Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton
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Carrie McBride
Jul 24, 2009

So far our 1-year old is a terrific eater. We've only found a few things that he doesn't like and we're continually impressed with his willingness to try new things. We haven't shied away from flavorful foods and he generally eats whatever we're eating. But we worry that he'll get pickier as he ages and we've been wondering if there's anything we can do to prevent this. So we're interested to pick up a copy of Hungry Monkey by food critic and father Matthew Amster-Burton.

Amster-Burton's daughter, Iris, is now five but he starts his book with her very first taste - breastmilk. He continues on with Iris' introduction to solid foods and questions the popular (and time-consuming) approach espoused in books like Super Baby Food of spending a lot of time pureeing and freezing food just for your baby. As a food lover, food critic and home cook he preferred to introduce Iris to a wide range of flavors including spices and ethnic specialties. Along these lines, he's interspersed the narrative with recipes that might help you expand your own child's culinary horizons like easy pad thai, penne with brussels sprouts and bacon and ham and egg sushi roll.

Like Amster-Burton and his wife, Laurie, we've found that the best way to get and keep our son interested in food is to share meals with him rather than feeding him separately. Sure, our own meals are somewhat less relaxing, but the tradeoff is the fun of watching or son try new foods and (fingers crossed) develop a curious attitude toward food.

You can read excerpts from Hungry Monkey and check out some reviews here.

(We first heard about Hungry Monkey on Kids Haus.)

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