Favorite Cookbooks for Toddlers

My daughter E is a bit of a picky eater. She just turned 16 months old, so most food is fair game now, but there are still many nights when I have to make her a different meal from my husband and I. Either she’s not in the mood for one of her usual favorites or she just doesn’t plain want to try something new. This can get very frustrating, but one of my goals is to start a “family dinnertime” and really encourage all of us to eat the same things.

While I’ve been using the usual recipe sources: friend recommendations, the old standby cookbooks we have around the house, and the Internet, there have been a few cookbooks in particular that are specifically focused on toddler/baby meals that have helped us in our journey.

                    

The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook by Gill Rapley

We did a mixture of purees and baby-led weaning when E was first introduced to solids, and I still pull out recipes from this cookbook to make for us now. The philosophy is basically that if you give babies big enough chunks of food, they’ll be able to regulate their bites, won’t choke, and will enjoy food in the manner that they will then experience it in forever. We’ve loved the tomato chicken and the healthier fried chicken nuggets.

Double Delicious! by Jessica Seinfeld

Yep, Jerry Seinfeld’s wife. This cookbook is the sequel to Deceptively Delicious, where she provided lots of recipes that hid vegetable purees inside (to “trick” your kids into eating their veggies). I do love this idea (and you’d better believe I’m looking to add veggies to E’s meals wherever possible), but I like the recipes in Double Delicious a lot more. Butternut Tomato Soup, Chicken Parmesan (with veggies hidden), and Lemon Chicken are all good picks.

Weelicious by Catherine McCord

This is a recent favorite, recommended to me by my friend Amanda, and I have fallen in love with it. The recipes are simple, yet tasty, not the complicated kinds that kids sometimes turn their noses up at. I loved the Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, and recipes like Baked Zucchini Coins, Spinach Gnocchi, and Sweet Potato Muffins are good and healthy for everyone.

Do you have any recipes or cookbooks that your kids have liked?

by Jennifer Petro-Roy

Jennifer is a current stay-at-home Mom and a former Teen & Children's Librarian. Although she hates the cold weather, she lives outside of Boston with her husband, their one-year-old daughter, and two cats. She is a writer, reader, runner, cyclist, and trivia nerd. At any given moment, she can be found reading books of any genre, although middle grade, young adult, picture books, and women's fiction are particular favorites.