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My name is Kim McCosker. I am a mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, auntie, cousin, and friend. I believe the heart of all homes is smack-bang in the kitchen. My hometown is Mundubbera, a small country town in Queensland. There were no twenty-four-hour grocery stores and any money that came our way was plowed (literally) straight back into our farm—it was not to be wasted. So my beautiful mum learned to be very creative in the kitchen, making wonderful meals from minimal ingredients. Her mum, my grandmother, a widow way too early with four kids, was the same. I learned to cook from them, so to me, food means family. My mum and grandmother made the dinner table a place to connect and communicate. It was a fun place where my brothers and I would try to create ways to get rid of peas other than by eating them (gross!). And so it is today in my house, although a lot, lot messier with my three boys (and it’s not the peas they’re protesting about, it’s the cauliflower and beets).
I have a degree in international finance; I’m an author and a businesswoman. I’d like to play golf more, help in my boys’ classrooms more often, and read the paper from start to finish just once this year. I am a really busy person who works my life and schedule around my family. I juggle many balls on any given day, doing the best I know how, sometimes successfully, sometimes dreadfully! But above all, I am just like you—a proud parent wanting to learn how to start on the right path to feeding their baby.
You may know the 4 Ingredients series I put together with my coauthor Rachael Bermingham. Actually, this book grew out of those. On tours around Australia in 2008 and 2009, doing lots and lots of author talks in hundreds of libraries, I would always ask the librarians, “What books are you regularly asked for?” The reply was often, “A baby food book.” What a great idea, I thought, and now here it is!
Baby Bowl differs from 4 Ingredients in an important way—many of these recipes have way more than four ingredients in them. “Why?” you may ask. Because, Mum and Dad, this is your moment! A stellar opportunity to offer your beautiful little babies as many vegetables and as much fruit and combinations of both as their little bellies will hold. This is the time your little angels are willing to try anything. Wait till they turn three, and the very minestrone soup they loved yesterday they completely reject today “because it’s got that green stuff in it!” “What green stuff?” you ask, astonished. Oh—vegetables!
When my boys were babies, I wouldn’t serve dinner without at least four vegetables cooked, baked, or mashed into it. So there was my “4 ingredients” quota gone in one food group!
The recipes in Baby Bowl are simple, healthy ideas aimed at introducing as many flavors to your baby’s palate as possible, before it turns into the psychotic personality it may later become (the palate, that is!). They were developed to include the goodness of each food group along with their five veggies and two fruits a day.
I have been blessed with three absolutely beautiful boys, and no amount of reading or research could have prepared me for the reality of motherhood and the enormous responsibility that accompanies it. There is so much information available these days, and for the advice of every expert another will tell you why it’s wrong! I wrote this book based on what worked for me, on advice passed from my grandmother to my mother and now to me. And guess what? With this simple gift of good nutritional sense, I have managed to raise three happy, healthy boys. (Say a prayer that this now continues!) And if I can do it, anyone can.
Where do you start when introducing solids to your baby?
With Baby Bowl—a practical, easy cookbook
written by one loving mum for others.
With love & nourishment,
Food for Life 4
Handy Kitchen Tools for Making Baby Food 5
What I Learned When Starting Out 6
Top Tips 6
Baby Food Preparation 7
Baby Food Storage 8
Thawing and Preparing Frozen Food 8
Offering Food to Baby 9
The Importance of Nutrition 11
The Importance of Homemade Baby Food 13
Foods to Try & When 14
Key to Food Icons 19
Birth to Six Months 24
Four to Six Months 28
Six Months 31
Seven Months 45
Eight to Ten Months 65
Baby Finger Foods-Handy Hints and Tips 78
Ten to Twelve Months 81
Twelve Months 99
In the Car 116
Babies with a Cold 124
Guide to Growth: A Baby's First Twelve Months 128
First Foods from Around the World 130
Baby's First Menu Planner 132
Where it is necessary to use "he" or "she" in reference to the baby, I have used "he." This reflects only the fact that I have cooked for and fed three baby boys!