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The Baby's Table

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Revised and Updated

Written by Brenda BradshawAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Brenda Bradshaw and Lauren BramleyAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lauren Bramley


List Price: $17.99


On Sale: March 30, 2010
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-307-35884-4
Published by : Random House Canada RH Canadian Publishing
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Synopsis|Excerpt|Table of Contents


Baby's hungry! And when it comes to mealtime, nothing is better than food you prepare yourself. Newly revised and updated to comply with health Canada's current guidelines on infant feeding, The Baby's Table shows how easy it is to prepare delicious and healthy meals for the little ones in your life. The more than 150 recipes showcase whole foods and fresh ingredients, and have no added sugar or salt, not to mention the trans fat, starches and fillers found in many commercially prepared jarred baby foods. There are also lots of great tips and ideas, as well as important advice on:

~ breastfeeding, formula feeding and weaning your baby
~ introducing solid foods
~ assessing food intolerances and allergies
~ vitamin supplements
~ and much more.

Written by an elementary school teacher and a medical doctor in response to patient demand and their own needs as parents, The Baby's Table is the most comprehensive resource available for practical advice on feeding your baby.



As a general consultant pediatrician, I’ve been fielding questions for years from new parents about what (and how) to feed their children. When I first started my practice, I am embarrassed to say, many of these questions truly stumped me: When can I stop warming up the bottle? When can I give the baby eggs? Juice? Yogurt? It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I realized how much there truly is to learn about the care and feeding of babies. And, alas, knowing how and what to feed a baby and putting it into practice are two different things.

The Baby’s Table is full of delicious ideas and recipes. While some of the recipes may sound intimidating to the sleep-deprived new parent (Gourmet Tuna Melts or Salmon and Vegetables with Creamy Dill Sauce), they are all surprisingly simple and quick to prepare. When Mom and Dad are craving their favorite spicy takeout, having some of the dishes frozen in bulk to feed baby is a great option.

This book — part recipe book, part everything-you-need-to-know-to-feed-a-baby — answers all the feeding and nutrition questions I tried to answer in my early years as a pediatrician as well as the questions I had when I was figuring it out for myself as a new parent. The dishes are truly great-tasting as well as nutritious and safe. They focus on unprocessed, unsweetened and unsalted whole foods.

Finally! A book that I will be happy to recommend to new parents, to help them feed their baby for those crucial first years.

—Cheryl L. Mutch M.D., C.M., F.R.C.P(C.)
Pediatrician, Burnaby, B.C., Canada


If you’re like many new parents, you may find the prospect of making your own baby food a daunting one. You’re no Naked Chef; baby’s keeping you busy (and tired) — and besides, how would you know that what you’re feeding your infant is safe and supplies the nutrients needed for healthy development?

It’s easier than you think. And The Baby’s Table, filled with important nutritional information and cooking tips and more than 100 simple and tasty recipes, can show you how. There are helpful hints on dealing with behavioral issues such as feeding problems, and strategies for making healthy eating a pleasurable experience — for you as well as for your baby.

More and more parents today are seeing the advantages of preparing homemade baby food. It’s nutritional, economical and takes far less time than you think. All you need is a steamer basket, a blender or food processor, a small double-boiler, ice cube trays and a freezer. In an afternoon — during one of baby’s naptimes — you can whip up and freeze an entire month’s supply of meals rich in essential nutrients.

Your baby’s nutrition is of critical importance for physical and intellectual growth and development and has lasting implications for his or her future. Using the tips, recipes and meal plans provided in The Baby’s Table, you can create your own baby-pleasing fare that offers nutritional advantages not found in commercial brands. Homemade baby food cuts down on unwanted additives and offers your baby a wider variety of textures and flavors than commercial baby food could hope to replicate. The savings are substantial; your own baby food can be prepared at a fraction of the cost of store-bought. In the long term, offering home-prepared baby food can also help you shape your baby’s food choices for a healthy childhood, and beyond.

All recipes in The Baby’s Table have been reviewed by a physician and tested by parents — and more importantly, babies! Information is based on the latest medical and nutritional research and complies with the current Canadian guidelines for infant feeding. Be aware that the contents of this book are not intended as medical advice: the suggestions apply only to healthy full-term infants, and parents should consult with their doctor before undertaking any change in their infant’s diet.

The chapters in The Baby’s Table are conveniently named for the age group to which the recipes apply: Newborn to Four Months; From Four Months; From Six Months; From Eight Months; and Toddlers. There are also three helpful Appendices: Resources, Growth Charts, and References. For the purposes of this cookbook, age definitions are as follows: newborn, up to one month; infant, from birth to 12 months; toddler, from 1 to 3 years; and child, 3 years and older.

The fact that you’re reading this book shows you’re ready to take the plunge. Congratulations — you have made a commitment to a healthy future for your baby. Read on, have fun, be creative — and, since you’re sure to be taste-testing these recipes yourself, bon appétit!

Newborn to Four Months

For the first 4 to 6 months your baby will be fed only breast milk or breast milk substitute. The first 6 months is a time of peak growth and bonding, when your baby will double or triple his birth weight, will learn to smile and laugh and will rely on you entirely for healthy nutrition. It has been proven that breast milk is the optimum nutrition for young babies. It is not always possible to breastfeed, however. Regardless of whether you choose breast or bottle, a loving and caring approach to feeding will ensure your baby thrives to her greatest potential.

According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Dietitians of Canada, Health Canada and The American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding is the optimum method of feeding for all infants with very few exceptions. Research continues to prove the vast benefits of breastfeeding for your baby:

> Reduced rates of infection: Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the rates of respiratory, ear, gastrointestinal, urinary tract and other infections in both infancy and childhood by at least 30 to 50 percent. Antibodies and other proteins from the mother prevent infection and strengthen the immune system.
> Possible prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): In addition to placing an infant on his or her back for sleep, recent studies show a reduced risk of SIDS among breastfed infants.
> Enhanced cognitive development: Breastfeeding has been shown to improve childhood intelligence quotient (IQ), standardized tests of reading, mathematics and scholastic ability. These improvements are thought in part to be due to the specific fatty acids found only in breast milk.
> Prevention of allergies: Breast milk provides protection against the development of allergies in those infants with a family history.
> Prevention of iron deficiency: Breast milk is associated with lower rates of iron deficiency, provided iron-fortified cereals are begun between the fourth and sixth month.
> Other benefits: There is a possible reduction in asthma, diabetes, bowel diseases and some childhood cancers in breastfed children.

And then there are the health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers:

> Decreased osteoporosis in later life: During pregnancy, calcium is lost from the mother’s bones as a source for the developing baby. The hormones produced by breastfeeding replace the skeletal calcium lost during pregnancy, which leads to a decrease in osteoporosis.
> Decreased cancer risk: Breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancer. This is thought to be due to the reduced levels of estrogen caused by breastfeeding.
> Enhanced weight loss: Breastfeeding is related to increased weight loss following birth and a faster return to pre-pregnancy weight and body shape. This process begins immediately, as hormones released during breastfeeding promote faster shrinkage of the uterus and mobilization of fat from the lower body. These effects occur without dieting or excessive exercise and are more evident with prolonged breastfeeding.
> Other benefits: New parents are often overwhelmed by the time commitment of breastfeeding a newborn baby. However, breastfeeding is an excellent way to escape the demands of cleaning, sterilizing and preparing bottles, particularly in the early weeks of baby’s life. Furthermore, breast milk is a dynamic substance, which alters its consistency depending on both climate and your baby’s needs.

Table of Contents


Newborn to Four Months
From Four Months
From Six Months
From Eight Months

Appendix I: Resources
Appendix II: Growth Charts
Appendix III: References
Recipe Index
General Index
Brenda Bradshaw|Lauren Bramley|Author Desktop

About Brenda Bradshaw

Brenda Bradshaw - The Baby's Table

Photo © Jeff Petter

Brenda Bradshaw is an elementary school teacher living in Vancouver. She is co-author of The Good Food Book for Families, an avid cook, and the mother of two.

About Lauren Bramley

Lauren Bramley - The Baby's Table
Dr. Lauren Donaldson Bramley is a registered doctor in Australia, Canada, China and Hong Kong. Dr. Bramley now practices in Hong Kong where she lives with her husband and three children.

Author Q&A

Although juice is a source of vitamin C, your baby does not need it and there is no nutritional reason to give it to an infant before the age of one. This is due in part to the fact that the Recommended Nutrient Intake for vitamin C for infants (6 to 12 months) is 20 mg per day and this amount is easily obtained by drinking breast milk or infant formula and eating vegetables and fruit.
The problem with juice is that it is all too common to consume too much of it and this can indirectly contribute to inadequate intake of other nutrients. Furthermore, the sorbitol and fructose content of juice can cause diarrhea, poor weight gain and failure to thrive. Excessive juice intake can also lead to dental caries. If offering juice, only serve 100 percent real fruit juice and limit it to 60 to 125 ml (1/4 to 1/2 cup) per day. Serve it in a cup and don’t dilute it with water. With diluting comes the tendency to serve it more frequently, which only serves to continually bathe the teeth in plaque-forming bacteria.

By Brenda Bradshaw and Lauren Donaldson Bramley, M.D., authors of The Baby’s Table
1 potato, washed and baked
1/3 bunch broccoli, washed and cut in florets
4 bunches baby bok choy, outer layers removed, trimmed and washed between leaves
• Peel potato and cut in chunks.
• In steamer, cook broccoli over boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove broccoli.
Place bok choy in steamer; steam until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside leftover cooking water.
• Place vegetables in food processor and purée until smooth. If purée seems too thick, add left -
over cooking water as needed, 1 tbsp at a time.
• Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
Yield: 14 to 16 cubes

By Brenda Bradshaw and Lauren Donaldson Bramley, M.D., authors of The Baby’s Table
1 potato, washed, peeled and cut in cubes
1 carrot, washed, peeled and sliced
1/4 bunch broccoli, washed and cut in florets
1/4 cup leftover cooking water (optional)
• In saucepan of boiling water, cook potato until tender, about 20 minutes.
• In steamer, steam remaining vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes.
• In blender or food processor, purée vegetables, adding stock (if needed) to achieve desired consistency.
• Pour into ice cube trays and freeze.
Yield: 12 to 14 cubes



“A must for new parents – this book contains a wealth of medical and nutritional information for feeding your baby.”
— Anne Lindsay
“With so many food choices available, many parents become confused about when, how, and what to feed their babies. This book goes a long way toward helping make their choices (and their lives) easier.”
— Dr. Richard B. Goldbloom, Professor of Pediatrics, Dalhousie University

“Finally! A book that I will be happy to recommend to my patients.”
— Dr. Cheryl Mutch, pediatrician

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