Bébé Gourmet by Jenny Carenco

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

I’m pretty sure that all of us “foodies” who either have children or have entertained the idea of having children probably share a similar daydream: raising a happy and adventurous eater on healthy, wholesome foods we prepare ourselves. Although I don’t have kids myself, I suspect that the leap from daydream to reality is probably more difficult than I can anticipate. If and when it comes time to take that leap, you can bet that this charming book Bébé Gourmet is going to be tucked under my arm.

Quick Facts

Who wrote it: Jenny Carenco

Who published it: The Experiment

Number of recipes: Around 100

Recipes for right now: Peach Compote, Green Bean Puree, Potato and Corn Puree, Salmon with Spinach, Fine Semolina with Thyme, Risotto with Crushed Tomatoes and Carrots, Pasta Shapes with Soft Cheese and Basil, Chicken and Vegetables in Coconut Milk, Cheesy Corn and Carrot Galettes

Other highlights: This book starts with recipes to feed your baby at 4 months — the age at which babies can easily digest solid foods — and continues all the way up through their first birthday. In food terms, this means we start with easy vegetable purees and fruit compotes, move into mashed and blended “grown-up” foods, and finally graduate to real foods. 

These are easy, doable recipes — though I’m sure the mashes and purees look a lot more lovely in these adorable French dishes than they would on my table! At every stage, Jenny Carenco offers advice on introducing new foods, tempting reluctant eaters, and introducing bits of flair into otherwise simple meals, like a few leaves of basil in a puree or a pinch of cinnamon in a smoothie. Carenco also brings in Dr. Jean Lalau Keraly to give nutritional advice and provide explanations for each developmental step.

I feel like the biggest message I take from this book is that feeding your child should be a shared experience and fun for both of you. Lots of experimentation is required as those tastebuds develop — what a baby hates one day, she may like the next (and vice versa). In this book, Jenny Carenco takes away much of the worry and anxiety we may feel about cooking for wee ones, and replaces it with the eager anticipation over what baby food to try next.

Who would enjoy this book? New parents!

Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Bebe Gourmet by Jenny Carenco

Visit the author’s website: Jenny Carenco

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