Best children’s cookbooks: Recipes for baby led weaning, toddler finger food and fussy eaters

Vegan babies, fussy babies, baby-led weaning babies and kids who want to cook for themselves. We’ve got them all covered with these recipe books perfect for all types of families…

Doesn’t it feel like we’re feeding our kids all of the time? And once they’ve graduated beyond just breastmilk or bottle feeding, things can get a little tricky. We’ve all been there: You serve a lovingly-prepared meal to your mini-me – that took hours to prep, cook and clean up after – only to have it spat back out and the entire bowl thrown at us.

Since we can’t feed our kids homemade chicken nuggets and sausage rolls every day, we’ve been scouring Singapore and beyond for the best recipe books out there for babies, toddlers and kids. So, whether you fancy giving baby-led weaning a go, looking for some easy ideas to shake up your dinner repertoire, or have kids who want to cook for themselves, we’ve found the perfect cookbook for every type of family…

1. Top 100 Baby Purees, by Annabel Karmel
Ask any mum who’s been through the ‘weaning process’ how they survived that stage and almost everyone will point you towards baby food guru, Annabel Karmel. She certainly has us convinced that homemade baby food is not only more economical, but also ensures your small person is getting the freshest ingredients. From first-tastes (have your camera ready for the ‘broccoli moment’) to meals for older bubs, you’ve got yourself 100 baby puree ideas here that are a far cry from the canned slop our own parents made us eat when we were babies (you know what we’re talking about!). You’ll also find useful info on how to wean bubba and then transition to lumpy solids, plus tips on cooking for kids with food allergies, time-saving food prep ideas and how to freeze and reheat baby food safely.
Buy it: Online from Books Kinokuniya, $24.56

2. The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: Delicious Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat Solid Foods ― and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy, by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
That’s one looonnnng title, but the book itself is a bible for mums keen to try the baby-led weaning route. It’s filled with 130 nutritious recipes and food ideas perfect for encouraging your ‘lil ones to feed themselves, as well as advice on what foods to start with, and healthy ideas for quick snacks. By the way, the authors are THE mums behind the entire baby-led weaning movement, so we think it’s fair to say they know their stuff.
Buy it: Online from Open Trolley, $23.56

3. Vegan Babies First Foods: Quick and Easy Meals and Purees for a Healthy and Happy Vegan Baby, by the Project Vegan
There’s been a huge rise in veganism over the years, and raising a vegan bubba is now easy with this cookbook dedicated to quick and healthy meals, free of all animal products.
Buy it: Online from Amazon, $6.99

cookbooks for babies, toddlers and kids MIDDLEBERG

Avocados are a great first food – even more so when they’re organic. Photography: Stephanie Middleberg

4. The Big Book of Organic Baby Food: Baby Purées, Finger Foods, and Toddler Meals For Every Stage, by Stephanie Middleberg
Any time-crunched mum knows just how hard it is to cater to different taste buds in the family, so we love that this recipe book is full of ideas for babies, kids and grownups. From first purees to burritos, this cookbook covers everyone at every age and stage, and includes 70 recipes for the whole fam. All organic, by the way!
Buy it: Online from Book Depository, $22.48

5. The Baby and Toddler Cookbook: Fresh, Homemade Foods for a Healthy Start, by  Karen Ansel and Charity Ferreira
Packed with 90 easy-to-prepare recipes made with wholesome ingredients, The Baby & Toddler Cookbook offers a fresh and nutritious approach to feeding children from six months through to three years. Organised by age, you’ll find great tips on how to introduce different foods at every development stage, from starting solid foods to easing into toddlerhood nutrition. And they’re all so fancy sounding… creamy pumpkin risotto or almond butter banana bites, anyone?
Buy it: Online from Book Depository: $33.37

6. Little Foodie: Baby Food Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste, by Michele Olivier and Sara Peternell
Winner of Red Tricycle’s ‘2015 Best Cookbook for Babies’ award, this fun book helps parents navigate the culinary adventure of baby purees and toddler finger foods. There are over 100 recipes, including exotic concoctions such as sesame tofu sticks, curried egg fingers and fennel, pea and peach puree! Plus, a handy FAQ section answering all the burning questions you’ve been wanting to ask when it comes to nutrition and eating habits.
Buy it: Online at Popular, $25.41


We have these chicken balls on our weekly menu for kids and grown ups! Photography: Annabel Karmel

7. Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner: 200 Quick, Easy and Healthy Recipes for Your Baby, by Annabel Karmel
A stalwart of the baby recipe book world, this Annabel Karmel gem is a firm favourite with every parent – and for good reason. Just look at the number of easy-to-prepare recipes, tips and meal planners that really do make feeding kids so much easier. We’ve been using it since 2002, and it was first published in 1991! The chicken and apple balls STILL feature on our weekly menu for kids and adults…
Buy it: Online from Books Kinokuniya: $32.35

8. Super Easy Baby Food Cookbook: Healthy Homemade Recipes for Every Age and Stage, by Anjali Shah
Hot off the press, this brand new cookbook (just released in April 2018) is written by a mum-of-two who totally gets how time consuming feeding the family is. All of the 150 recipes included can be made in bulk, and takes less than 30 minutes to create. You’ll also find baby purees, toddler meals and hot time-saving tips for menus.
Buy it: Online from Amazon: Kindle price: $7.23, hardback version: $13.72


Eating veggies is made fun with this cunning cookbook to get kids on board with greens. Photography: Ruby Roth

9. The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids: 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipes Kids Can Make to Stay Healthy and Save the Earth, by Ruby Roth
Getting kids to eat fruit and veggies is a battle we don’t always win, which is why we adore this book designed to make kids want to cook for themselves – and we’re all on board for such life skills being imparted early! Through colour, humour and awesome food facts (did you know the brain actually shrinks when you’re dehydrated?), this is a book that’ll help kiddos empower themselves to take charge of their own eating habits. With recipes such as Tomato Tornado, Chocolate Disappearing Dots and Leprechaun Footprints – all plant based, by the way – we can’t wait to bestow this on our own fussy small people. Plus, Ruby Roth has to be one of the coolest names we’ve heard in a while!
Buy it: Online from Book Depository: $22.29

10. Garden to Table, by Katherine Hengel
We already ventured into the green world of urban gardening with our little ones, so here’s a kids’ cookbook that not only encourages healthy eating, but also includes tips on how to grow your own garden for fresh herbs and veggies. Techniques which you can use in the 30+ recipes included.
Buy it: Online from Amazon: $7.97

Top image: Annabel Karmel via Facebook

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