Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Slow Cooker Baby Food Cookbook by Maggie Meade

Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

Margaret Meade is a famous name in cultural anthropology, but this is not that Margaret Meade! Maggie Meade is a cook and a mom who runs and is the author of The Wholesome Baby Food Guide. This book - an alternative to 'who knows what's in there other than sugar and salt' processed baby foods - contains 125 recipes for creating your own 'I know exactly what my baby is eating' foods.

This section discusses the differences between organic and non-organic, but it makes no mention of cost! Organic is often an excuse to bump the price up and nutritionally speaking, organic food is no better than non-organic food. If you buy fresh non-organic food and wash it, there's no reason to fear fruits and vegetables, and the GMO 'worry' is a non-issue as far as I'm concerned, but obviously there is a variety of opinion on these topics and over use of any chemical is an issue. If you're vegetarian, the question of antibiotics in meat isn't a problem either, but it's definitely something you want to avoid as an omnivore!

Part one asks why make homemade baby food and why use a slow cooker? It covers the fundamentals of homemade baby food, slow cooker basics, choosing ingredients and serving them safely, and feeding your baby solid foods at every stage which also contains an important discussion about allergies. Allergies are being re-evaluated and better understood all the time, and things which parents were once urged to avoid with young children are now becoming more and more viewed as foods which ought to be introduced at a relatively young age to avoid children developing allergic reactions later in life, but obviously these are things you need to discuss with your pediatrician. This book also covers topics such as incorporating baby food making into your routine and tools and equipment needed to do so.

Part two covers slow cooking: single ingredient dishes, fruit and vegetable combinations, beyond applesauce recipes, grain-based cereals, and recipes for fingers, spoons, and plates. Towards the back there are sample meal plans, a list of resources, and a comprehensive index.

I have to say that this book appears to have been designed as a print book from the ground up. The pages are in two-page spreads and are legible on a decently-sized tablet computer, but I'd definitely not try using this via a smaller tablet and certainly not on your smart phone, which to me would be a bit of an inconvenience.

That aside the book is well-written, contains good and concise information, and lots of useful advice - plus, of course, a wealth of wholesome healthy recipes to bring children along from the early milk-diet to the regular world of soft and then solid foods as they mature and become accustomed to new foods. Babies are very adaptable, and introducing new tastes at a young age will circumvent many of the 'my kid hates vegetable X' problems as they progress to the otherwise troublesome twos!

Children need to be loved and cared for, but they are tough and do not need to be swathed in sterility and padding and 'protected' from 'evil foods', even at a young age. Careful introduction of a variety of foods at an early age is a great recipe for raising a healthy child at a healthy weight, who has no fear of new foods, and who eats their greens! I think this book goes a long way towards resolving some of those early food issues and I commend it as a useful and worthy read.