Friday, September 18, 2015

the Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book [book review]

diy baby food

I will be the first person to tell you that when it comes to raising a baby, I'm clueless.  Pre-baby I thought for sure that once I became a parent I would constantly be reading parenting books, scouring scholarly articles and keeping up to date on the newest parenting techniques.  But let's be honest, I am a first time mom with a newborn babe...who has time for all that?!  I am lucky to fit in a shower every day, let alone reading parenting books.

I definitely was shocked when we were sent home from the hospital with a tiny pamphlet of information regarding basic parenting techniques and care information for my own self... we were just expected to know how to keep this baby safe and make it grow??

Luckily, we have lots of help from family and friends... but when it came to new milestones in little JJ's life, such as starting to eat real food, we didn't even know where to begin!  Baby led weaning, purees, a combination... we were so lost.  Our pediatrician basically said to not feed him honey... and that's it.  I tend to be more on the "type A" spectrum in where ideally I would like to research all the methods and ideas and then choose an exact plan of action...but like I said before who has time for all that?

Almost like clock work, that day I got an email from Blogging for Books advertising The Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book by Lisa Barrangou, PhD... and I requested it immediately. 

When I received the book I dove in head first and took pages of notes on what to do, how to do it, and any questions I might of had... but let me tell you, this book had it all!  On top of the basic information like how and when to introduce foods, there is a whole 3 month day to day meal plan set out for you to use.  This made my "type A" personality so happy.  It took all of the stress right out of this developmental milestone with my babe, so I felt confident in what we were doing and I could just relax and enjoy the process.

The premise of this book is that you can prep 3 months worth of homemade, pureed, baby food in just 3 hours by using whole foods, your blender, and ice cube trays... that way each day you can pull cubes of foods from your freezer and easily thaw them for you baby to enjoy.

Here are my personal favorite things about this book:

Detailed Grocery Lists

Within the first 10 pages there is a detailed grocery list of every whole food you'll need to buy for the 3 month meal plan.  Not only do they list the items, but they give you the amount needed, selection tips, and even if that food is part of the dirty dozen, (to buy organic if possible) the clean 15, (where organic would not matter) or if they are available frozen!  Talk about convenient!

Step by Step Prep Instructions

For each food, there are detailed instructions on how to prepare, puree, and freeze.  We're talking 56 pages of different steps and guides, it is so helpful!  This includes making your own rice, oat, and quinoa cereal which is so dang easy--I never would have guessed!

3 Months of Menus

This was probably my favorite part of the whole book.  Just with my personality type, having a detailed day by day list of exactly what to pull and thaw each day was so refreshing.  It made starting solids seem much more manageable for me.  I honestly was overwhelmed with not knowing how to go about starting foods for JJ and having this menu laid out in front of me showing me when to introduce each new food made it so easy!  I followed the first month exactly just so I could review it accurately, the second month I followed pretty closely substituting some other foods in the place of ones they had in there, and by the third month I felt so confident in my abilities that I didn't need to follow it anymore... but I did love the ideas and inspiration the menus gave me.

Flavor Compatibility Guide

For each food that was on the menu they listed which foods combined well with it...due to their flavor profiles.  This is hands-down the section I reference most now that I am not using the menu anymore.  It's nice to know which flavors mesh well together without guessing and having them be disgusting and thrown out because JJ won't eat them. :)


I would love this book regardless of the photos...but it's a definite perk!  The photographs are so bright, vibrant and colorful, I love looking at them.



Overall I would give this book two huge thumbs up!  It would be an awesome gift for someone that you knew wanted to go about making their own purees for their baby.  I've had quite a few people out and about comment on the purees and ask me about them... I have told so many people about this book, I love it!


I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this honest review.


  1. far out he's a gorgeous little boy - who obviously likes the recipe book ;)

  2. He's so cute! I'm glad the book was so great!

  3. i wanted to read parenting books when i was pregnant, but most things scared me silly! there so many books about what to do if the worst happened or everything fell apart, and i didn't want to think about that then. now, however, you're totally right - no time! thank heavens for friends and family and mothers that love to chit and chat about all things baby :)


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