I was given a copy of Yummy Baby by Jane Clark when I first had my youngest daughter. It claims to be "The Essential First Nutrition Bible And Cookbook" but I was skeptical as this is my third baby and I have always made my childrens food myself and introduced them to healthy foods from an early age so I didn't really think this book would be able to tell me anything. How wrong I was!
Jane Clarke has created a wonderfully informative and interesting book which never feels like it is preaching at me and honestly made me feel that the author has written this book because she has a love of children and wants them all to be the very best they can be. Books of this type usually feel false and over friendly, but not so Yummy Baby - I have read every word in the book and it has a constant space in my kitchen thanks to the unusual and well developed recipe suggestions that help to save me time while cooking the family meals.
The book explains in just the right amount of detail how important it is to get your baby into a routine as far as her milk feeds go (and I loved the fact that it doesn't bleat on about breastfeeding being better than bottle feeding, which we all know but don't all choose to perform) and then discusses weaning and finally best foods and tips for helping your toddler have a healthy attitude to food and meal times.
I like the fact that although there is quite a lot of text in Yummy Baby it is all very nicely laid out meaning I can easily flick through to find the section relating to my daughters age. A lot of the information is given in the form of quick facts and tips that are short enough for me to be able to cast an eye over them gleaning any information that I can use in my daughters day to day routine. This breaks the book up nicely and makes it a joy to flick through while I'm waiting for the kettle to boil or sitting in the garden. To be honest, a lot of the information is what I already know and practice but I think this book would be invaluable to a first time mum. Even when information is given that I am already aware of because of my older children, it is never patronising and is told in a way that is interesting to read.
I think the recipes are the best part of this book. There are over 60 of them which also double up as meals for adults and older children, the recipes are extremely well written and have such easy to follow instructions that even the most novice cook would be able to get good results. I love the way the recipes have details of how many baby and adult servings each meal will provide as it helps to take some of the stress out of mealtimes knowing we are all eating healthy home cooked meals without having to cook three or sometimes even four different meals. The one thing I would have liked in Yummy Baby are details of how well each recipe freezes as I like to batch cook my daughters meals and freeze portions for use another day, it's quite easy to guage from the ingredients whether it will freeze or not but I think this information would have made the book that little bit more useful.
Everything I have cooked from this book has come out well and been enjoyed by all the family. My older girls' liked the veggie burgers while I have developed a love of carrot and orange soup, which my one year old daughter also enjoys immensely. When following the recipes from this book I can be confident that we are eating healthily using fresh foods and low fat/low salt cooking.
The photographs in Yummy Baby are beautiful, they are vibrant pictures of babies eating strawberries or tucking into a particularly wholesome looking soup. The pictures accompanying the receipes are also lovely and show various stages of the cooking process and also what the finished article should look like.
I would not be without my copy of Yummy Baby for another reason. There is a very useful section that covers how food can be used to help your baby recover from common childhood ailments, and how a diet rich in one vitamin or another can help you prevent your child developing these illnesses. My daughter had a problem with constipation when she was around eight months old and using tips and advice given in this book I was able to help her go to the toilet regularly without having to resort to medicine.
A hardback copy of Yummy Baby will only cost you about