Get Your Glow Back – Episode 42 – Annabel Karmel MBE
Annabel Karmel is undoubtedly the Queen of Weaning, having published 47 books over almost 30 years. Her first book sold over 5 million copies, she joined me on the podcast today to talk all about her career journey.
What Inspired Annabel’s Career?
Having lost her daughter Natasha at 3 months of age, she quickly became pregnant with her son Nicholas who she was determined to get him to eat and he was really fussy. Running a playgroup she realised how common fussy eating was and how few resources there were out there.
How has the weaning space changed in the past 30 years?
When Annabel first started it was really difficult to get her book published and there was very few resources for supporting weaning.
There used to be purees and finger foods and now baby led weaning is seen as a separate method.
From Annabel’s opinion, 6 months is a crucial time to get the crucial nutrients (iron and essential fatty acids) which is why a combination of purees and finger food is most inclusive as it allows for the feeding of foods rich in critical nutrients like including salmon, red meat.
It’s also a critical time to introduce different flavours during the flavour window, just like us babies would rather eat flavourful food than bland food.
Giving allergens like peanuts and eggs during weaning can help prevent allergies, at 6 months 2 or 3 times a week can help most
How To Get Children To be More Adventurous
break the pattern – it’s not a big deal if they wait to eat eventually they will be hungry and try the different food
eating with better eating children can encourage them
don’t make a fuss and give them attention when they are complaining, but give them attention when they try something new
Eat with you children and set a good example
Award good behaviour
Preparing for Weaning
Don’t begin on the first feed
Give them a little milk first so they aren’t desperately hungry, milk comes in a steady stream unlike food
keep the purees runny at first
Sucking is a natural reflex, swallowing is not so don’t be surprised if they spit stuff up
Gagging can be necessary for them to learn to swallow so don’t be too scared they are choking especially with soft foods
How Did Annabel’s Interest in Food Begin
Always loved food and would always cook for her quartet while being a musician
Her love of feeding others has extended to her family and even her dogs inspiring her to write The Happy Dog Cookbook
Annabel’s Advice to Those Wanting to Start A Business
If you have a great belief in what you can do you can do anything in life
Confidence is key
Don’t feel guilty if you want to go back to work after having kids, we all have different needs and for some people going to work helps them to be more fulfilled and therefore more present when you are with your children – what works for you might be different
If you can deal with an irrational toddler you have very good communication skills, you have amazing organisation skills and these are important skills for life including work.
You don’t have to invent something new to start a career you can just improve on what already exists.
Where To Find Annabel