Not long ago, I received a copy of Anni Daulter's new book "Bountiful Baby Purees." It was timely for me because my daughter was 6 months old and would soon be ready to eat baby food. I made all the baby food both of my boys ate, but this time, pureeing, freezing and spoon-feeding sounded daunting and time consuming.
This book was just what I needed to be reminded that I need to start Anelise with the same healthy food I did for the other kids. It's a fresh perspective and offered new ideas for something I thought would be routine and tedious.
My favorite thing about this book is that it's not organized by food groups or the age of the child, but by season (the same way my favorite cookbook is organized). It's a great way to ensure that baby's first foods are fresh, local and in season. These foods will have the best flavor and texture and promote a love for food that tastes just the way it's supposed to as well as have the most nutrients possible.
Really, there is only so much you can do with purees, but this book gives ideas for combinations and how to the use purees in food for the whole family. She includes recipes as basic as banana puree for the beginner, and then progresses to things like Spinach, Basil and Wheat Germ Pesto puree. There are purees for babies as young as 6 months and textured meals for those entering toddlerhood.
At the end of each chapter, there are recipes that use the purees in meals for the whole family.
I like to puree in bulk and make meals for everyone in as few steps as possible, so the idea that I can have a puree that I use for the baby and then use the same puree in dinner is appealing to me. There are recipes for pancakes, muffins, dinner, cupcakes and soup that use the purees already prepared for the baby. My 6-year-old saw the book on the table and already decided that he wants the Green Goodness Ice Pops with spinach, banana and pineapple and the Chocolate Beet Cupcakes.
Now that the baby is old enough to start her food adventure, I use this book to make it more enjoyable for the whole family.
Stacey Sacco is a stay-at-home mom of three who lives in Martins Ferry. She writes the "Mama on Duty" blog for OVParent.com, where this article originally appeared.