Family food cookbook review: ‘How to feed your family’ by Charlotte Stirling-Reed

Welcome! This is my first ever blog and it’s a cracker of a first one!

‘How to feed your family’ is packed with child-friendly recipes with plenty of Charlotte’s suggestions to make them suitable for young children. The latest book by Charlotte Stirling-Reed AKA SR Nutrition is released on 20th July.

It’s her third book and I was lucky enough to be asked by Charlotte to test out many recipes during its development, to ensure that when you the reader make them at home, the recipes work like a dream!

Charlotte asked me to keep a close look at things like portion size, cooking times, temperature, and the method. I’m well versed in this area, as I used to recipe test Jamie Oliver’s cookbook recipes while working for him for almost 10 years as Head of Nutrition.

These days I work with early-year nurseries on creating tasty and nutritious new menus. This latest book of Charlotte’s is great for inspiring the palates of young children!

My top 5 favourite book recipes

Courgette fritters with mint yoghurt

Courgette fritters with mint yoghurt

Every household needs a good fritter recipe to hand and this is my new favourite! The recipe contains a pinch of garam masala which adds a special flavour.

Understandably often parents can be afraid to use herbs and spices in food for young children, and this recipe perfectly demonstrates that food shouldn’t be bland and boring.

The courgette fritter also uses wholemeal flour, a great way of increasing fibre in the diet of our little ones.

Charlotte adds chopped fresh mint to the yoghurt here, again encouraging parents to be adventurous and normalise the use of herbs in children’s food.

 

Roast squash tagine with tabbouleh

Roast squash tagine with tabbouleh

The real winner in this recipe is the pomegranate seeds in the tabouleh. Biting into a pomegranate seed just launches me into the summer months!

The tabbouleh can be made using couscous or bulgur wheat, both great ingredients for diversifying the starchy carbohydrates in the diet of little ones (is it just my children or are your kid’s pasta addicts too?!).

The squash tagine contains roast squash, fried caramelised onion, and dried apricots, all adding natural sweetness, which children will love.

The protein element in this recipe is tinned chickpeas, so a great plant-based option whether you’re following a plant-based diet or not.

 

Sweet potato hummus

Sweet potato hummus

The brilliance of this recipe is the method cleverly requires microwaving the sweet potato. This is a fantastic tip to get a perfectly cooked potato ready in a few minutes.

The sweet potato adds so much flavour and colour and is blitzed through tahini, chickpeas, lemon juice, and punchy garlic to make a creamy and satisfying houmous in minutes.

A dollop of this in a sandwich or with breadsticks (the perfect dipping implement for little hands!) will have your kids screaming for more at the dinner table (in a good way I promise)!

 

Broccoli & fish pie bake

Broccoli & fish piester bake

My kids and I love eating salmon, so it was good to try out a new recipe that uses oily fish. Pasta is always a good ‘bridge’ to trying green veg like brocooli too! This dish was the ultimate in comfort food, with a delicious creamy cheesy sauce made from creme fraiche.

 

Cheesy pizza muffins

Cheesy pizza muffins

These are best eaten warm out of the oven for ultimate enjoyment! If they last that long, they also make a great addition to any picnic. Charlotte makes some great suggestions to adapt this recipe so they’re suitable for babies and vegans.

Quick cook recipes

Just like Charlotte, as a parent of two young children, I need food on the table and quick when there are hungry children around and at my feet!

Charlotte’s book is filled with quick ‘picky bits’ like the salmon pate, cheesy pizza muffins and coconut flatbreads. There’s also a mixture of recipes that do take longer which blip away either on the hob or in the oven (hello one pot chicken and leek orzo).

Either way, the book is full of good staple recipes to have in your back pocket for feeding the family both midweek when time-poor and at the weekend when there’s more time available.

Nutritious and delicious recipes

Charlotte’s talent is in creating recipes that are first and foremost delicious.

She’ll always offer ways to adapt the recipes to cater to babies and younger children to boost the nutritional content and ensure safety by minimising the risk of any choking hazards.

Charlotte’s knowledge and expertise offer a supportive hand to parents feeding their children, which as we know can be so challenging, but less so with Charlotte’s book at hand to guide the way.

Budget-friendly recipes

Charlotte often posts on her social media platforms about how to approach cooking and feeding your family with a budget in mind.

You’ll find no extravagant ingredients or foods hard to track down here! Most ingredients are store cupboard friendly or could be found easily in your local supermarket.

Let me know if you try out any of these recipes. You can buy Charlotte’s book here.

I work with early-year nurseries to inspire, educate and build confidence in feeding children. Subscribe to my regular email newsletters here.

If you found this blog interesting and are a parent or caregiver of young children, please do share it with your childcare or nursery provider.

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