REVIEW: “Growing Up Gourmet” by Jennifer Carlson, Co-Founder of Baby Gourmet

Garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, sage, basil—you’ll be amazed by what your baby will eat! Here are 125 healthy, delicious, kitchen-tested, and pediatric dietician-approved baby food recipes that will nurture your child’s adventurous palate and guarantee smiles from everyone at the dinner table.

Growing Up Gourmet is a total guide to your baby and toddler’s diet. Jennifer Carlson built her business, Baby Gourmet, into one of the top-selling organic baby food brands in North America—and she’ll show you how to make nutritious, delicious, home-cooked meals that will complement your child’s development schedule and make everyone else in the family happy too. Her mouth-watering recipes reduce picky eating and introduce your baby to the wide world of textures and tastes, from veggies such as kale and fennel, to grains such as amaranth and spelt, to herbs and spices such as turmeric and ginger that will help you avoid added sugar, salt, colourings, and preservatives.

As a busy mother of two, Jen understands that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by feeding struggles and the sheer mass of parenting information, not to mention the challenges of finding time to make wholesome, flavorful meals from scratch. In this essential guide, she clearly lays out everything you need to know about feeding your baby: when to wean; how to get the right nutrients at every stage; how to deal with finicky eating habits; which foods will treat gas, colic, constipation, low iron, or poor sleep; and how to adapt your special dietary considerations for your child. As daunting as it may seem, there are shortcuts and techniques to make it all manageable, whether you’re cooking for a single little one or a family of five and counting.

When I was first offered a copy of this book to review, I jumped at the chance! We had been feeding my daughter Baby Gourmet food pouches since she was able to start solids at 6 months. We right away loved the fresh, simple and wholesome ingredients it contained but more importantly, the sugar content was amazingly low.  She happily ate every variety we tried for her and we know her palette was developed through the different flavours Baby Gourmet offered.  She is now 2 years old so has obviously moved on from those pouches, but I still recommend the line to new or expectant mommies I meet through my business.

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I picked up the book and the first thing I noticed was how vibrant the cover was. It was colorful with photos of foods and children and the name of the book was positioned in the middle.  nice and clean-looking.  Upon opening the book, I noticed the Table of Contents was easily laid out, beginning with “Introduction To Solids”, with the different stages leading up to “Feeding the Whole Family”.  For those whom are not sure what ages these stages begin or end, they are outlined in brackets beside each heading.  Excellent.gourmet2

I jumped right away to “Feeding the Whole Family” as my daughter is 2yrs old and is beyond the books definition of the “Toddler Stage”, not to mention I was curious what feeding the whole family entailed. After looking at a few of the recipes, I LOVED the way each recipe laid out one meal, two ways.  One for parents and one for children so in the end the entire family is eating the same meal!  Genius!  No need for two separate dinners.  It can be spiced up a bit for the parents and a little dialed down for the child.

Before you even get immersed in the wonderful selection of recipes, Jennifer lists some ingredients found later on in her recipes and tells you how to buy and store it, then tells you how to use each ingredient.  All of the ingredients are laid out in the same fashion, making it very user-friendly. She also includes a seasonality chart so the reader knows ahead of time what vegetable or fruit is in season and what isn’t.

It was visually pleasing to see that the recipes were split up with photos of Jennifer’s kitchen during cooking or photos with her family in the vegetable garden.  It’s refreshing on the eyes
instead of just looking at pages and pages of recipes.

gourmet 1My favourite part of “Growing Up Gourmet” , hands down, was the legend that accompanied each and every recipe, advising the reader whether or not the recipe contained dairy or wheat as well as if it was a meal that can be frozen for later.  It was great that Jennifer considered all aspects of children’s health.  Vegetarian children, lactose intolerant children, children who are wheat-intolerant and there are some recipes that offered substitutions for healthier alternatives.

My only “Con” to this book is that there is no clear heading for desserts!  I LOVE my desserts and so does my family.   I found myself scrolling through the pages for a granola bar recipe or a spiced apples recipe or even a tasty smoothie recipe.  If those could have been grouped together, that would have been delightful.

Overall, the “Growing Up Gourmet” 125-page recipe book has variety and alot to offer the family who want to change things up at mealtime but are not quite sure how.  There are so many things a parent s can do to make mealtime more enjoyable, more fun and tasty and this book will definitely take you there.  I was shocked with all the different ways to cook something and make it a little different each time with bold flavours and colours.

My daughter and husband will absolutely love this, not that I was boring in the kitchen to begin with of course!

Interested in receiving your very own copy of Jennifer Carlson’s “Growing Up Gourmet”? Well, you can.  Mommy Connections Durham and the publisher, Simon and Schuster Canada have teamed up for this awesome giveaway.  All you have to do is read this review and enter for your chance to win!  Tell your friends as well and YOU will receive 10 extra entries just for spreading the word!

Easy as pie right? (No pun intended).

Click HERE to enter. Good Luck!!

*this contest ends at 11:59pm on June 21 and the winner will be announced via social media as well as via email.

 

 

 

 

About Heather Watson

I am a wife, a mother, a baker, an independent woman and quite the social butterfly. I've been in the Insurance Industry for 9 years and have worked as an independent claims adjuster for the past 3. Becoming a mother has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined and I love it so much, I joined Mommy Connections as a Program Director so that I can join my two loves: taking care of my daughter and meeting new people.

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