Thursday, March 17, 2011

Book Review: Baby Bites by Bridget Swinney, MS, RD

Meadowbrook, July 2007
Trade Paperback, 500 pages
ISBN-10: 0684040034
ISBN-13: 9780684040035
Buy Now at Amazon.


Finally, it's all in one book! Parents used to need an entire bookshelf to feed one baby and now everything you need to know about feeding your infant and toddler is available in one book. This unique book -- part nutritional guide, part recipe book -- helps parents understand their baby's nutritional needs and prepare tasty food that encourages healthy eating habits. This helpful guide includes:

-Detailed information on both breastfeeding and formula-feeding
-A chapter explaining how a baby's digestion works, including tips for dealing with digestive challenges like illness, allergies, intolerances, and reflux
-Steps parents can take to keep their baby's food safe
-Tips to help caregivers maintain baby's healthy diet when parents return to work
-"Nutrition 101" for parents -- everything they need to know about a baby's nutritional needs
-Advice on starting solid foods, including recognizing readiness, introducing new foods and textures, and keeping mealtimes positive
-How to make your own baby food
-Comprehensive information and advice organized by stages of a baby's development
-Nutrition and feeding strategies for parents
-Recipe ideas for finger and table foods your toddler will love

My Review:

What I love about this book is that it contains food charts, questions and answers and diet guides.  It is not a book you would not to sit down and read cover to cover, but one to have on hand and reference when the time comes. 

This is a practical guide about feeding your child well and in a healthy way.  It is written for parents of newborns through the pre-school years.  It is broken down into 2 parts.  Part 1 deals with the "Liquid Diet," while Part 2 deals with "Adding Solids."

In Part 1, breastfeeding and formula feeding are discussed, as well as transitioning your baby to bottle feeding once you are ready to head to back to work.  The two chapters I found  worthwhile in Part 1 were chapters 6 and 7.  Chapter 6 dealt with "Your Baby's Digestive System" and Chapter 7 was on "Nutrition 101 for Babies and Toddlers."  Ever since Savannah was born, we have dealt with gas and colic.  In the beginning, she was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis at 3 weeks old, after we noticed she was loosing weight and projectile vomiting all her food.  As a result of this, anything that has to do with her digestive system, I make sure to pay close attention to.  And, I am always looking for articles on this topic.  This chapter goes into detail the types of poop you may find in your baby's diaper, and what it means -- good or bad. 

And, for Chapter 7, I found the growth charts and daily nutrients chart very helpful.

Because we are just starting Savannah on solid foods, I have begun reading Part 2 of this book.  Useful chapters I have highlighted are Chapter 9: "Making Baby Food: The Basics" and Chapter 12: "Six to Eight Months".  What I liked best about Chapter 9 was that it discussed how to create different textures -- thin puree, thick puree, mashed, chunky and diced family fare. It also talks about the different tools out there you can use to make baby food at home. 

As for Chapter 12, one of the most important things I got out of this chapter was in regards to the "Nitrate Warning."  If you make baby food at home with vegetables from the ground, you need to be especially careful of the nitrate levels.  It is recommended not to start baby's on homemade vegetables until they are at least 6 months old, at which time their digestive tracts have developed better, and can better handle various nitrate levels.  Who knew?  I looked at the few homemade baby food cookbooks I had picked up and none of them mentioned this.

I could go on and on raving about this book and talking about great parts from each chapter, but why not pick up a copy and see for yourself how invaluable this book will be if you have  a new baby or a toddler.  This will surely become a go-to guide for all your nutritional questions along the way.

About the Author:

Bridget Swinney MS, RD is an award-winning author and well-regarded nutrition expert in the field of prenatal nutrition, child nutrition and family eating matters. A frequent speaker and media guest, she is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition.

Bridget has worked as a clinical dietitian, public health nutritionist, WIC Program Director, diabetes educator and weight loss group facilitator. She is the author of three books: Baby Bites: Everything You Need to Know about Feeding Babies and Toddlers in One Handy Book; Eating Expectantly: The Practical and Tasty Guide to Prenatal Nutrition and Healthy Food for Healthy Kids; The Practical and Tasty Guide to Child Nutrition. She is co-author of the Healthy Heart Formula. Eating Expectantly won the Child Magazine's Top Ten Parenting Books of the Year, and Baby Bites was awarded a 2008 Media Award.

Bridget began her specialization in health communications, when she served as Media Spokesperson for the Colorado Dietetic Association. Bridget’s media interviews number in the hundreds and include: Good Morning America, Weekend Today, Later Today, The Food Network, WGN, CNN Accent Health and Fox on Family. She has also appeared on local networks in Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Atlanta, El Paso, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston.

Bridget’s writing has appeared in Parenting Magazine, Parent’s Magazine, Healthy Kids Magazine, American Baby Magazine, Babycenter Magazine, Baby Talk, Parent’s Expecting, and Baby. She has been quoted in Working Mother, Child Magazine, Baby Talk, The Chicago Tribune, and newspapers across the country. She has served as an online expert for and, and as a consultant to Gerber.
Bridget has served as spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, Ross Laboratories, Kraft, Mead Johnson, Unilever and American Milk Producers, and has conducted satellite media tours and radio tours broadcast across the country.

Bridget brings a very practical aspect to her work. She works at home where she is the mother of two teen boys, and volunteers with her local district's School Health Advisory Council.

To learn more about this book and the author, please visit Bridget's website.
Disclosure:  I was sent a copy of this book in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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