I wish I had been armed with Debbie Koenig’s new cookbook when my son was in utero. Parents Need to Eat Too should be required reading for every expectant family. Feeding oneself, and one’s child (or children), can be a delicate balancing act that requires finesse, patience and creativity. Koenig takes the fear out of re-entering the kitchen post-baby.
While Koenig’s book is really geared towards new parents, with chapters like nap-friendly cooking, recipes to support breastfeeding and so on, I find the simplicity and healthfulness of the recipes is going to help me in my quest for a cohesive and positive meal experience. This book is not just for new parents who need encouragement, support and ideas but for seasoned parents who need time-management tips to get healthy, family-friendly meals on the table.
Like most parents of toddlers, I exhaust resources trying to please the unpleasable. I waste food feeding a hunger-strike prone toddler whose mealtimes consist of flying morsels and a heaping spoonful of negativity. Money wanes buying raw ingredients for recipe testing. And of course there’s the time it takes to think up recipes that will adequately hide protein and vegetables, do the shopping and of course cook the meal.
Koenig’s book can help people like me. I need to better manage my prep time so we can all eat dinner together as a family, build a community around the table and create a better environment for emulation. Time-management is the name of the game and I certainly need Debbie Koenig in my corner.
Parents Need to Eat Too has over 150 recipes that were each tested by real-life parents and include a “Mama said” testimonial from Koenig’s recipe testers, as well as instructions to recreate the meals as baby food. Everything is healthy, well-written and simple to prepare.
Chapters range from one pot dishes to recipes for the non-cook to meals that can be eaten with one hand like meat pasties, curried kale and apple empanadas and baked eggplant and chickpea samosas. Nap-friendly cooking is the chapter for me and Koenig reminds me to take advantage of my slow cooker and my freezer by making crockpot butternut squash risotto and red wine-braised short ribs and large batches of chicken tagine with dried fruit and almonds and grilled eggplant parmesan.
In the words of Debbie Koenig herself, “While before you may have sought authenticity and even perfection in your cooking, now you’ll be seeking deliciousness and doability.” Words to live by.
In honor of all the hardworking moms out there, I’m giving away one copy of Parents Need to Eat Too for Mother’s Day. Leave a comment telling me what easy recipes have worked for you as a parent. Or else I’d love to know your time-saving tips and techniques.
-Leave comment on this post between Sunday, May 13 and Saturday, May 19, 11:59PM EST.
-One entry per person, no anonymous comments. -Open US residents only. Winner will be chosen randomly, notified via email and announced on this site. A copy of Parents Need to Eat Too will be shipped via USPS.