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One Handed Cooks - Book Review

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by KJ (subscribe)
Published August 18th 2016
"How to raise a healthy happy eater from baby to school age"

One Handed Cooks is a book based on the popular Australian baby and toddler food blog of the same name. With the combined expertise of creator Allie Gaunt, Accredited Practising Dietitian Jessica Beaton and Photographer Sarah Buckle, One Handed Cooks contains over 100 recipes and is full of advice on healthy eating and nutrition.

One Handed cooks, Recipe Book, Tips, Nutrition Advice, Allie Gaunt
Table of Contents

One Handed cooks, Recipe Book, Back Cover, Blurb, Allie Gaunt
Back Cover

In the introduction, there is information on nutrition basics (including the main food groups), vegetarian babies and foods to avoid. This is followed by a section on food allergies and intolerances, with a list of advice on substitutes (e.g. egg substitutes, nut substitutes etc).

The next section is about feeding babies and toddlers. It includes tips for starting solids, feeding milestones, age-appropriate foods etc. and has a number of recipes for various sweet and savoury purees.

The book then continues on to textured meals, finger foods and family meals. The authors mention the importance of introducing variety early on, and one of the tips is to introduce herbs and spices from an early age, starting with a small amount and gradually building up the amount.

One Handed cooks, Recipe Book, Fish Cakes, Allie Gaunt
These Salmon and Ricotta Cakes contain dill - a herb with a distinct taste, which can be used to help children become familiar with different flavours

There is a section on the benefits of tasting plates, and how they can be a useful way to introduce a variety of finger foods to small children.

One Handed cooks, Recipe Book, Chicken satay, Tasting Plate, Mango, corn, Allie Gaunt
A tasting plate with Satay Chicken Skewers, Mango and Corn on the Cob (p. 129)

One Handed cooks, Recipe Book, Spinach and Ricotta Nudies, Allie Gaunt
A tasting plate with Spinach and Ricotta Nudies, Capsicum, a Strawberry and Pasta (p. 136)

Chapter 7 contains information on 'balanced snacking', followed by some healthy snack recipes, including Teeny Teddies (p. 172).

The breakfast recipes include a variety of recipes, such as:

Super-Start Toasted Muesli (p. 144)
Breakfast Muffins (p. 153)
Smoothie Bowl (p. 149); and
Raspberry Pikelets (p. 154)

One Handed cooks, Recipe Book, Allie Gaunt
Raspberry Pikelets

There's also a section with advice on what to pack in a healthy lunchbox, plus a number of lunchbox recipes including:

No-Nut Crunchy Muesli Bars (p. 186)
Carrot and Blueberry Oatbran Muffins (p. 190); and
Way-Too-Easy Pizza Scrolls (p. 194)

One Handed cooks, Recipe Book, Pizza Scrolls, Allie Gaunt
Pizza Scrolls

Towards the end of the book, there is a section which has recipes for 'one meal, three ways'. Each recipe is able to be adapted for a baby and/or toddler, and next to each recipe is an example of an adult serve, toddler serve and baby serve.

Recipes include:

Lamb Rack with Parsley and Pine Nuts (p. 224),
Chicken Curry (p. 226),
Baby Meatballs with Tomato Sauce (p. 228); and
Chicken and Pesto Spaghetti (p. 232).

Overall, it's a fantastic book for parents, with great advice and information, healthy recipes and beautiful photography. It's the kind of book I wish I'd have had when I was first introducing my children to food, as it contains everything you need to know, in a single book.

I would recommend this book to parents of young children (babies to primary school-age).

I think it would also be particularly useful for parents of children with food allergies or intolerances, due to the symbols on each recipe (GF= Gluten Free, DF = Dairy Free etc) and the information at the bottom of each recipe providing advice on how to alter the recipe to suit those with allergies or intolerances.

If you want to know more about the authors, or have a look at their recipes, they have a popular Facebook page, or you can visit their website at
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Why? To try some healthy and tasty, kid-friendly recipes
When: Any time
Where: Anywhere
Cost: RRP $39.99, however I've seen it for around $30 at some book stores
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