages and the focus on food quality and origin.
Click here to buy Whole Food Baby on Amazon!
4. Wean in 15: Up-to-date Advice and 100 Quick Recipes
by The Body Coach Joe Wicks, 2020, Bluebird
If Annabel Karmel is the "Queen of Wean", then The Body Coach Joe Wicks is definitely the Prince of Lockdown! Here he is sharing his own experience of weaning his daughter, plus professional advice from nutritionist and weaning specialist Charlotte Stirling-Reed (who I follow on Twitter and also love!). Love the pics and the personal input from Joe.
Click here to buy Wean in 15 on Amazon!
3. Ella's Kitchen: The First Foods Book: The Purple One
by Ella's Kitchen, 2015, Hamlyn
I discovered this book recently and love how vibrant and simple it is! This is probably the book your child would choose! It is fun and cheerful, colourful, and easy to follow (and if you didn't already know, Ella's Kitchen produce a range of best selling products that can also help you on your weaning journey, when you haven't got time to cook!). I also love Ella's Kitchen Cookbook: The Red One (2019), for more fun and easy recipes.
Click here to buy The First Foods Book on Amazon!
2. Annabel Karmel: Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner
by Annabel Karmel (25th Anniversary Edition), 2016, Ebury Press
I began my own weaning adventures as a nanny with Annabel Karmel, who is not called "The Queen of Wean" for nothing! Every parent needs a bit of Annabel Karmel in their lives, she is clear, organised, sensible, and has all the bases covered! Originally published in 1991 and now bang up to date, this is a must for first timers! I also love Annabel Karmel's Baby-Led Weaning Recipe Book (2017), and her equally wonderful Weaning: New Edition, What to Feed, When to Feed, and How to Feed your Baby (2018).
Click here to Annabel Karmel's Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner on Amazon!
1. Young Gums: Baby Food with Attitude: A Modern Mama's Guide to Happy, Healthy Weaning
by Beth Bentley, 2018, Ebury Press
My number one choice! This book blew me away, and is now a huge favourite of mine and I am recommending it left right and centre! Millennial blogger Beth Bentley takes a totally modern and fresh approach to what she terms "mindful weaning", with a fantastically modern attitude to food cultivated by her surroundings in London Fields, East London. She takes us on a journey through her local food market, surrounded by a melting pot of cuisines from all around the world, and is inspired to change our ideas about baby food after becoming dismayed by the processed baby foods she comes up against on the supermarket shelves. Love this book!
Click here to buy Beth Bentley's fabulous Young Gums: Baby Food With Attitude on Amazon!
I hope you have enjoyed reading my selection, and these books have given you a little inspiration and encouragement for your own weaning adventures. And remember to look after yourself, to make sure that you are getting three nutritious meals a day yourself (and plenty of snacks and cups of tea!), and if you are struggling, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help from a friend, family member, neighbour, or somebody like me! If you need some help and support right now, why not visit the NHS weaning advice pages and their guidelines for your baby's first solid foods.
If you are struggling with weaning, I offer lots of support for parents going through this potentially trick phase. I am running a weaning-themed free online parenting surgery until the end of February, which means that you can get in touch by email at any time during Feb for some free, personal advice.
I am also currently running a pop-up coaching session called "Eating is Easy" via Zoom for parents who are struggling with feeding and mealtimes. This is a one-to-one session lasting 2 hours, it costs £80, and includes a free copy of my Positive Mealtimes pack, and one month follow-up support via WhatsApp (you can win an Eating is Easy package plus my favourite weaning cookbook here!). You do not have to be an existing coaching client to book a pop-up coaching session, these sessions are open to all parents! I will run different pop-up sessions and surgeries throughout the year on common parenting hurdles, so sign up to my mailing list to keep up to date with all upcoming events!
And don't forget, I offer a free 30 minute consultation to all new potential coaching clients, so why not get in touch if you fancy a chat!
For more of my thoughts on eating, food refusal and mealtimes, check out my recent posts Is Your Child a Fussy Eater? and Dinner Time Drama! My Spring Newsletter will be coming soon, full of lots of positive, holistic, and sustainable ways to enjoy the joys of Spring. And my very next blog post will feature midwife Shelley aka Babybee Beginnings, who I have lots of exciting new plans to collaborate with! While you are here, why not read my interview about Step Parenting with the Step-In-Mum Veronika Durham, my Better Sleep and Bedtimes post with guest Sleep Consultant Alexandra Collingbourne, and check out my other posts with the lovely Emma West, about Pre-and Post-Natal Exercise, and Pre- and Post-Natal Nutrition!
Check out my other posts for more info and advice on screen time, buying pre-loved children's clothing, declutteringbefore your new baby, and thinking about whether or not your family could foster a child. Visit the rest of my website to find out more about my parenting coaching services, child development, child behaviour, and positive parenting! Get in touch for more information on any of the topics mentioned here or elsewhere on my site, I would love to hear from you!