A mother of three, Annabel Karmel is the UK’s best-selling author on feeding babies and children. She is an expert in devising tasty and nutritious meals for children without the need for parents to spend hours in the kitchen. Annabel has written 24 books on feeding babies, children and families and sold over 4 million books worldwide.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of Annabel’s first book, the Complete Baby & Toddler Meal Planner which has become the authoritative guide on feeding babies and is regularly in the top five cookery titles.


“Thai-style food tends to be very popular with children and this quick, easy-to-prepare Thai soup recipe is almost a meal in itself. Add more or less chilli depending if you and your children are used to a little spice,” she says.



Thai Style Soup



1 tbsp light olive oil

150g (5 oz) chopped onion

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ red chilli, finely chopped (approx 1 tbsp)

1 chicken breast fillet cut into thin strips

100g (4 oz) broccoli

600ml (1 pint) chicken stock

300ml (1/2 pint) coconut milk

salt and pepper

150g (5 oz) cooked rice (40g/ 1 ½ oz uncooked weight)


Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion, garlic and chilli for two minutes. Add the strips of chicken and sauté for 2 minutes more. Cut the broccoli into small florets. Add the broccoli and chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for four minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for 2 minutes. Season to taste and stir in the cooked rice. (makes four portions). And suitable for freezing


Ciabatta Sandwich Loaf

Ciabatta is an Italian elongated, broad and flattish white bread made with white flour and yeast. This recipe is ideal for picnics as you keep it all together until you go so it doesn’t dry up or have bits of filling falling out all over your picnic basket!


2 red peppers

1 ciabatta loaf

2 tbsp sundried tomato paste

2 large tomatoes, sliced

1 mozzarella ball, sliced

Two thirds of a cup 1 oz (30g) parmesan cheese, grated

10 basil leaves






Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice the peppers in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Place on a baking tray cut side down and roast for 20 minutes or until the skins are brown. Put the peppers in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool.

Peel the skins off the peppers. Slice the ciabatta in half lengthways and remove some of the dough. Spread the sundried tomato paste on both sides of the bread, then arrange the tomatoes on the base of the bread with the mozzarella, Parmesan and basil leaves. Season well, then add the peppers followed by the top half of the bread.

Wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for one hour. When ready to serve, slice the loaf into eight. SERVES 8