Informative and Comprehensive Book on Nutrition during Pregnancy and Beyond with Great Recipes
This is a very pretty book: lots of pink and bright colours with many full-page photos of delicious-looking food and healthy happy families of various ethnicities.<p>The book is divided into five sections of about 50 pages each: pregnancy, the first few months post-partum, the new normality between 6 weeks and 6 months, starting solids, and family life with a toddler. It is a La Leche League book, which means it obviously takes into consideration the nutritional requirements of breastfeeding mothers, and is pro-breastfeeding throughout. Its premise seems to be that by breastfeeding your child you are giving them the best possible start in life, so once they start solids it makes sense to continue this by providing healthy meals and snacks, and demonstrating a healthy attitude towards food. <p>While the book might seem like an indulgent glossy-paged tome which only first-time mothers can find enough time to read, it does not forget the challenges of returning to work by including helpful tips on how to manage pumping and sorting out your lunch at the same time. <p>The chapters are full of common-sense reminders: rather than presenting parents with fixed guidelines regarding their child's nutritional requirements, the book takes a relaxed approach. From common worries like when to wean, to how much and what babies are supposed to eat, the book encourages its readers to look at the whole picture, so wean when it's right for you and your baby, ñdon't fret about fatî, and take the emotion out of eating. At the same time, it's full of informative facts.<p>There is also a table which tells you why you need certain nutrients and how to eat the recommended amounts. This looks a bit daunting at first, but it's reassuring to have this information in a handy format from a reliable source (all recommendations in the book are based on guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others), just in case you ever want to check if you're meal-planning along the right lines.<p>At the same time as providing reliable science-based advice, the book is also written in a friendly, warm, approachable tone, and seems solidly grounded in real life: there is an emphasis on easy-to-prepare meals which take into account the pressure under which mothers are pretty much constantly, and many recipes are fine to cook in the slow cooker, make ahead or freeze. In addition, the book also contains plenty of all-round advice, e.g. safety considerations when looking after your small baby while cooking, how to include older siblings in cooking, which food to take for quick energy bursts when you go out, how to get exercise when you have little baby-free time etc.<p>This generally friendly and easygoing approach extends to the recipes. There are those which have the potential to become family staples (such as the versatile La Leche League Baking Mix which can be turned into muffins, pancakes, corn bread and waffles!) as well as recipes for each season (stir fries, quesadillas, soups, various pot pies). The recipes encompass a range of cuisines, including curry, different kinds of salsa, pasta accompaniments, and pizza. I would say that there is something in there for everyone, vegetarians (Quinoa Pilaff, anyone?) and meat fiends (e.g. Pork Tenderloin and various chicken and fish recipes), and easy treats have their place too (One Bowl Chocolate Cake, clearly thinking of frazzled and tired parents here). The recipes are very easy to follow.<p>What I really like about this book is its no-nonsense don't panic' message. There are so many books out there urging mothers to stick to routines and strict guidelines, from how much weight they should gain during pregnancy to how much their children should eat at what age, and when they absolutely must wean. Feed yourself, feed your family reiterates throughout the five chapters that as long as you employ common sense and practise moderation, it'll all be fine. It is a very comprehensive book, regarding both the information and the recipes: if you have this book, you won't need another nutrition-related or recipe book.