I came across this book, Whole food for children by Jude Blereau (and its companion, Whole Food) at my son’s kindergarten. This book has been a guiding light and wonderful resource for the past two years as they have created and prepared their whole food program for the children. (In a lovely twist, I’ve heard that Jude’s daughter attended Ned’s preschool many years ago too.)
This week, I’ve had it out from the library for a much closer look and I have to say, I love it.
Not only is it filled with glorious recipes, grouped in age brackets from ‘first tastes- pure and simple’ for 6-8 month old babies, right up until ‘towards independence’ for 3-7 year olds, many of the recipes are perfect for everyone in the family. She includes lunchbox ideas (one can NEVER have enough of these!) and suggestions for celebrations and parties too. The best thing is that EVERY recipe is full of REAL ingredients- nothing artificial, nothing dodgy- just real ingredients you are likely to have at home. And they are simple enough for everyone to make! This is a saving grace for busy mums and dads. While I love all kinds of cookbooks and fancy recipes, I do tend to fall back upon my old favourites, and tend to source my ideas from cookbooks that feature recipes made from everyday ingredients. I don’t have time (you probably don’t either!) to go hunting for rare or exotic ingredients, no matter how wonderful the recipe sounds.
Another bonus in this book is that Jude provides ‘recipe foundations’ and shows us how to prepare beans, lentils and peas (rinsing and soaking are the keys), grains- both common and slightly obscure, stocks (easy and so handy- you’ll never need pre-prepared stocks from the supermarket shelf again), and all kinds of milks, yoghurt and labne cheese. (Labne on fresh spelt bread rolls is just about my favourite thing to eat! Ned’s kindy prepares this meal as part of their weekly food program- lucky kids!)
And if you love to read about the science and nutrition facts about food, Jude provides this too. She truly demystifies many of our false food theories and provides sound information to help parents make positive choices for their kid’s health and well-being.
It’s a book I definitely recommend for your home cookbook stash.