Since I already started on how pretty it is, let's get that part over with. This book is a sturdy hardcover cookbook with gorgeous photography (by Erin Scott), easy to read typography and pretty colors when needed. Pages are good quality, probably between 32 - 48 lbs in weight (standard copy paper is 20 lbs, while printed color glossy brochures are typically 28 lbs). Layout for charts and graphs are also easy to read.
Next, about the author, Dr. Lisa Barrangou, well, you can read more about her on her website. However, I want to point out her background as a food scientist for three different Fortune 500 food companies assures us, as readers that she knows what she's talking about. Even in the preface of the book, she tells us she knows all about processed foods, and that's why she's going with home-made, all natural and whole foods for her special ones. I think it says a lot, and I guess it's the same idea as breast feeding instead of formula and cloth diapers versus disposables, which are all areas I'm considering for the wholesome benefits for my little ones.
Now, as to the actual contents of the book, Dr. Barrangou gives us a plan to prepare and make 3 months of homemade purees (meals, since babies can't eat whole foods yet) in three hours. The easy to do plan consists of 6 steps, and wah-la, you end with 3 months worth of frozen cubes to be transformed to a meal for your little one. Well, it does not stop there. Dr. Barrangou continues with tips including safe food preparations and practices, allergies and intolerance, flavors and textures...etc. We then see a variety of recipes. You're thinking why do we need recipes? Don't we just puree the whole foods and that's it? No. Dr. Barrangou provides us with recipes that combines other whole foods, along with a chart and more info on food flavor compatibility, such as Berry Kiwi Cooler, Autumn Qunioa, Coconutty Mango Lassi...etc.
I am not there yet to try all the recipes or make 3 months worth of baby food. So I tried making the mango puree and then with a frozen mango puree, follow the recipe for the Coconutty Mango Lassi. Obviously, it did not take me a full hour for that, however, if you follow Dr. Barrangou's cooking sessions (she provided 3 for different foods to prepare and freeze), I'm sure it will take an hour for each session. If that sounds hard, she provides a handy shopping list, along with instructions that's really easy to follow. If you don't have 3 hours, I don't see why you can't separate the cooking sessions to 3 sessions, by spending one session (1 hour) a day. I also have frozen bananas, avocados and apples waiting to prepare some of the recipes in the book's later chapters. The book ends with a chapter on finger foods and foods for toddlers, as your little one advances in age and can handle not only pureed foods, but textured foods as well.
One of the best feature I love about The Amazing Make-Ahead Baby Food Book is the wealth of knowledge it contains. As mentioned above, it provides a well planned way to prepare 3 months worth of meals. It also gives you shopping tips, a little or more tidbit about each ingredient, and the appendix of charts and tools, and health info. There's also a handy timeline and milestones for feeding baby chart. This is a great book, not only for yummy recipes, but info for new moms, which makes this a great baby shower gift! Try it or give it. Definitely worth it.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review.