Cooking for Coco? Strange name! Is it like working for peanuts? Not at all. This is such a charming book about foods for your baby, in this case Coco who is the daughter of Siân Blunos. That name might sound familiar. Siân is the wife of chef and well-known TV food demonstrator, Martin Blunos. He of the spectacular moustaches. So that’s the family introductions out of the way.
The meals for your baby are probably the most important you will ever prepare. You have the responsibility of feeding a balanced diet appropriate for their age, but had you considered that you are also moulding their eating habits? Don’t complain that your kids are picky eaters…it could be partly down to you!
Siân has three children, Coco being the last. She is a busy mum but wanted to give her kids the best quality and most interesting food. Both Siân and Martin are chefs and so they understand the joy of eating a wide range of foods, and why shouldn’t you start to enjoy those when you are a baby? How about a slightly revamped adult gourmet menu?
The idea is that you introduce your baby to as many different foods, flavours, textures as soon as they are able to eat them. Did you know that babies introduced to chewy foods early are less likely to grow up to be picky eaters? The wider variety of foods we eat the less likely we are to develop a whole list of serious illnesses in later life.
So you’re thinking that this sounds like a lot of extra work. Well, no! Think about it. If your kids can eat, and indeed expect to eat, the same as you then there is no additional preparation of hot dogs or fish fingers or anything in the shape of a monster. It’s just one meal for all members of the family, with a bit of blender work. There’s plenty of advice about freezing your homemade meals, so some evenings you won’t need to do any cooking at all. Like the sound of that?
The recipes are simple and flavourful. You’ll want to start with the fruit puree for small babies, but those purees would be lovely as adult desserts with perhaps a light dressing of crème fraiche. The veggie purees are versatile and would work well as either an adult side dish or part of a gratin. These aren’t dull and boring. Fennel and Potato Cheese Puree is sophisticated and delicious. The food will get chunkier but just as tempting as the months go by.
I am sure you have plenty of cookbooks for scrumptious adult food. Your baby deserves to have equally delectable and exciting tastes. You’ll swell with pride when your two-year-old says “Pass the kumquats, Mum”.
Cooking for Coco
Author: Siân Blunos
Published by: Carroll and Brown Publishers
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018