Do you need a cookbook to make your own baby food? Absolutely not! There are great online resources (including this website :-)).
The best online resource I've found is: Wholesome Baby Food
If you want a paper cookbook as I did, here are my reviews for the books I read!
First Place goes to...
The Baby and Toddler Cookbook
This was (by far) my favorite of the 3 books and the one I used the most. The book is separated into: Getting Started, First Bites (6 months), Creamy Combos (7-8 months), Super Chunky (9-11 months), and toddler food. The intro sections for each chapter are informative and useful. This book is actually recipes, not just how to steam and blend food. Some of our favorite recipes:
- Red lentil and rice soup
- Beet, squash, and quinoa
- Creamy avocado-egg spread
Second Place goes to...
This is the most attractive out of the 3 books, the pictures are stunning. The author is French, this book is a translation. The book is separated into First Compotes and Purees (4+ months), First Lunches and Sweets (6+ months), First Dinners (9+ months), First Big-Kid Lunches and Dinners (12+ months) and Big-Kid Snacks and Treats. Most of these recipes are cooked in a saucepan, versus steaming or roasting. I found some of the recipe recommendations questionable:
- Pineapple, mango, and some other foods are recommended at the 4+ month age.
- She also makes very early use of oils and dairy (milk, creme frache) at the 4+ month age.
Some of our favorite recipes:
- Potato and corn puree
- Mashed pumpkin and apple
- Carrot and cumin puree
Third Place goes to...
The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet
This book I liked the least. The intro section is nice, but after that it is separated into a chapter for each month (and then a toddler section) which would be very restrictive if you followed it. There is no reason that the recipes in the 8th month chapter couldn't be fed at 7 months, etc. I use the term recipe loosely, as these are not really recipes, simply instruction for making purees. The instructions are the same for most of them! And then the author mixes two purees together and calls it by a different "fun" recipe name.