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The Big Book of Recipes for Babies, Toddlers, and Children:
365 Quick, Easy, and Healthy Dishes

by Bridget Wardley, Judy More

More than a cookbook, this indispensable kitchen companion not only offers delicious recipes for every day of the year but also contains a wealth of information on child nutrition, from weaning and introducing solids to packed lunches and party foods for older children. It emphasizes an easy approach to food preparation without complicated measurements or methods. A variety of recipes for every stage of childhood development is provided, complete with 50 "first food" recipes, 7-day meal planners, and sound snack ideas. Practical tips accompany the recipes, including methods for promoting healthy eating habits that support brain development and a strong immune system.
     Choosing the right foods for your child when he is very young will help him to grow and develop. And by feeding him delicious and nutritious food while he is keen to follow your example, you will be instilling in him a knowledge of healthy eating for life. Using our experiences as dietitians and mothers we have written this book to help you to enjoy feeding your children as much as we have enjoyed feeding ours. Family meals are important and the recipes we have chosen are quick and easy, use nutritious ingredients, and, when combined with other foods, will give your children a healthy, immunity-boosting, growth-promoting diet.
     As many parents find the different stages of feeding babies and young children daunting, we give clear recommendations through the stages of weaning and beyond with recipes and menu planners to help you to provide all the nutrients your child needs in the correct amounts. Busy lifestyles often leave little time for cooking, so we have devised recipes that use a wide range of cooking methods – from quick stir-frying to baking to slow casseroling. We have also included some recipes for foods that can be made in advance and frozen, as well as some that simply involve combining different foods on a plate in the right proportions.
     Healthy eating does not have to mean depriving your child of their favorite foods. By using quality ingredients you can make delicious burgers, nuggets, pizzas, fries, and kebabs that are far more nutritious than the commercial varieties, which usually contain additives and an excess of salt, sugars, and fats. Research has shown that most children today eat far too much sugar, fat, and salt – mainly in the form of highly-processed snacks – and as a result, many of them are becoming overweight. By encouraging your child to be active, and above all by developing healthy eating patterns from an early age, you can prevent your child from developing such weight problems. Most parents – understandably – also worry when their child seems to lose his appetite. But most children go off their food from time to time. Bear in mind that your child doesn’t need to eat well at every meal, or even every day. As long as he consumes a good balance of foods over a period of a week or so he will obtain all the nutrients he needs.
     Finally, we’d like to share with you our three golden rules for happy and healthy eating:
•Eat together as a family as often as possible.
•Show your baby or child that you enjoy eating the foods that you want him to eat.
•Praise your child when he eats well and never indicate that you are anxious or upset when he doesn’t.


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