Annabel karmel all set for taste of dubai gulfnews.com banana nut bread with sour cream

Annabel karmel is a parenting legend. Anyone with kids under the age of 30 has likely served one of her recipes to a mewling toddler or been gifted one of her kid-focused products.

Whether on her instagram page or through one of her 44 books, karmel is the go-to culinary resource for parents everywhere, advising on what to feed children of all ages. Her 1991 cookbook, the complete baby and toddler meal planner, was a response to her own son’s fussy eating habits, but she has since sold six million copies of 43 book titles, and is now the UK’s top children’s cookery author.

Although most commonly asked how to engage a fussy child at mealtimes, karmel, 60, has a sharp eye on modern trends, and was quick to embrace medical research, changing technology and lifestyles, diversifying into various sectors of the business.

She now retails a range of children’s foods, including chilled ready meals and organic purées, as well as weaning equipment that make toddlers’ mealtimes easier such as food mashers and iced lolly moulds.Annabel karmel


her new baby and toddler recipe app, with 220 recipes and a handy meal planner, has been the no 1 food and drink app for the last 12 weeks, beating out the likes of jamie oliver, and nigella lawson.

Whether it’s books for pregnant women, or children’s menus for restaurants, it often seems there’s no part of the children’s food business she isn’t associated with.

As she returns to taste of dubai next week, gulf news tabloid! Grabbed the opportunity to email her some questions about what she’s up to next.

I’m not entirely sure… I definitely don’t ever sit still, maybe that’s it! I absolutely love running my own business and I still love what I do 26 years on. I love the saying ‘if you choose a job that you love, you will never have to work a day in your life.’

I still dedicate one day a week to developing new recipe ideas, so every tuesday you’ll find me cooking up something new in my kitchen. It allows me to get creative and discover new foodie favourites — some of which can often spark the idea for a new book.Taste dubai never in my wildest dreams did I foresee that this cookbook would go on to sell more than 6 million copies, or that I’d publish 43 more cookbooks. I will be launching my 44th cookbook this year which I’m incredibly excited about.

I always love visiting dubai and this year I’ll be joining the headlining chefs at taste of dubai which is very exciting. Each day, I’ll be cooking up some of my favourite family dishes, doing book signings and also leading some dedicated parent and child cooking sessions.

Paleo. Vegan. Gluten-free. It seems there’s no shortage of dietary confusion, and parents who want to raise their child according to the latest fad. But what are the dangers?

Vegan is definitely the buzz word of the moment. There are lots of health benefits associated with veganism. However, parents do have to be extra careful to ensure their child is getting key nutrients mainly in the form of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and fibre for their development and long-term health.Taste dubai

Some diets are indeed fads but childhood food allergies do seem to be on the increase, so it’s natural that some parents might be nervous about introducing foods that could cause problems.

New advice is to not withhold foods like eggs from six months. Giving these foods helps to desensitise babies. The best thing you can do is to introduce new foods one by one, leaving a day or two between each one, to see if there’s a reaction. It is however, easier than ever to accommodate free-form and specialist diets and my new book will feature lots of options.

I think it’s really important to show that it can be as simple as mashing up a banana to create an instant nutritious meal for your baby. Increasingly hectic schedules and busy routines get in the way of always being able to cook a home-cooked meal every day and night, and that’s the norm for most. Weaning can be a daunting time, and showing ways parents can make it as simple as possible is essential.This year plus, banana makes ideal baby food. It’s easy to digest and rarely causes allergic reactions.

Although natasha didn’t die of a diet-related illness, I was cautious when it came to ensuring that my second child, nicholas, ate foods that optimised his health. Feeling vulnerable when he became fussy, I struggled to find recipes to encourage him and so set about devising my own. I shared my recipes with other mums and, when they proved popular, I set about compiling a book. It was rejected by over 15 publishing houses before a friend introduced me to a small dynamic book packager, who worked with me to shape a mock-up which they took to the frankfurt book fair, where it was sold to US publisher simon & schuster. They ordered 25,000 copies.

I work with the national obesity forum to raise awareness of the dangerously high levels of obesity among children in the UK and try to equip families with simple food ideas and solutions.This year

It’s important to introduce a diverse range of nutritious foods to encourage good, healthy eating habits for the future. Eating habits and tastes are formed early, so it’s important to introduce a good variety of foods at the earliest possible opportunity. We want children to get the nutrients they need for their development and long-term health.

Getting children to take an active interest in what they’re eating is essential for their general health and well-being. Why not get them to join you in the kitchen? You’ll stand a good chance of instilling a love of good, healthy food when preparing simple meals together from scratch. It doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming, so a tasty sultana muffin or an omelette with colourful healthy toppings is a great place to start.

Avoid empty calorie snacks where possible try and avoid bags of crisps or sugary soft drinks. Instead, why don’t you keep a supply of healthy snacks on hand?This year I like to have a low shelf in the fridge with cut up fresh fruit and other healthy foods. When children are hungry, they won’t wait.

I’m so excited to be launching my new book, real food kids will love, later this year. The book brings together delicious recipes for kids aged one to five. It will include all the things mums want such as 15-minute favourites, making your own healthy fast food such as chicken nuggets, burgers and pizzas, and one–pot batch cooking. There will also be dairy free and egg free recipes, vegetarian and vegan recipes and a collection of recipes that young children can make themselves. The new book will of course also include my famous meal planners.

People seldom ask me to dinner parties any more as I think they are all worried about cooking for me! I love going to people’s houses for dinner and I love entertaining at home. Don’t miss it

Annabel karmel is joining the headline chefs at taste of dubai this year.Annabel karmel not only will she be cooking up some of her favourite family dishes; she will also be doing book signings and dedicated parent and child cooking sessions. Taste of dubai runs from march 8 to 10. Early tickets, starting at dh80, are available on platinumlist.Net. ANNABEL KARMEL’S TIPS TO RAISE A CHILD WITH A GLOBAL PALATE

• keep introducing and encouraging them to try new spices and seasonings. For example, cumin is perfect in a moroccan-style tagine or serve garam masala with a curry – they will likely start to appreciate a mild, aromatic chicken masala.

• if you can sit down to eat together, do it. Kids are so impressionable — they’ll want what you’re having, so try new foods with them. Enthusiasm is contagious. And if you’re not that keen on a certain vegetable or fish for example, but you know it’s good for the kids, take a small bite or two yourself.

• grow your own. My kids used to get so excited growing cress in egg cups.Taste dubai it doesn’t require a huge garden or equipment. And it can get them really excited about food.

• keep it casual. Don’t insist on them eating a big portion. Since this is about introducing variety, encouraging curiosity and cultivating healthy eating, eating a full plate isn’t important. Get them to try a few mouthfuls of everything. And remember, don’t make it into a big deal if they don’t.

• introduce lots of different foods, flavours and textures from early on in their weaning journey. In those early months, when they are first moving onto solid foods, they’re starting on an incredible journey. They’re learning about everything that makes food delicious: texture, smell, consistency — and taste as well. Babies grow more rapidly in their first year than any other in their life. There’s a window of time when your baby is aged between six months and one year, when babies are growing really fast, which means they need to get lots of nutrients, so they have an inbuilt motivation to try a range of foods.This year

• A top tip for children is to offer them a taster of something new in the form of a ‘grown-up’ starter — a little teacup or saucer of vegetables or small piece of fish that they could try in addition to their main meal.

• it’s important not to offer substitutes. If they know they can eat other things, they’ll be less likely to take the plunge and try something new.