The 8 Best Baby Food Cookbooks in 2021

Nutritious purees, finger foods, and family meals

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Stage by Stage Baby Food Cookbook at Amazon

"This is a comprehensive guide to feeding a baby at each stage of development with recipes for both traditional purees and baby-led feeding."

Best Organic: The Big Book of Organic Baby Food at Amazon

"It includes over 200 organic recipes for thin, smooth, and chunky purees, plus smoothies, finger foods, toddler meals, and family meals."

Best for Older Babies: The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook at Amazon

"This book contains 70+ organic recipes with many geared toward toddlers and babies already past the introductory feeding stage."

Best for Multiple Kids: The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook at Amazon

"It includes an extensive collection of tried-and-true recipes for all types of purees, smoothies, family meals, school lunches, and celebrations."

Best for BLW: Baby-Led Feeding at Amazon

"Learn the ins and outs of baby-led weaning with over 100 ideas and recipes based on stage of development."

Best Make-Ahead: Make-Ahead Baby Food Cookbook at Amazon

"Every recipe in this book is written with instructions on how to batch cook, freeze, and reheat so you can meal prep in advance for your baby."

Best Gourmet: Little Foodie: Baby Food Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste at Amazon

"It includes over 100 recipes for more adventurous flavor pairings from the founder of the popular baby food blog Baby FoodE."

Best Multi-Cultural: Around the World in 80 Purees at Amazon

"Introduce your baby to global cuisine with age-appropriate recipes inspired by Indian, Chinese, French, Mexican, and Moroccan dishes."

Baby food cookbooks are extremely handy for new parents. From how to prep large batches of purees to meal ideas older babies will love, cookbooks are chock full of food preparation tips and recipe inspiration to feed your children.

Most double as complete feeding guides with information on how to safely introduce potential allergens, lists of ingredients to keep on hand, equipment you’ll need to make your own baby food, and a breakdown of different cooking techniques like steaming, roasting, and pureeing. Plus, most titles will also teach you how to safely portion and freeze baby food.

If your baby is showing signs of readiness for solid foods and you’re not sure where to begin, a baby food cookbook can help you figure out which foods to offer first. Most baby food cookbooks will introduce new parents to baby feeding stages and offer recipes for everything from baby’s first single-ingredient puree to toddler-friendly finger foods.

Here are the best baby food cookbooks to help you feed your little ones.

Best Overall: Stage by Stage Baby Food Cookbook by Yaffi Lvova, RD

stage-by-stage-baby-food-cookbook

Courtesy of Walmart

This book takes our top spot because it’s a complete guide to baby feeding written by a registered dietitian. It’s full of information for introducing solids, whether you’re starting with the traditional route of purees or following the increasingly popular baby-led feeding, which centers around offering texturally appropriate, solid pieces of food to babies from the start.

If you’re not familiar with these feeding approaches or you’re not sure which one you’re comfortable with, this book explains them in great detail with pros and cons lists for each to help you decide which is right for your family. It also provides information on when and how to introduce common food allergens.

There are over 100 recipes organized by feeding stage and developmental milestones. At each stage, you’ll find recipes for both classic purees and baby-led feeding options. 

Best Organic: The Big Book of Organic Baby Food by Stephanie Middleberg, RD

This book is written by a registered dietitian who encourages parents to feed their babies organic food. It’s divided into two parts, with part one containing all information about why organic foods are recommended, the feeding stages, what to look for to know when your baby is ready for solids, and equipment and ingredients you need to make baby food.

The second part of the book contains over 200 recipes and is organized by feeding stage. The first three recipe chapters contain an extensive collection of thin, smooth, and chunky puree recipes to start with for young babies. 

You’ll find how-tos for making classic single-ingredient purees like avocado and squash plus multi-ingredient purees like apricot, sweet potato, and turkey. The later chapters contain recipes appropriate for older babies and advanced eaters, including smoothies and finger foods, toddler meals, and family meals.

Best for Older Babies: The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook for Baby and Toddler by Shazi Visram

The Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook is written by Shazi Visram, the founder of Happy Family Organics—the company behind baby and toddler foods you’ve probably seen in the grocery store. The recipes in this book are based on the company’s philosophy of feeding children organic, nutrient-dense superfoods.

This book contains a small chapter on making simple purees for babies aged 4-6 months, but most of the recipes in this collection are geared toward older babies and toddlers aged 1-3 years who are past the introductory feeding stage.

There are entire chapters of recipes for toddler meals, like three-bean farro risotto, and toddler snacks, like banana chocolate chip quinoa muffins. Most recipes are accompanied by full-color photos.

Best for Multiple Kids: The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen is known for comprehensive recipe collections that are well-tested and researched. The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook is a beautiful, hardcover book with full-color images of each recipe. It contains eight chapters of recipes with something for everyone, from babies just starting solids to older toddlers who take a packed lunch to preschool. 

The first chapter is devoted to introductory fruit, vegetable, and grain purees. The next two chapters contain recipes for multi-ingredient blends and finger foods. There are also chapters dedicated entirely to smoothie recipes, family meals, cooking with kids, school lunches, celebrations, and special occasions.

Best for Baby-Led Feeding/Weaning: Baby-Led Feeding by Jenna Helwig 

Even if you’re skipping past purees and jumping into offering baby solid finger foods from the start (called baby-led weaning or baby-led feeding), a cookbook can help you learn how to prep and serve foods at different stages of development. Baby Led Feeding, written by the food editor of Parents magazine, gives parents a rundown on this feeding philosophy, how to get started, and how to minimize the risk of choking. 

It contains over 100 feeding ideas and recipes and is full of colorful photographs that show you how to cut and prep foods so babies can easily pick them up. For example, slicing an avocado with the skin still on helps provide some grip. A registered dietitian reviewed this recipe collection and provided nutrition information for each recipe.

Best Make-Ahead: Make-Ahead Baby Food Cookbook by Stepahnie Van’t Zelfden, RD

Make-Ahead Baby Food is written by a registered dietitian and is a complete primer on how to meal prep for babies. Most baby food cookbooks provide some information about how to prep and store large batches of baby food, but every recipe in this book is written with instructions on how to batch cook, freeze, and reheat so you don’t have to worry about cooking for baby day-to-day.

There are four-week sample meal plans with shopping lists for 6-8 months (single ingredient purees), 8-10 months (multi-ingredient recipes), and 9-12 months (advanced textures). The meal plans were created with nutrition in mind so your baby receives the nutrients they need at each stage of development. There is also a section of recipes for babies aged 12 months and older that can be eaten by the whole family.

Best Gourmet: Little Foodie: Baby Food Recipes for Babies and Toddlers with Taste

Little Foodie is written by Michele Olivier, the founder of the popular baby food blog Baby FoodE. You’ll find over 100 recipes for several ages and stages, including purees and finger foods. The recipes contain more adventurous flavor pairings, like apple, mint, and ricotta puree and sesame tofu sticks with peanut sauce. 

The book also walks you through all the gear and tips you need to make baby food, plus an FAQ guide to help parents learn about the nutritional needs and eating habits of infants and toddlers.

Best Multi-Cultural: Around the World in 80 Purees

Let’s be honest, baby purees can be a little predictable and bland. If you delight in global cuisines and want to establish an appreciation for those flavors with your baby, this book will teach you how to introduce them to a world of spices.

The recipes in this book are as easy to prepare as most other baby purees, but include traditional spices and ingredients from cuisines around the world, including Indian, Chinese, African, French, Mexican, and Moroccan, which aren’t commonly found in baby food outside of those countries. 

The recipes are divided by age, with sections for babies aged 6 months, 7-9 months,  and 10 months and above. This book makes a great gift for expecting or new parents who love to cook.

Final Verdict

If you’re preparing to start your baby on solids and trying to decide between purees, baby-led feeding, or a combination of the two, the Stage by Stage Baby Food Cookbook (view at Amazon) has recipes for both feeding philosophies for each age and feeding stage. If you have multiple children in different stages of development, The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen (view at Amazon) offers an extensive collection of recipes for all ages.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Sharon Lehman is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, a first-time mom (established 2020), and the author of this roundup. She’s used several of the titles on this list as feeding resources, including The Big Book of Organic Baby Food, Stage by Stage Baby Food, The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen, and Make-Ahead Baby Food. She’s already planning to add the remaining books to her cookbook collection.

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