Annabel Woolmer is a mum of two and home cook who believes in the developmental, health and social benefits of involving children in everyday cooking as young as possible.
Annabel’s interest stemmed from simply wanting her own children to grow up enjoying and exploring real food. However, she found that many children’s cookbooks involved a lot of adult input, especially when cooking with very young children. After seeing her 18 month old daughter become frustrated and discouraged by the constant intervention, Annabel started to create her own recipes that enabled her children to be hands-on and feel more independent in the kitchen.
As she watched their sense of achievement, dexterity, focus and interest in food grow through cooking, Annabel began sharing her recipes and techniques with others. What started as fun with a few friends and the local toddler group steadily grew online and with a self-published cookbook, recognised by The Independent in 2015 as one of the top ten best cookbooks for cooking with children.
With a family to feed every day, Annabel values straight-forward, tasty home cooking using common, good value ingredients. And by keeping things simple, finds she can involve her children in everyday food preparation, which keeps them entertained, gets food on the table, and helps to create a fun, relaxed atmosphere around food and eating for everyone.
Her first title, The Tickle Fingers Toddler Cookbook: hands-on fun in the kitchen for 1 to 4s, will be published by Ebury in November 2016.