Cookbook Review: Feeding the Whole Family

A friend emailed me yesterday asking for a cookbook recommendation. She is looking to incorporate whole foods into her family’s diet but needs something simple enough (and tasty enough!) that she’ll be able to stick with it long term.  Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair is the cookbook that I recommended to her.  It is a pragmatic approach to a healthy, whole-food lifestyle, and all of the recipes are simple and delicious.  I thought I would share it with you too.

When my oldest was starting to eat solid foods, I mentioned to my husband that I wanted a cookbook that had healthier recipes in it. And, in his typical engineer fashion, he researched multitudinous options and picked out the best one for me, presenting it to me for Mother’s Day that year.  His extensive (excessive?) research really paid off.  I love this cookbook!  It’s a favorite that I’ve been using on a regular basis for the past seven years.

Cynthia Lair came out with a new edition in 2008 (I have the 1997 version).  I recently checked out the newer edition from the library to compare, and I really like the updated version. There are quite a few new recipes, and she expanded her introduction to include chapters on Wholesome Family Eating, Including Baby, and Raising Healthy Eaters.  She makes the point of appreciating where your food comes from and the sacrifice involved with it regardless of whether it’s meat or vegetable based.  “Be grateful” is her theme.

Recipes Tried: Black Bean Tostadas, Curried Lentils and Cauliflower, French Lentil and Potato Stew, Dilled Brown Rice and Kidney Beans, Red Bean and Quinoa Chili (this is a family favorite), Quinoa Garlic Herb Bread, Hummus, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Nut Burgers (another favorite) and lots more!

Pros: If you are looking to introduce more whole foods to your family this cookbook is for you. The recipes are easy to follow, the instructions are basic, and you may be surprised how delicious eating whole foods can be.

Cons: If you have a sweet tooth and have no desire to wean yourself of it, the dessert section might not meet your needs – I did love the oatmeal cookies, but with 1/2 cup of maple syrup it’s a treat I can’t afford to make very often!  And there are no pictures.

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  1. Thanks for the suggestion for this book! This is what our family is starting to get into. Loved the apron guide too! Can this count as my entry? I couldn’t get it to work…

  2. can’t wait to try this cookbook! Thanks for the recommendation. I’m always looking for some good new vegetarian recipes.

  3. I need to get this one. Oh, and is that Nikki Mclure art on the cover? I love her and have many of her prints hanging up at home.

  4. Would love to get this! So glad I found you through Bloom!

  5. Kara-
    It is Nikki McClure’s work. I love her work too – I have her baby book The First 1000 Days for my littlest. It’s a great, compact baby book. Now, if I could just get it filled in!