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The Healthy Baby Meal Planner

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Updated October 11, 2009

The Healthy Baby Meal Planner

The Healthy Baby Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel

Simon and Schuster

The Bottom Line

Annabel Karmel's The Healthy Baby Meal Planner is an excellent resource for parents who are looking for healthy, homemade recipes to prepare for their baby and suggested guidelines of what and when to offer foods.
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  • Color photographs and easy to read charts charts supplement the recipes.
  • Suggestions on how to adapt recipes to accommodate the entire family.
  • Example weekly meal plans provided.
  • Chronological recipes broken down into 4 stages, from first foods through toddler meals.
  • Many meals can be prepared in advance and frozen.


  • At times counters "traditional" mindset of what and when to offer foods.
  • Some recipes, though not all, require some time to prepare.


  • Detailed recipes designed around using a variety of foods, including ones not commonly offered to children.
  • Practical tips on how to prepare foods and of typical feeding behaviors you can expect at various points of development.
  • Suggested foods for developmental stages from first foods through toddler foods.

Guide Review - The Healthy Baby Meal Planner

As parents become more discerning of the types and quality of food they offer to their babies, they are abandoning jarred baby foods and looking to prepare homemade meals for their litte ones. In light of that, parents are browsing bookstores for baby food cookbooks. However, they are looking for more information in a book than just a collection of recipes. They want cookbooks that balance practical meal ideas with pediatric nutrition guidelines. Karmel's The Healthy Baby Meal Planner might be exactly the resource for which they are looking.

The developmentally divided chapters all begin with an introduction of what foods can be offered for that period, as well as helpful preparation tips and suggestions for that specific age. These sections translate pediatric nutrition jargon into advice parents can understand, making it easy to read and the detailed instructions easy to prepare.

Many meals will require some time and effort to prepare, but that should be expected from any cookbook. However, Karmel's suggestions for meals suitable for freezing offers parents quick meals for the hungry baby that just can't wait for a foods to be prepared.

This book does challenge some of the commonly expected beliefs about what foods can be introduced at certain ages, and it also encourages the introduction of a wide variety of foods, such as liver, fish, and less common vegetables, to broaden the baby's palate. Parents who tend toward a traditional mind set of nutrition guidelines for babies or prefer more run-of-the-mill foods. However, the recipes are nicely balanced with common ingredients and meals that are easy to prepare. Parents (and their babies) may not love every meal, but they certainly should find quite a few to add to their recipe box.

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