When I was given the chance to review “201 Organic Baby and Toddler Meals” cookbook by Tamika L Gardner I jumped at the chance because feeding kids is hard. Seriously hard. I get so annoyed when I spent a solid 45 minutes or more making a meal only for my toddler to say “no mommy” and push the plate away, or worse dump it on the floor. This usually results in grumpy mom and soon to be grumpy child who now wants to eat as many goldfish crackers as he can possibly shove into his mouth. Not the best option!
This book gave me some hope that we could get back on track with making eating fun and successful. If anything, it was going to give me some inspiration and keep it healthy.
Easy to read, the book is divided into two parts:
Part 1 is all about getting ready and discussing the benefits of organic food:
- We don’t eat completely organic in our home, but I was interested to read about the author’s opinion on organic foods. The thing I loved was a list of the “toxic twenty”, or foods that are known to have the highest level of pesticides. I hate to call any fruits and veggies toxic, but it was good food for thought when deciding which options to look organically for.
Part 2 is the recipes:
- The book is divided into age ranges categorized as “The Transitioner”, “The Explorer” “The Picky Eater” and “The Independent Toddler”. This is helpful, but remember that if you child is older they can still eat many of the offerings from the younger categories too! There are also tips for each age group (9 months- 3 years old) about portion sizes, limitations, safety and more. One thing i really liked was the quick reference icons at the beginning of certain recipes telling you if it was freezer friendly, good for on-the-go, gluten free or has ingredients that are in the “toxic 20”. Anything that makes this mama’s time in the kitchen shorter and I am in!
What we tried and what we thought!
Cinnamon French Toast Sticks– I forget this one in the regular rotation of breakfast foods, and this one is yummy and kid approved!
Blooming Popovers– Like a yorkshire pudding! I subbed whole wheat flour instead of all purpose and added some veggies, delicious and convenient.
Sweet Potato Casserole– The touch of cinnamon and maple syrup make this one a winner.
Crusty Smoky Salmon– My child refuses to eat fish no matter what we do, but my husband and I enjoyed it!
Surprise Chicken Nuggets– The carrot is the surprise, shhh!
Grilled Turkey Sliders– This was hands down y favourite recipe. I added cranberry sauce when serving.
Harvest Apple Risotto– Yum in a bowl and super easy. I added pieces of chicken to make it a complete meal.
Shepard’s Pie– Everything you need for a comfort meal in one dish.
The book also shows you how to make some basic homemade things like stock, hummus, bread crumbs, pizza sauce, teriyaki sauce and more. All things that you really don’t need to buy pre-packaged from a store if you have some time and a recipe to know what to do.
All in all I was impressed with the variety of selections in this cookbook & the organization and will be turning to it time and time again, even after my son exits the toddler stage.
What’s your favourite recipe to make for your kids?