Are you a new parent, or know someone who is about to be? With the arrival of a new baby, food and cooking become a rather different set of challenges — snatched in between sleepless nights and the blissful absorption into every aspect of this new being's life. But once the friendly meals and Taco Boxes stop coming, you do need to feed yourself in the middle of this new family landscape, and that's where Debbie Koenig's smart new book can help.
Debbie has long written one of my favorite food blogs, Words to Eat By. She's smart and funny, and a terrific writer. Her first book is all about this challenge of feeding yourself and your family in the middle of new parenthood. She offers a fresh, lucid writing style, and smart solutions to things like meals you can eat with one hand, meals for the slow cooker, and meals to make while the baby naps. She looks at good things to eat while breastfeeding, and she offers tips for stocking your pantry.
But it doesn't end there — she had all 150 of her recipes tested by real moms from across the country, and she inserts their comments and thoughts after each recipe.
The book itself is laid out well, with non-glossy pages, and its one drawback — no photos — is somewhat made up for by the fact that the recipes mostly stick to a one-page layout. She also has some really smart features, like an index to all her sidebars (indexing chunks of information like "Basic Tips for the Slow Cooker" and "Making a Nursing Snack Basket" and making them easier to find).
I really love this book so far — I've only given it a quick read, but I think its strength lies in its comprehensive approach to cooking in this new phase of life, and offering help at every step. It would make a great baby gift (with that Taco Box, of course).
Have you read this book yet? What did you think of it?
• Find the book: Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents by Debbie Koenig (William Morrow Paperbacks) at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon
• Visit Debbie's Blog: Words To Eat By
Related: Too Many Cooks by Emily Franklin - Book Review 2009
(Images: Faith Durand)