When the Little Dude was a baby, I prepared all his baby food from scratch. The idea of making your own baby food may seem daunting, but it’s actually quiet simple and saves on money and waste. It’s amazing how many servings one sweet potato can make! I found that making my own baby food also allowed me to be more adventurous with flavors and seasoning, which is why I believe my now toddler still loves foods I didn’t even dream of eating until I was a young adult like asparagus, spiced lamb, and BBQ salmon. But when life got busier and busier, my recipe repertoire became a little stale and I needed inspiration to liven up our meals.
Enter Mika Shino.
Mika’s cookbook title says it all. Smart Bites for Baby are really just that—brain food to fuel your developing baby and toddler. Inspired by an early health scare with her son, Mika sought ways to positively influence her son’s growth and she realized the benefits of eating fresh organic foods that were free of questionable preservatives, sugars, and other nasty ingredients. Mika shares, “It is about providing fresh, organic, locally-produced and seasonal foods that integrate superfoods, exploring world flavors to ensure diversity in flavors, textures, temperature and colors in order to stimulate all of the senses, and hence, your child’s brain development.”
The book’s 300 recipes are organized according to the age of your child and ranges from first foods to 24 months and beyond—all lively, colorful, and far from bland. And while the enticing photography suggests you need to be a veteran chef to make the food (yes, you want smell-o-vision when flipping through this cookbook), a novice really can prepare the suggested meals. Think complex flavors, but simple prep and steps.
Even better, Mika’s recipes appeal to the entire family. In my opinion, this is the biggest selling point of the book. I love that I can prepare meals that are nutritionally suited for a toddler but appeal to the palette of adults. And what a bonus that my little one is developing a taste for Hawaiian Halibut with Macadamia Nut and Flaxseed Crust!
To get inspired by Mika’s original recipes check out her blog or enter our giveaway where one lucky (and hopefully hungry) Salt & Nectar reader will win her book.
Smart Bites for Baby Giveaway
No purchase is necessary. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received (duplicate entries will be deleted). This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents 18 years or older. The giveaway will run from now until November 16, 2012 12:01 AM EST. The winner will be chosen at random.
Salt & Nectar and the Sarahs were not paid for this review or to host this giveaway. We were provided with this cookbook for the purpose of an experiential review and another to share with one reader at no cost. All opinions are our own.
~ The Other Sarah