A couple of months ago we were sent the brand new Annabel Karmel book, Quick & Easy Weaning. I used Annabel Karmel books when weaning first time round so I was eager to give this one a try with the twins. In my opinion you can’t go wrong with Annabel Karmel; like her other books the book starts off with plenty of information for parents about weaning. It covers when to start, what to try at each stage, first tastes, allergy advice, routines, food to avoid, cooking and storing advice and equipment. What I love about Annabel’s books are the meal planners for each stage so I was glad to see that these were still included. I find these a great starting point for fitting solid feeds into your babies day and they can be easily adapted to suit your own routine. I’ve used them with all three of my children and they have been perfect for us.
The book is separated into different sections for each stage; First Tastes, After First Tastes, 6 to 9 Months and 9 to 12 Months. I like that each section has a little introduction with some information about that stage, such as what you can start to introduce and ideas for finger foods. I’ve noticed this book has given some ideas for no-cook purees, such as banana and peach, which I think is a fantastic idea. Often I would forget about putting something simple together if I was short of time so this is great to give you a little inspiration. The same with sweet potaot wedges, my boys LOVE these and I just didn’t think to give them a try until I spotted them in this recipe book. There is also a brilliant little section at the back for finger foods which I have been using for lunches, my twins love cream cheese and sweet chilli sandwiches and the sweet potato and apple mini muffins have been a big hit with all three of the children (and the adults too!)
I use the book nearly every day and always have it to hand when I am doing the food shop. I can usually find something it in to make once I’ve had a root around in the fridge and so many of the meals can be frozen which is ideal for busy families. I like the layout of this book more than the older version, it feels fresh and uncluttered and the photos are lovely (I really like good photography in recipe books!) There isn’t as much writing as my old book, it gets straight to the point which I like. The recipes cover all food groups and give plenty of ideas to get you started. Most of them have other options for what you could add or substitute if you haven’t got the ingredients to hand and they all say how many portions each recipe makes.
I’ve been very lucky with my twins and they will eat everything I put in front of them so it has been a joy to cook for them using this book. I loved having this book to hand as even though we’ve been through it before you still need a little refresher and some new ideas to give you confidence throughout weaning. It was good to read the information and remind myself of what they can’t eat and I used the meal planners right from the start. Overall I think this book is an ideal companion for the start of weaning and will see you right through the 12 months and many of the recipes will stick around beyond that. I thought I’d share one my twin’s favourites, Cod & Sweetcorn Fish Pies. I don’t eat fish so I’m not very confident at cooking it but is is so important for a babies diet, full of good stuff! I find these very simple to make and the boys go mad for them.
Cod & Sweetcorn Fish Pies
(suitable for freezing, suitable from 9 months, makes 4 portions)
- 450g white potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 20g butter, plus extra for the mash
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 3tbsp plain flour
- 250ml milk, plus extra for the mash
- 40g chedder cheese. grated
- 1 tsp snipped chives
- 150g boneless, skinless cod fillet, diced
- 2 tbsp sweetcorn, frozen or canned
Boil the potaotes for 15-20 minutes until sodt. Drain then mash with a little butter and milk, set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 200C
Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and fry for 5 mins. Add the flour and mix then whisk in the milk to make a smooth sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer for 2 minutes, add the cheese and chives then stir in the cod and sweetcorn.
Spoon the fish mixture into four ramekins and top with the mash, Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden and bubbling
Disclaimer – I was sent Annabel Karmel Quick & Easy Weaning to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.