From pregnancy to breastfeeding through weaning and beyond, Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family is a comprehensive one-stop nutrition and cooking guide for mothers eager to nourish the whole growing family with healthy and delicious meals.
Your approach to eating changes when you become pregnant, give birth, and become responsible for feeding an infant, toddler, or growing child. Featuring more than 75 easy-to-make and delicious recipes, sanity-saving, mum-tested advice, and vital information about your nutritional needs when pregnant, nursing, or weaning, Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family helps you set your family on a course for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Focusing on the five basic nutritional stages between birth and the time when your baby takes a seat at the family table, and with an emphasis on organic, unprocessed foods, this invaluable resource offers:
'An excellent blend of common-sense nutritional advice and inviting recipes for mothers and their charges.' Kirkus Reviews
'This food and wellness guide for women from pregnancy through the early phases of motherhood offers much beyond recipes. La Leche unabashedly encourages longtime breastfeeding, but the tone isn’t preachy, which makes the book a pleasant and helpful read for any mum.' Publishers Weekly
Posted by Karen Hall on 10th Dec 2012
Feed Yourself Feed Your Family is an attractive La Leche League book packed with information and useful tips. The chapters are ordered chronologically, covering pregnancy, new parenthood/breastfeeding, starting solids, and feeding a family. Each chapter includes a selection of recipes considered appropriate for that particular chapter of your life.
I was concerned that a chapter on eating for breastfeeding would fall into the trap of implying that breastfeeding is demanding if you don’t eat special food, but in fact the book explicitly states that this is not the case (however it does mention the need for 350 extra calories, which is not supported by evidence). This section is brimming with suggestions for food you can eat with one hand, and food you can get other people to cook for you. I especially liked the comment that “you are passing on your culture through your milk,” (p68) and have quoted that in antenatal classes and see the parents nodding.
The book has a slightly american tone, although it’s clear that much of it has been ‘translated’ into British English. Some of the food standards given are american, though this doesn’t detract from the clear, factual approach. My biggest concern with the book was the amount of salt added to almost every recipe, some of which included salt in the cooking, again before tasting, and then a garnish of bacon. The Starting Solids section could have had more emphasis on baby-led weaning, good finger foods, and how to work family meals that baby can eat too.
Posted by S Gadilhe on 27th Sep 2012
LLL have created a family recipe book that is just that bit more. From sound advice on nutrition during pregnancy and whilst nursing, to how to handle a toddler's fussy eating habits.
This is a gentle and non-preachy book; it gives simple scientific reasoning within it's 5 topics and makes the mouth water with recipes such Roasted Prawns with Baby Plum Tomatoes and Courgette. Post-birth recipes are predominantly quick, easy and freezable. There is even advice on the best one-handed food to eat, although it comes with no guarantees that you won't still drop crumbs/sauce on your nursing baby's head. Then as your children grow, there are ideas for fun food to make and eat with them - UFO's are a favourite in this house.
LLL have once again created a book that doesn't glamorise, preach or view parenthood through rose-tinted spectacles. It is honest ("If you're like most post-partum mothers, we'll assume you're still feeling a little tender here and there, but it gets better and it gets easier"), it normalises (breastfeeding, lack of sleep), it comforts and it calls to most people's obsession with what they'd like to eat for dinner.
My only criticism is that it a little difficult to navigate. Tabs within the sections, or coloured corners, would have made it easier to flick to recipes without having to resort to the index.
Posted by Eleonora Lawson on 16th Sep 2012
This is a very practical book full of recipes and tips, from what to put in the shopping basket to what to eat on different occasions and different times of pregnancy or motherhood.
The very good thing is that while the book is focused on good nutrition, full of reminders for a healthy lifestyle while pregnant, breastfeeding and raising a family, it is aimed at having a positive approach to food and not ‘perfection’.
It also promotes the skill of asking for help, which is very useful to have as a new mother. Tips and tricks on how to do this are in the book!
It is divided in 5 chapters, which makes it very easy to consult on demand rather then reading it throughout. The only negative side of the 5 chapters division is that sometimes the information is a bit all over the place (e.g vitamins).
Overall it is a fantastic book to have in the kitchen and it makes it the perfect gift for a family.
Posted by Attached Mummy on 11th Sep 2012
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.
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.
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.
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, “don’t fret about fat”, and take the emotion out of eating. At the same time, it’s full of informative facts.
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.
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.
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.
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.