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4.3 out of 5 stars
Top 100 Baby Purees
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297 of 307 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2006
I am so glad I bought this book; it agrees with my philosophy about shaping children's palates early, using whole foods, and organic eating in general. The recipes are easy and delicious, and give you ideas for all the way into toddlerhood. I love the inclusion of recipes using meat, fish, and chicken. My daughter has loved everything I have made from this book so far; my husband and I have even eaten a few- with salt and seasoning added for adult taste- and enjoyed them.

I do, however, agree with Lynn W.- USE WISDOM with certain recipes, since the author does not seem to follow the AAP's recommendations about when to introduce certain foods, and seems to lack a current understanding about food allergies in children. There are lots of recipes with cow's milk, tomatoes, and citrus, for example, for very young babies.

Otherwise, I highly recommend this book as an excellent resource.
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383 of 408 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2006
My daughter is turning eight months this week. She is not eating textured foods yet or finger foods, but she is getting bored with one-ingredient foods and bland food like just sweet potatoes by themselves, so I'm starting to make her some varied purees with different ingredients and spices. Hence, why I ordered this book!

What I was expecting to find was exactly what the title said...100 puree recipes. Not a book divided into ages with age-appropriate recipes. The first section tells you how to steam and puree vegetables and fruits. Then moves on to 6 month old foods, and then 7-9 month foods and then 9-12 month recipes which aren't even purees. They look more like recipes I would make for my husband and I, not that it's a bad thing at all, because we want her eating what we're eating in a few months!

I'm not returning the book, because some of the recipes look awesome and I can't wait to try them, but it's not what I was looking for at all when I ordered it. It really should be retitled to something other than Top 100 Baby Purees when that's not really what it is.

But the BEST part of this book that is so different than other books is that it has some great puree recipes for chicken and beef and fish, and I haven't been able to find that anywhere else. And the recipes call for onion and garlic, which are two ingredients that my husband cook a lot with, so it's going to be a good cookbook for us. So, three stars for the quality of the book and the ease of the recipes which I can tell already by reading them since I'm an experienced cook, but a two star deduction for the bad title.
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123 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2011
I keep seeing people warning against some of the ingredients included in recipes in this book. It is true that as mothers we must use caution when it comes to what our children consume. But keep an open mind ladies (and gentleman) The AAP has set guidelines that we have considered the standard for many years HOWEVER, those guidelines have recently begun to be revised... fish, eggs, citrus and dairy were considered no no's for children under the age of one in previous years, however, if you child has no history of food allergies, and you have no family history of specific allergies (IE citrus, or eggs) then the introduction plan of 1 new food, for 3 -4 days watching for signs of allergic reaction is completely safe. One of the reason the AAP recommends holding off on fish although EXCELLENT for developing baby's eye, brain etc. because of the high concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids... is because conventional store bought/farm raised fish can have toxic levels of mercury and other chemicals in them. If you're going to introduce fish to baby, ALWAYS use wild-caught/organic white fish. There is also MUCH research coming about indicating that introducing these foods at an earlier age then 1 year DOES NOT prevent a food allergy. Generally if they are going to have one, it's there after the age of 9 months when babies begin to completely rely on their own immune systems and not the antibodies in mothers milk. I'm not saying this to combat others comments, just to bring peace of mind that if you feel as though your child is healthy, and has no health complications (such as known family history) or indicators of food sensitivity's (such as eczema which can indicate a milk protein, soy, or gluten allergy) reflux (you'd want to stay away from the citrus, tomatoes and high acid content foods)etc... GO FOR IT! On the subject of cows milk, which seems to be one of the things I keep seeing mentioned... there is a difference between a glass of milk and CULTURED whole milk products, such as yogurt which she often recommends using... it IS absolutely AMAZING for babies 6 months and older and PERFECTLY SAFE! In cultured milk products the lactose is broken down differently b/c of the fermenting process so it doesn't have the same affect on someone with a general dairy allergy. However, if you have a severe milk PROTEIN allergy, or family history of such, you may want to wait. For Example Stonyfiels farms organic yo'baby yogurt is for babies 6 months of age... so happy yogurting b/c it's SO great for baby... lot's of healthy probiotics,& omega 3 fatty acids...

Check out this link on the AAP website HealthyChildren.org where they actually now RECOMMEND many of these foods as part of a healthy diet for children age 6 MONTHS and over. [...]

I copied and pasted this directly from the AAP website

Many pediatricians recommend against giving eggs and fish in the first year of life because of allergic reactions, but there is no evidence that introducing these nutrient-dense foods after 4 to 6 months of age determines whether your baby will be allergic to them. Give your baby one new food at a time, and wait at least 2 to 3 days before starting another. After each new food, watch for any allergic reactions such as diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. If any of these occur, stop using the new food and consult with your child's doctor.

Within a few months of starting solid foods, your baby's daily diet should include a variety of foods each day that may include the following:

* Breast milk and/or formula
* Meats
* Cereal
* Vegetables
* Fruits
* Eggs and fish
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106 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2007
I bought this book looking for homemade baby food recipes and got so much more. Besides having lots of tasty recipes for each stage of your baby's development it provides valuable nutritional iformation. Each recipe is easy to follow and easy to make. The best part is that they actually taste good! I usually spend 3-4 hours over 2 days to make enough baby food to last a month. A tip, pick a few recipes that use similar ingredients and as Rachel Ray says, "Use it twice, chop it once."

To make my life easier most recipes are suitable to freeze. I freeze them in 1 ounce ice cube trays (mostly the fruit purees to add to yogurt, cottage cheese, or baby cereal) and in 4 ounce portions (for the more complete meals). Some of my baby's favorites are the Lovely Lentils, Apple-Mango Puree (mixed with plain yogurt), and the Sweet Potato with Spinach and Peas. I love this book and I love knowing my baby is eating healthy, tasty food that I've prepared.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2008
I am a full time working basically single mom. I thought, "there is no way I can add making baby food to my list of things to do! I am just too busy!!" But as soon as I got this book, I began. And it's been 3 weeks straight of preparing my own home-made food for my 7 month old son....who has LOVED EVERY SINGLE THING.
I made the pears-apple-cinnamon recipe...and took leftovers to work for myself! hehe
It is very easy to follow, great recipes, easy to read through, organized well, and I don't have a single complaint. Thank you Ms. Karmel for giving me the tools to do it myself. :-)
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2012
First of all I want to say that I love the preface of this book! It reminds everybody why parents decide to make their own baby food - It is healthier and it tastes better! I remember the first time I decided to make my own baby food, my baby was about 3 months old and we went to a friend's (their babies are four months older than Baby E) and they had me smell a jar of chicken puree; it smelled worse than dog food - there was no way I was ever going to feed that to my baby. Here is a book that helps me make my baby's food better.

This book is nice because it goes into detail for each recipe stating how to make it, what age it is best introduced, how many portions yielded, how long of cooking time, and if it is suitable for freezing. It also has more foods than just purees. I think this book complements The Healthy Baby Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel. It has some of the same names of recipes, but the recipes usually differ a bit.

This book covers first foods (about 6 months) with recipes such as butternut squash (one of my baby's favorites), apple and pear with cinnamon, no cook baby food - avocado, banana, and paypaya; (2) after first tastes (6-7 months) with recipes such as see-in-the-dark puree, Cinderella's pumpkin, potato carrot and corn, chicken with sweet potatoes and apple, apricot apple pear and vanilla; (3) second stage weaning (7 to 9 months) which features recipes like tomato cauliflower and carrot with basil, mini minestrone, and cauliflower and broccoli in cheese sauce; (4) and lastly growing independent (9 to 12 months) with recipes such as mashed potato and carrot with broccoli and cheese, pasta with hidden vegetables, creamy chicken and vegetables, and nectarine and strawberry with vanilla.

Our family has enjoyed this book and I think it has helped us introduce more of a variety of foods for our baby. I am glad that he is learning to eat and enjoy foods that are healthy. Hopefully having such a variety will help him be less picky later in life!

For the people that gave the book bad reviews because of what Annabel uses in the recipes:

According to the AAP, "within a few months of starting solid foods, your baby's daily diet should include a variety of foods each day that may include the following: breast milk and/or formula, meats, cereal, vegetables, fruits, eggs, fish" (see [...] Switching to Solid Foods). The AAP states that " Many pediatricians recommend against giving eggs and fish in the first year of life because of allergic reactions, but there is no evidence that introducing these nutrient-dense foods after 4 to 6 months of age determines whether your baby will be allergic to them" (Switching to Solid Foods). Unless your baby shows signs of allergies (such as eczema) or there is a family history of the particular allergy.

Some reviewers state that Annabel tells which foods to avoid in the beginning of the book and then uses these ingredients in the recipes. Let's clarify this. In the "foods to avoid" section of Annabel's book she states that fish and shellfish should not be given before 6 months; to not give honey before one year; to not give raw or undercooked eggs at all, do not give eggs before 6 months, do not add salt to food before one year, do not add sugar, do not give unpasteurized cheeses before twelve months, and do not give wheat-based foods that contain gluten before six months. No where in any recipe in Top 100 Baby Purees does Annabel contradict this advice.

Some reviews said they would not give their child butter before they are two years old. First Annabel is not drenching the food in butter and feeding it to her babies, she is simply using a little bit to add some flavor or to sauté things in. According to the AAP "as a general rule, your child should get about half of her daily calories from fat up to the age of 2 years." (see [...] Low Fat Diets for Babies). Babies should be getting good unsaturated fats such as avocados, olive oil, salmon and fatty fish ([..]Baby Food Revolution: Old rules for feeding your baby that still apply).

The AAP recommends that your baby does not receive regular cow's milk and that it should not replace breast milk/formula ([...] Why Formula Instead of Cow's Milk?). This does not mean that you cannot give your baby any cow's milk, it simply means that if there is no allergy, cow's milk should not replace nutritious foods in a baby's diet.

Some reviewers say they would not give their baby spices before one year. Using the AAP's food introduction steps, parents can offer their baby spiced versions of foods that have already been tried.

The best advice I can give is to do your own research and do not take anyone else's word. The AAP's guidelines could change tomorrow and it's a parent's job to keep up on the information and make wise and informed decisions.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2007
This book is awesome. A quick word of advice for breastfeeding mothers. If you don't plan on feeding your baby a lot of solid foods until fully weaned do not make a lot of this food at one time. I made 5-6 recipes one day to stock my freezer, one month later I'm going to have to toss out some of it to make room for new foods as she is now 7 mo. old and ready to eat heavier stuff. The Trio of Vegetables recipe is a HIT and she voraciously eats it whenever I put that one in front of her. I love it too as it relieves any constipation she may get while breastfeeding.
I bought this book along with the "Blender Baby Food." Both are great, however this is my favorite as I like being able to see pictures. If you want to make your child's food please note, it IS easy and fun to do...I can't tell you how many people gave me a hard time for wanting to make my own and are now jealous that I don't have to go to the store, nor deal with all those empty jars. Ice cube tray's and ziplock bags are all that are needed to store the food. Highly recommended. You can probably get away with just this book as there are SO many recipes I doubt I'll ever get around to making them before she begins eating the real deal!
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2006
This is a great baby cook book. My son liked almost all the meals I made out of the recipes and they even tasted good to me. It is a fine book with colorful pictures which made it fun to read and use.

But it is more a book for babies who are less likely to develop food allergies or negative reactions because of the use of some ingridients like cow's milk, orange juice and various spices. Furthermore, trust your own judgement and that of your doctors' on when to introduce certain foods because the author's opinions do not always comply with the recommendations made by The American Academy of Pediatrics.

If you are free of those concerns, I would highly recommend it to you!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2007
I decided to try making my own baby food for my third child and I am SO sad that I waited!! Using recipes in this book I have made all sorts of different foods and he LOVES them. He is 7 months old and today he had broccoli and sweet potato and he couldn't get enough. My other kids never did like broccoli -- still don't.

The fruit purees are so yummy that I have been known to steal a few bites myself. And I love knowing exactly what is going into my little guy's body. These recipes are easy, add alot of variety to their diet, and are simple to understand. I spent two hours yesterday and two hours the day before and now I have a freezer full of little cubes. They are ready to thaw and eat and I have enough to last about six weeks. And I think I spent about $20 on ingredients. With my older kids I would spend that much in a week on the jarred stuff.

Give homemade baby food a try. This book is a great start, and the recipes aren't "out there" like some of the other books. I highly recommend it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2007
Great recipes and the baby seemed to like most of them. The pediatrician advised us that we should not feed certain foods to the baby before 1 year but many of those foods are present in dishes in this book. Also, some of the items are, for lack of a better word, oriented around British tastes and are a little foreign to what you might have in a typical American fridge. But all in all, if you want to make babyfood yourself, this is a helpful way to start.
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