Whether you’re embarking on the wonderful world of weaning or coping with a fussy eater, we’ve teamed up with world-leading feeding expert Annabel Karmel MBE to lend a hand.
25 years ago, Annabel sparked a food revolution with her New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner which has guided more than four million parents through feeding their baby. 40 cookbooks later and a global cooking phenomenon, Annabel has become the No.1 go-to food guru.
Stay with us for the tastiest recipes, tips and advice. Plus, Annabel will be joining us soon for a live social chat, so you can put your burning questions to her.
Meet Annabel Karmel
Whose recipe books did you love before you became a mum? Jamie? Nigella? The Helmseys? Whoever it was, the chances are at least one cookbook by a certain Annabel Karmel has now found its way on to your shelves.
Annabel changed the world of baby food forever when she launched her first book 25 years ago, and now she’s sharing all her favourite recipes and top tips with M&B.
‘I’m so happy to be able to share my recipes with a new generation of mums,’ she says. ‘I’m now feeding a second generation of babies – mums who were fed my meals when they were babies are now giving my food to their own children. That makes me feel very happy indeed.’
In those 25 years since she wrote the New Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner, the food world has been rushing to catch up with her ground-breaking advice and unique recipe combos.
‘My feeding guide has remained the No.1 bestseller for decades, and whilst babies’ nutritional needs haven’t changed, food trends have,’ she says.
‘So many of us are now using spiralisers and stocking up on superfoods like kale – things we wouldn’t have imagined 25 years ago! So now is the perfect time to introduce a special new anniversary edition filled with my famous favourites and a host of new recipes.’
Annabel has helped more than four million parents give their babies the best start in life with her nutritious, delicious recipes. And her success is thanks to her fussy-eating son.
‘I got into cookery after having my eldest son, Nicholas,’ she says.
‘I struggled to get him interested in food, aside from cooked fruit and pasta. Having tragically lost my first child Natasha at just a few months old to a viral infection, I felt incredibly vulnerable and wanted to ensure he was getting all the right nutrients.’
But try as she might with bland traditional recipes, he wouldn’t eat. ‘That’s when I started experimenting with different flavours,’ she says. ‘I tried him with fruit and veg combos, as well as herbs and spices – and he loved it!
‘He refused to eat chicken, so I’d combine it with apple, and he adored it – in fact, my recipe for chicken and apple balls has become one of my most famous!
‘At the time, I was running a playgroup and I started sharing recipes with other mothers, realising they too were having problems feeding their own children. They were a huge success, and the basis of my most famous cookbook. Not only was it a fitting legacy to Natasha, but it was also a chance to help every parent out there struggling to give their baby the best start in life.’
But Annabel is under no illusions as to how hard feeding can be, especially as we all lead such busy lives. ‘We often start out with good intentions, and sometimes our best efforts will end up on the floor or splattered up the walls,’ she says.
‘The key is not to give up, and my cookbook recipes are simple and quick to prepare, so you won’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. That was important to me when I was trying to feed my babies, and it’s definitely the same for mums now.’