Parents Need to Eat Too by Debbie Koenig

You know he drill. It’s 5:30.  Or 6pm.  Your kids are starting to melt, and so are you.  What do you feed them?  You have NO inspiration or motivation. All you need is one idea, a simple, fast, tasty meal idea with most of the ingredients present in your kitchen.

Oh, how hard that is some nights!
The new cookbook (and baby food book) Parents Need to Eat Too by Debbie Koenig is here to help.  Just listen to the subtitle:  Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents.
How ridiculously awesome is that?  And exactly where was this book when I was nursing for 4 years?
 
Where do I even begin.  This is not only a cookbook, but a baby food making book, a guide for healthy living and caring for yourself as a parent, a breastfeeding guide and a cooking methods book.  I kid you not. 
Brilliant chapters include: The New Mom’s Pantry; Nap-Friendly Cooking; Quick Suppers; Mom’s New Best Friend: The Slow Cooker; Big Batch Bonanza; One Handed Meals; Lunchtime Pumping and Last-Minute Dinners: A Chapter for WOHMS; Un-Recipes for Partners Who Can’t Cook; Galacta-whats? Recipes to Support Breastfeeding; Nutritious Nibbles; Easy Indulgences; and a rockin’ appendix loaded with resources.
See what I mean?  Seriously comprehensive and encompassing of mama-dom. 
I am so impressed by the creativity and compassion the author shows for creating one handed meals for mamas.  I remember being “stuck” hungry and thirsty, but not wanting to move and disturb a just settling in baby.  That desperate feeling of– who will get MY food or drink??
The recipes are all simple to follow, easy to make, mama reviewed (love that!) and each describes how you can turn the ingredients (if possible) into baby food.  There are loads of tips about how to cook in big batches, freeze and thaw foods.  Sprinkled throughout the text are “crib notes” with a summary of important tips for those of us with the attention span of a fly– which is most of the new parents out there. 
I am particularly excited to try some one handed meals even though I am not nursing– they sound so dang tasty.  Here’s a few on my short list: Curried Kale and Apple Empanadas, Potato and Mushroom Pie-Rogies, and the Vegetarian Tamale Pie.  See what I mean?  Don’t those sound amazing?
The text is peppered with tips from moms, experts, and the author– such totally helpful stuff, too much to even relate. Like this section on Skipping Meals (which I STILL do) and how to avoid it– it’s loaded with real advice from real people.  
Tonight’s dinner.  Yum!
I could actually kiss the author for honoring mamas so wholeheartedly in this book. Truly.  A section all about pumping, and how to eat your lunch while doing it?  Add to it support for breastfeeding, baby food making, how to cook for even the most challenged among us?  Well, my love for Debbie Koenig is a little embarrassing. 
This book would be one of the most helpful gifts you could give to your new mama friends.  Or, your veteran mama friends.  This book is a goldmine of healthy, quick, and tasty recipes and resources for any parents.  
Tonight I made pesto quesadillas from this book— so tasty. Truly, all I needed was the inspiration and I didn’t need a recipe.  Love that!  
Thanks Debbie for helping mamas everywhere feed and care for themselves and their families.  
**FCC guidelines: I did receive a review copy of this book.  My opinions are independent and based on my own experiences and those of my chef assistants, 4 and 6 year old girls). 

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