Thursday, 13 June 2013

Annabel Karmel Quick and Easy Toddler Meals - Book Review


In a move to make mealtimes more manageable for busy mums and dads, the UK’s number one parenting author and expert on baby and child nutrition Annabel Karmel MBE launches the first in her ‘Quick and Easy’ series: Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes.

With mealtime meltdown a daily occurrence across thousands of busy UK households, Annabel has cooked up a 144 page full colour recipe book to help hard-working families feed their children a healthy, balanced diet – in quick time!

With recent research deeming British toddlers to be the fussiest in Europe and with 42% of parents admitting to a repertoire of just seven meals they cook for their children, it’s no surprise that parents regularly become locked in a battle of wills.

But mealtimes are about to get tastier for tiny tums – and easier for mums – with over 100 delicious and nutritious time-saving recipes packed full of natural flavour. And it’s not just little ones who will love them; combining everyday kitchen ingredients with simple-to-follow instructions, Annabel’s recipes can be whipped up for the whole family too.

What did we think?

We have road-tested the book and the kids have enjoyed what we've made so far. We have two very fussy and headstrong kids and they have a very small repertoire of meals that they will eat without considerable badgering from us. First up I made Meatballs in Goulash Sauce. We served these with pasta, not rice. I know I should have gone with the rice but I wanted to avoid any aggro that night and I felt that rice would make the kids not eat any of it. They loved the meatballs and so did me and the OH - proof that although the book is aimed at cooking for toddlers it works for the entire family. Next time I make it I will man-up and serve with rice, after all the more times kids are served a food, they will become familiar with it, and become more likely to try it. 



Next up we tried Quick Chicken Nuggets. These were delicious. The coating was crushed up cornflakes and it was Isla's job to smash them all up - she enjoyed doing that! I much prefer chicken nuggets that are freshly made but it is easy to fall into that trap thinking it's more convenient to buy them but these are so easy to make and you know what chicken you're eating. Look at them, they look so golden and crispy. Yum.



And our final road test was a bit of a disaster (at first) as while I was trying to concentrate on the recipe (Isla was helping me again) I had Noah having the most EPIC tantrum in the kitchen, demanding to be picked up. I started off making Tomato and Basil Risotto but I ended up with a bit of a cross breed of that and the recipe on the opposite page! I got so distracted that I put Creme Fraiche in the Risotto, which wasn't part of the plan, but actually ended up being a fortunate accident as it was really tasty. Again, Isla helped me to make dinner and I think it gave her a sense of pride and I also believe prompted her to eat more of it than she would have otherwise. 



So there you have it, 3 very successful dishes and a desire to make more from this lovely little book. We give this book a big thumbs up and would recommend it to any time poor, frazzled mum of fussy eaters. 

Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes (RRP £9.99) is published by Ebury Press on 20th June and will be available from all good book shops and Amazon.

We were sent the book free of charge but all opinions in the review are honest and my own.

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