Friday 10 June 2022 9:03am
A University of Otago academic has collaborated with a New Zealand chef to create a new family cookbook.
Researcher and dietitian Dr Lisa Daniels has worked with Nadia Lim for the book, YUM!
YUM! includes nutritional advice and recipes for a range of meals, including baby’s first foods, snacks, family favourite dinners, and lunchbox options.
“It was such a labour of love, this book,” Lisa says. “Many of the work hours were spent while I was pregnant with my second and at home with her as a newborn.
“It honestly is so rewarding seeing the hard work in print and with such beautiful designs by the design and photography team.”
Lisa, alongside fellow dietitian Jenny Douglas, has written the nutrition section of the book which includes guidance on what to eat while pregnant, how to deal with fussy eaters, and how to transition babies to solid food.
They also offered their opinions on the recipes to ensure they aligned with their nutritional advice and that there were plenty of options for adapting recipes for those with allergies and intolerances.
“It can be particularly hard when you have little ones with allergies as it always seems like they are missing out, but there are plenty of great options in this book,” Lisa says.
The book has been a few years in the making and started when Nadia was in Dunedin for the release of another book, Let’s eat!
Lisa, of the Department of Women's and Children's Health, spoke to her about her PhD research on baby-led weaning, which Nadia was interested in. “At the end of our discussion she jokingly said, ‘we should write a book together’.”
A few years later, Lisa and Jenny were hosting baby feeding seminars and were constantly asked to recommend a book for expecting and new parents.
“There just was not one book that ticked all the boxes in regards to the advice we like to give and variety of appropriate recipes, so we considered writing our own book.
“It was then I recalled the conversation with Nadia and decided to contact her and ask if she was actually interested in writing a baby cookbook. She responded with ‘we should definitely talk’, it was all on from there.”
The recipes were co-written by Nadia and cook Annabel Inglis and have been child-approved. All four women are mothers and have nine children between them.
They wrote the book during COVID-19 lockdowns, when children were sick and while juggling other work commitments.
“There is so much conflicting advice available to young parents, it can be so overwhelming,” Lisa said. “This book provides relaxed advice which ultimately will give confidence in trusting yourself and your baby when it comes to the exciting stage of starting your baby on solid foods and beyond.”