About the Mila’s Meals cookbook

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My Book

'Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics'

mila's meals cookbook

Part cookbook, part nutrition encyclopaedia, part food journal

Affectionately, and sometimes frustratingly, known as ‘The Book’Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics is my first cookbook (or book for that matter).

Part cookbook, part nutrition encyclopaedia, part food journal – it is a journey through three and a half years of me and my daughter’s life.

My goal - A comprehensive resource

My goal was to have all the information a gluten-free, sugar-free AND dairy-free mom or dad would need as they begin feeding their baby solid food – the why, the what and the how of it.

To have all of it in one place – a comprehensive resource that tired ‘mushy-brained’ moms could be referred to time and time again, as opposed to bookmarking (and losing) various website pages.

'Free-from’ food is both delicious AND nutritious.

I really wanted to show people that

  • free-from’ food is both delicious and nutritious. 
  • That it is do-able and even enjoyable.
  • That food intolerances are a blessing, not a curse – a welcome message from your body.
  • And that life is still sweet without sugar!

For the WHOLE family!

The book took me three and a half years to create – which I am grateful for.

Every twist and turn along the way taught me something valuable which was then included in the book.

It also made for a book that can be used for a 6-month old baby as much as for school lunch boxes and the mama’s and papa’s too.

Mila is now 10 years old and still eating the food from this cookbook – for breakfast, in school lunch boxes and for dinner! I eat the meals too 🙂

Gluten-free, sugar-free & dairy-free food can be delicious! See for yourself...

Some taste testers

The Official Book Description

Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics

The Mila's Meals gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free cookbook

Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics is a 500-page collection of over 100 gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free nourishing wholefood recipes and food ideas for baby’s first years (and the rest of the family too).

Part cookbook, part nutrition encyclopedia, part journal of my journey into motherhood, Mila’s Meals is a call to action for every parent to be conscious of what they are feeding their little ones, providing a guideline on how to go about this as effectively, effortlessly and joyfully as possible.

Created, written and published by: Catherine Barnhoorn, certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Mama to Mila
Photography by: Alfred Lor

What Others Say

"must study, must enjoy"

"This is a must study, must enjoy, healthy eating alternative not only for feeding children, but also for feeding ourselves as adults. Everything you could possibly ask about the difficult food industry is answered in this book. Beginning with her own health journey and motherhood story, Catherine leads the reader through her experiences and sets us up with a course of action: first and foremost, be aware of what you are eating. It includes extensive information on every aspect of nutrition: food additives, GMO's, allergies, and food intolerances and much more. The research and information is complemented by easy-to-reference, concise charts such as the the different food groups, what nutrients are needed and which foods to find them in, lists of nutrient-enhancers to sneak into any meal, a detailed appendix of food additives to avoid and why, and so much more. With the research covered, the book then provides a great resource of delicious and nutritious recipes all accompanied by mouth-watering pictures. Including snacks, main course meals, party food, desserts and pantry staples and fermented foods. All the kid's favourites have been made nutrient-dense - such as chicken nuggets, pancakes and ice-cream. The ingredient glossary (for all 156 ingredients used in the book) is succinct, very thorough and useful."


Award Winning

8 International Book Awards

Gourmand Best of the Best 25 Years – Diet Category
Gourmand ‘Best In The World’ Award – First Book Category
Next Generation Indie Book Award – Health/Wellness Category
Reader’s Favorite Award – Non-Fiction  Cooking/Food Category
Living Now Book Award – Cookbooks Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian Category
Gourmand World Cookbook Award – Self-Published Category
London Book Festival Award – Cookbook Category
International Rubery Book Award – Shortlist – Non-fiction Category

Want One?

Purchasing Options - South Africa

Buy a signed copy from the Mila’s Meals online shop.

(This is currently the only place to buy the book in South Africa as I have recently ended my contract with my book distributor. I will be distributing the book myself again and will add more retailers here once they are onboard.) 

Are you a South Africa retailer? Want to stock the book?

Please email me for wholesale prices and to place your order.

Purchasing Options - Global

ANY bookshop in the world can order the book for you (via IngramSpark’s print-on-demand service)!

Simply give them this ISBN number: 9780639822808

Or get your copy from:

You can search Abebooks.com for a listing of sellers in more than 50 countries.


Are you a retailer outside of South Africa?
Would you like to order the book wholesale?

Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics (second edition) is available globally via Ingram Content Goup’s iPage.

Simply use this ISBN number: 9780639822808

ipage for Retailers is Ingram’s easy-to-use online search, order, and account management platform for titles.

eBook edition available!

Many people asked for an eBook version of the book – so they could easily take it on holiday with them 😉

You don’t need to own a Kindle! You can use the FREE Kindle Reader App.


Its as much about learning how to feed your child as it is about re-learning how to feed yourself

Why Mila's Meals is #notjustacookbook

Inside you’ll find

the mila's meals cookbook contents page

Colour photos for every single recipe & a wealth of information including the why, what and how to begin your little one’s life-long relationship with food (or to heal your own)…

The Why

The truth behind common infant food fallacies

An expose of what is really in that convenient, ready-made food and the affect it has on your child physically, mentally and emotionally

The importance and maintenance of gut health

The problems with gluten, dairy and sugar

The What

Essential nutrients, the role they play, and where to find them

Detailed nutrition & preparation information for every ingredient used in the book

Useful charts like the ‘What to Feed When’ food introduction chart, the Dirty Dozen list, ‘The Worst Offenders’ food additives to avoid and more.

The How

Over 100 (mostly) uncomplicated recipes made with easy-to-find ingredients

A re-introduction of essential traditional foods & food preparation techniques (like sauerkraut, slow-cooked bone broths as well as how and why to soak grains)

‘Do-able’ meals for working parents – all the food can be made in bulk and frozen

Ready to be well-nourished?

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