I met Tina Ruggiero at a conference recently. In addition to being a very successful nutritionist, she is the kind of person who makes you feel like there is so much good on this earth! Her positive spirit and her words are very inspiring. Tina sent me her book, “The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet,” and while I was grateful, I don’t have tiny babies anymore and I thought I would get no use out of the book. Happy to report that I was totally wrong!!

I read through the book and began marking the things that my young kids would like. And I was surprised at how many I marked! We made the nut-butter cookies and the kids loved them. We tried her simple sandwiches for my little one and he approved! We made a shredded cheese and avocado sandwich and a refried beans and avocado sandwich. Both were lovely.

What l loved about her book is that it is not a collection of purees! She and her co-author Karin Knight have created a smart book that offers food for babies and toddlers that is anything but boring. The book also offers sane and practical advice on how to add foods at different stages and of course advice on how to get kids to eat different things, how much juice to give, special considerations on seafood etc.

I think this is a great book for a mom-to-be or a new mom but also great for moms with little kids who are looking for something simple that their kids can help make.  I am sure you will love this book as much as I did.

Nut-Butter Kisses

This energy-packed treat is one your toddler will enjoy!  Serve one kiss with 1/4 pear and ½ cup milk.

1/3 cup (45 g) chopped cashews

1/4 cup (65 g) smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup (30 g) dry milk powder

1 tablespoon (20 g) honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pulse the cashews in a blender until finely ground but not puréed. Add the peanut butter, milk powder, honey, and vanilla and pulse just until blended. With your hands, roll the peanut butter mixture into 8 little balls. (The consistency of the mixture will be soft.) Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3 or 4  days.

Yield:  8 toddler servings, or one “kiss” each

Each serving contains: 109.6 calories; 8.0 g total fat; 2.1 grams saturated fat; 3.9 mg cholesterol; 53.4 mg sodium; 7.4 g carbohydrates; 0.7 g dietary fiber; 3.7 g protein; 39.2 mg calcium; 0.5 mg iron; 36.6 IU vitamin A; and 0.4 mg vitamin C.

Recipe and photos used here with permission from Tina Ruggiero.

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  1. I cd scarf down those kisses myself, they sound delicious!

  2. This sounds like a great book, and we’re in favor of any help a mom can get to build an adventurous appetite.


  3. Wow! Who knew baby & children’s food was anything but little glass jars or a container of cereal? What a find! This will make a great gift for friends who are new parents, or even grandparents who help babysit the little ones. Thanks for sharing!

  4. What a fantastic looking book! I find it such a relief when ideas for baby food move away from flavorless goop and into the realm of real food.

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