Little one getting ready to wean?
But, are you ready? With so much conflicting information and decisions over whether to traditionally spoon-feed or opt for baby-led weaning can lead to confusion for many parents. Forearmed is forewarned – and that’s why we’ve rounded up 15 of the very best weaning books to help you all through this exciting new phase (although, we can’t guarantee there will be no Jackson Pollock style situations ahead!)
You know your baby and ultimately you know what is best, whether you decide to spoon-feed, be led by them or, do a little of both these books will inform, inspire and encourage you from day one and beyond.
IDEAL FOR: The Classic Approach
Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner and Weaning Made Simple
We can’t mention weaning without mentioning “The Queen of Wean” herself – Annabel Karmel. The mother of three continues to reign as the UK’s number one children’s cookery author, best-selling international author, and a leading expert on devising delicious, nutritious meals for babies, children and families. This, her first book published in 1991 continues to be a bestseller – and, is the ideal place to start when beginning your babies weaning journey. This brand-new, illustrated edition of the New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner brings together up-to-date recipes (and some new dishes), handy advice and tips, stunning colour photographs and some time-saving menu charts to help you shop and plan ahead. No weaning journey is really complete with Annabel by your side!
Her newest book Weaning Made Simple features helpful lists and guides, meal planners, portion guidance, actual-size finger food illustrations and easy-to-follow information on everything from starting out and reducing milk feeds, to critical nutrients, allergies and special diets.
BUY HERE >> Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner (25th anniversary edition) by Annabel Karmel and pre-order Weaning Made Simple by Annabel Karmel
IDEAL FOR: Those Who Want to Cook All-Natural
Real Baby Food
Nothing really compares with making your own baby food: It’s fresh and unprocessed, you choose what goes into it, and it is a delicious way to introduce your child to a world of flavours. And, in Real Baby Food you’ll find 100 meals that make the process easy, fast, and flexible for busy parents. Inside you’ll find the building blocks of starting your child on solid foods, how to recognize food allergies, and easy ways to cook in bulk – as most can be made ahead and frozen, with many easily adapted for grown-up tastes and other younger members of the family. All recipes include full nutritional information too.
BUY HERE>> Real Baby Food by Jenna Helwig
IDEAL FOR: Modern, Millennial Mothers
Young Gums: Baby Food with Attitude
Written by Award-winning food blogger Beth Bentley after she began devising her own simple recipes and sharing them via Instagram feed. As a first-time mum living amongst the vibrant emerging food scene of East London Beth felt confused with the conflicting, often outdated, information she was receiving about how to feed a baby well. Young Gums makes weaning fun and simple with a combination of baby-led and spoon-fed nutritious, wholesome recipes that are packed full of flavour – waving goodbye to fruit-sweetened, unidentifiable purees and instead offering up real, delicious food that the whole family can really enjoy. Renown chef Skye Gyngell described it as ‘a breath of fresh air for new parents’.
Focusing on just a few great ingredients, clever flavour combinations and easy cooking methods, these 60+ meal ideas can be scaled up easily so that the family is able to enjoy the one meal – together; a practice that will help your baby develop good eating and social habits. And even better, the majority can be made using just one hand and just one pan!
IDEAL FOR: Shaking up the Basics
Whole Food Baby
A collection of 200 recipes that include baby’s first foods all the way through to toddler recipes. Packed with whole foods, spices, herbs, and flavors that will not only delight your baby’s culinary palate but also provide the essential building blocks for babies’ growth and development.
Bland and boring baby food is a thing of the past. As baby food blogger and author Michele Olivier encourages you to whip up baby purees and toddler meals with seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy ancient grains like quinoa and millet, and spices and herbs spanning from cinnamon and curry to basil and chives that are full of flavour and nutrition. Hopefully this will help cease the beige food epidemic and picky eating phase by providing colourful and yummy foods for your baby from the very start!
IDEAL FOR: Starting with Baby-Led Weaning
Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning
We love this guide to baby led weaning (BLW) that empowers you to help your baby feed themselves. Helping them develop motor skills and develop an adventurous palate all the while making meal preparation becomes easier and cheaper for you. In Simple & Safe Baby-Led Weaning you’ll learn when to begin baby led weaning, and find out what to expect along the way. Pick up practical advice for creating balanced meals and eating them together. The brilliant handy to-scale diagrams takes the guesswork out of safe serving sizes too.
IDEAL FOR: Weaning the Organic Way
The Big Book of Organic Baby Food
This baby food cookbook is the one that does it all. Natural, organic, and irresistible recipes take your baby from infant to toddler and beyond. Ideas for purees, smoothies, finger foods, and meals abound. From Sweet Potato Puree to Pumpkin Smoothies to Maple-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Green Beans, The Big Book of Organic Baby Food offers over 230 healthy and wholesome recipes to start your baby onto the path to organic eating. With suggestions on how to make the meals family and adult friendly too, this is one baby food cookbook that will serve you for years.
IDEAL FOR: Those who like to plan-ahead
Ella’s Kitchen: The First Foods Book
Ella’s Kitchen is a baby and children’s food company founded by Paul Lindley (when he was deputy managing director of Nickelodeon) and trying to wean his reluctant daughter Ella. The range is based on simple, natural ingredients that oozes goodness and really appeal to children. Not only that, it’s one of the fastest growing baby food brands in the UK and its ready prepared meals, pouches and snacks offer much convenience for busy families. But, if you want to get the the heart of Ella’s Kitchen – its collection of family cookbooks are amongst are favourites (Read about the Easy Family Cookbook here) – there’s no better place to start then with this one.
Covering every step of the weaning journey, from six months to a year it includes more than 130 recipes (from single-veg purees to exciting combinations and full meals) and every one has been rigorously tested to ensure it meets with Ella’s Kitchen nutritional standards. Jam-packed with colourful pages and photographs, practical advice and amazing weekly meal planners that show you just what to expect – the pull-out chart included in the book should be stuck on your fridge or wall – it will ensure you stay organised.
IDEAL FOR: Adventourus Francophiles
Bébé Gourmet: My Baby Recipe Book
As the saying (or the book goes) ‘French Kids Eat Everything’ so, if you fancy trying the French approach to cooking and more specificity weaning then this book is for you. Written by Jenny Carenco (a mother of two and the founder of leading French baby food brand Les Menus Bébé) it features 100 French-inspired recipes to add some je nais se quois to those baby menus.
Move over mushy carrots and peas and make way for peach compote, carrot and cumin puree, chicken with carrots and apricots and, baby beef bourguignon as Bébé Gourmet aims to help develop your baby’s tastebuds, encouraging healthy eating habits and a love of good food the French way. There are recipes for lunches and dinners, snacks and special occasions – baby’s first birthday cake will be a hit with all the family. Nearly all the recipes take 30 minutes or less to prepare and includes info on prep and cook time, refrigeration and freezing guidance to help busy mums and dads. (There is also additional nutritional guidance throughout from Paediatric Nutritionist and Endocrinologist Dr Jean Lalau Keraly.)
IDEAL FOR: Pressure Pot Addicts
The Instant Pot Baby Food Cookbook
Using your trusty Instant Pot—or other electric pressure cooker/multi-cooker—this book helps you rustle up fresh, flavourful, fast and convenient foods for your baby. If you want to ditch those ready-made jars and make every meal yourself from scratch this cookbook ensures you save time and money in doing so.
Pressure cooking has skyrocketing in popularity in large part because of its speed and the brilliant of the Instant Pot – as you can cook up a batch of baby purees, fruit sauces, or cereals in a matter of minutes. Using a pressure cooker is the modern solution for time-crunched families. Co-written by Barbara Schieving who is the world’s most widely read blogger on pressure cooking (her blog is called Pressure Cooking Today) this book delivers more than 50 tasty and good-looking recipes that will soon become a trusty cooking companion (alongside your pressure cooker of course!)
IDEAL FOR: Inexperienced Home-Cooks
Super Easy Baby Food Cookbook
Some baby food cookbooks can get complicated once you move beyond purees – that’s where Super Easy Baby Food Cookbook comes in. Simple, easy to follow and meals that can be made in record time. This is one book for any inexperienced home-cook or, for those lacking kitchen confidence. With 150+ recipes from babies upto 18mths there is ideas for cooking in bulk, sample menus and the brilliant 5-ingredient toddler recipes (that can be made in 30-minutes or less).
IDEAL FOR: Family meals the Italian Way
Baby at the Table
A cross between a parenting guide and a cookbook this family cookbook from Welsh/Italian cook Michela Chiappa and her sister Emanuela offers an Italian approach to weaning. It aims to have your baby eating solid food and enjoying meals with the whole family by the time they celebrate their first birthday, and well into childhood.
Full of recipes that the whole family can enjoy – babies included. You don’t need any special gadgets, most take 15 minutes or less to prepare and, the 3-Step format (baby, toddler and child) will help guide you from those foolproof introductions to first tastes, through to finger foods and snack times to finally feeding the whole family and getting kids in the kitchen to help. A book for all the family – and one to be passed down the generations (just as any good Italian mama would do!)
IDEAL FOR: Trusted BLW Basics
Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide
Just over ten years ago, when Baby-Led Weaning was first published it ended the myth that babies need to be spoon-fed purées. In fact, at about six months, most babies are ready to discover solid food for themselves. Today, baby-led weaning (BLW) is a global phenomenon – and, this guide explains all its benefits in a practical way. Baby-led weaning is the healthy, natural way to start your baby on solid foods and can mean no purees, no ice cube trays, no food processor, no potato masher, no stress, no fuss and frankly, no mush!
BLW ensures babies participate in family meals right from the start, and learn to love a variety of foods. By self-feeding, your baby develops hand-eye coordination, chewing skills and confidence – and teaches your child healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. This updated edition includes the latest research on allergy prevention and feeding baby safely, a guide to using BLW at daycare, and much more.
BUY HERE >> Baby-Led Weaning; The Essential Guide Completely How to Introduce Solid Foods and Help Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater by Gill Rapley (Updated and Expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition)
IDEAL FOR: Celebrity Fans
Truly Scrumptious Baby
Yes, this is a weaning book by a celebrity – but, not just any celebrity putting their name and face to a book. But, Holly Willoughby who juggles her busy television career with being a mum to three small children – so she sure knows a thing or two about being a busy mum at feeding time! Holly, is also author of Truly Happy Baby and co-author of a series of children’s books with her sister, Kelly.
Truly Scrumptious Baby offers an in-depth introduction to weaning with useful nutritional information, lots of lovely recipes (developed over the process of weaning her own three children) appropriate to suit each stage of weaning and a running theme of no one-size-fits. Practical advice on spoon-feeding purees or baby-led weaning, what equipment you really need and the ones where you should you spend extra.
In that lovely down-to-earth and friendly matter we know and love from Holly this books proves to be a go-to guide that arms you with everything you need to know as your baby starts on solids.
IDEAL FOR: Easy Recipes
Fast & Fresh Baby Food Cookbook
This has to be one of the easiest to follow baby food cookbook for new parents who are time-poor, inexperienced cooks or, on a budget. This totally accessible yet, still comprehensive book covers nutritional and developmental advice for ages 4 to 18 months, the latest information on which foods to introduce and, really easy-to-follow instructions for a wide variety of first purees to flavorful and nutritious combinations, to lastly fast and healthy toddler meals that come be made in half an hour or less.