The Best Baby Food Cookbooks
Whether you plan to make all, most, or some of your baby’s food, having a baby food cookbook at the ready will be a tremendous resource for you when your little one starts solids. And believe it or not, I would argue that even if you don’t plan on making any of your baby’s food, a baby food cookbook is still a good investment. That’s because the best books will offer much more than recipes—must-know infant nutrition info, how to prevent food allergies, and strategies for handling picky eating. As the long-time food editor at Parents magazine and a baby food cookbook author myself, I’ve surveyed the offerings, and these are my picks for the best baby food cookbooks.
And, look, of course I’m going recommend the books I wrote! I know how much time I spent testing recipes, the care I put into research, and how closely I collaborated with a pediatric dietitian and other experts. I believe in these books—and I’ve received such positive feedback from families—that they’re first up :).
For each of my picks for the best baby food cookbooks, you’ll see that I’ve included links to both Amazon and Bookshop. What’s Bookshop? It’s a way to shop online, but still support independent bookstores—basically, my new favorite way to buy books!*
Baby-Led Feeding – Baby-led feeding is my take on baby-led weaning, the newly popular method of starting solids that skips the spoon and offers baby finger foods from the very beginning. The book is packed with over 100 recipes, from first foods to baby-appropriate family meals, plus visual glossaries for how to safely cut finger foods and helpful essays on how to prevent food allergies, how to raise a vegetarian or vegan baby, and how to taste train your baby. Recipes include Roasted Apple Slices, Zucchini Bread Waffles, and Slow-Cooker Maple Dijon Pork. (Amazon/Bookshop)
Real Baby Food – If you’re looking for a more traditional take on starting solids this is the book for you. Like Baby-Led Feeding, this one is written with pediatric dietitian Natalia Stasenko, and is chock-full of nutrition info, a guide to when and how to start solids, and easy recipes from purées to family meals baby can enjoy too. Some of my favorite recipes include Red-Lentil Spinach Purée, Apple-Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, and Cornflake Chicken Cutlets. You’ll also find a recommended feeding schedule with portion sizes, advice for introducing beverages to baby, and how to go easy on sugar in your toddler’s diet. (Amazon/Bookshop)
Around the World in 80 Purées – One of the things I believe most strongly about baby food is that it doesn’t need to be bland. And babies are never more accepting of new flavors than before age 1. So take advantage and introduce them to big flavors early.Yes, you want to skip added sugar most added salt in baby’s food… but there’s a world of other tastes to add! This book proves it, with recipes that tap into flavors from Nigeria, Mexico, China, Morocco, and beyond. Plus, how can you not love the clever title? (Amazon)
Born to Eat – One of my favorite books about feeding babies, this excellent guide by two registered dietitians is more than a nutrition book or a cookbook. It’s about a food and eating philosophy that champions bringing baby to the family table right from the start, banishing diet culture (which believe it or not can even affect how we feed our babies), and raising intuitive eaters. You’ll learn about baby-led weaning, yes, but also be inspired to think deeply about your family’s food culture. (Amazon/Bookshop)
The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers – Written by two pediatrician parents, this book takes you stage by stage through baby’s food needs. It includes a few simple recipes, but I like it best for all the questions and answers that are included. With this book in the house you’ll feel like you have a pediatrician on call for virtually any feeding question you have, including about breastfeeding, food allergies, and picky eating. (Amazon/Bookshop)
You can see five more baby and toddler food books I love (including The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook!) here on my Bookshop shelf. Also, check out my all-time favorite I-would-take-these-with-me-to-a-desert-island cookbooks!
*If you buy one of these best baby food cookbooks from Bookshop, I may receive a small commission.
Applesauce photo by Lauren Volo from The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook