Recipe Finder

Select an age and one other category

It’s thanks to baby that 4 in 5 UK parents improve their diets

Nationwide weaning survey by Annabel Karmel

80% of UK parents say that cooking for their baby helped improve their whole family’s diet, according to new research released today.

An astonishing 88% of parents claim that having an infant to cater for encouraged them to cook from scratch more often than before they had children. And more than three quarters (78%) say that their babies have been the catalysts for improving their cooking skills, according to the nationwide weaning survey by children’s food expert Annabel Karmel.

And better family food choices aren’t a fad.  92% of grown-ups say that they’ve continued to cook more consciously and make healthier food choices for their whole family as their baby has grown-up.

Weaning Survey Results

It’s thanks to weaning that 60% of parents also claim to have cut down on the amount of salt added to the whole household’s meals, with three quarters (75%) realising this big milestone as an opportunity to shake-up their whole family’s diets.

The UK’s No.1 children’s cookery author, Annabel Karmel, says: “There is infinite research showing how adult eating behaviours shape the development of children’s food preferences, but this newest study uncovers the incredible influence babies are having over adult diets.”

“As parents, we want to give our babies the very best start. And in doing so, we are seeing a halo effect on the whole family.  It’s thanks to a growing trend in babies eating more family meals from early stage weaning that grown-ups are re-evaluating their own diets and intentionally making better food decisions for the whole family – this is welcomed news.”


The weaning survey of parents with children aged 5 and under also found that 59% of parents are picking up a cookbook once a week or more, compared to just 33% prior to cooking for baby. In fact, 9% of parents claimed that they had never followed a cookbook recipe prior to having a baby.

It’s also thanks to catering for mini mouths that parents are flexing their new-found food skills.  The weaning survey has revealed a batch of scratch-cook firsts thanks to baby:

  • 64% have made their own pasta or Bolognese sauce
  • Over half (55%) have had a crack at making their own curry
  • 54% have made lasagne from scratch
  • 45% have perfected their own pie
  • 31% have even baked their own bread
  • 29% have prepared their own stock
  • 19% have dabbled in making a homemade hummus dip

For more on weaning, see our article 10 things only weaning parents know to be true.

“The research would suggest that ‘first tastes’ are being experienced by the whole family – not just baby” says Annabel, who has just launched Weaning Made Simple – the definitive go-to weaning guide which “every new parent needs in their kitchen”.

The globally renowned bestselling author has made a highly anticipated return to her kitchen to cook-up this highly visual guide packed with the very latest advice and recipes. Annabel Karmel’s 46th cookbook is designed to cut through any confusion around weaning and equip new parents with healthy recipes that their baby – and the whole family – can enjoy.


Weaning Made Simple: The go-to guide to baby’s first foods

  • 100 nutritious, delicious recipes by age and stage
  • Ideas for advice for spoon-feeding and baby-led weaning
  • Meal planners
  • Essential advice
  • Practical tips and ideas

Scroll to Top

Join the AK Family

Join our AK Family today for FREE and gain access to a fantastic selection of  benefits, such as 900+ exclusive recipes, unmissable monthly competitions, vouchers and promotional offers & lots more!

Log in

Login to the AK family for exclusive member benefits.