Mila's Meals: The Beginning & The Basics

Press Clippings

Our cookbook 'Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics' has been featured in the following publications…

Natural Medicine Magazine

“Bringing up a child to eat more natural food can often feel overwhelming. Catherine Barnhoorn shares a wide variety of tasty meals for baby’s first year which are all wheat, sugar and dairy free. In addition, there is a plethora of useful information explaining how to approach your toddler’s nutrition in a sensible way with an excellent guide to selecting and storing the ingredients used. Recipes include a number of healthier versions to all those popular nibbles too – from fish fingers, to tomato ketchup, presented with clear illustrations throughout.”

SOUTH Magazine

“Knysna mom, writer, researcher, and health coach Catherine Barnhoorn recently published Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics. A collection of nourishing wholefood recipes and food ideas for baby’s first years (and the rest of the family too) – free from gluten, refined sugar, dairy and artificial additives. The book presents more than 100 (mostly) uncomplicated recipes made with easy-to-find ingredients.”

Good Housekeeping Magazine

“BABY BOOKS. Navigate nutrition and baby health with these great parenting books…
Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics by Catherine Barnhoorn.

This guide includes 100+ dairy-, sugar- and gluten-free recipes for kids.”

Khuluma Magazine

“In 2008, South Korea’s first astronaut Yi So Yeon was a crew member on the International Space Stations, and brought Lorea’s national dish, kimchi, into orbit. Kimchi is made by a process of lactofermentation, in which natural bacteria feed on sugars, creating lactic acid. The best kimchi on the Garden Route is sold in the Mila’s Munchies range by Farm Fresh Direct in George. Explore other fermented foods, such as the dilly carrots recipe above, in Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics recipe book.”

Longevity Magazine


When it comes to feeding your children, follow your gut. These recipes have been extracted from Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’, by Catherine Barnhoorn, a collection of nourishing wholefood recipes and food ideas for your child’s first year (and the rest of the family too) – free from gluten, refined sugar, dairy and artificial additives.

Barnhoorn, who qualified as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through The Institute For Integrative Nutrition, believes disease begins in the gut. She promoted full mind-body nutrition, with an awareness of food intolerances, as an imperative for optimal growth and future health. A strong digestion allows for greater absorption of nutrients and a stronger immune system.


Barnhoorn explains that while many people know of and regularly eat pickles, and some may have heard of sauerkraut, store-bought varieties are another example of the food industry taking a traditional superfood, processing it and rendering it nutritionally bankrupt.

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process od lactofermentation, in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food, and creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and various strains of probiotics.

Barnhoorn reveals that fermented foods balance your gut bacteria and stomach acids, release enzymes to ease and improve digestion, and make it easier for your body to extract and absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat. “They are powerful detoxifiers, helping to breakdown and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from your body. The proliferation of good bacteria boosts the immune system, and the bacteria and enzyme content in fermented foods has been shown to assist with the treatment of baby colic.”

She adds that, besides a diet completely lacking in good bacteria (thanks to pasteurisation), the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut can be disrupted by the use of antibiotics, excessive alcohol intake, excessive sugar intake, stress, diseases and toxins. All of these allow harmful bacteria to thrive. To rebalance the scales, good bacteria (or probiotics) are needed to repopulate the gut.

Introducing fermented foods to your little one not only reinforces the concept that food can be your medicine, but also introduces a new taste profile to their palate – as fermented foods are sour. It is important to broaden your child’s range of taste beyond that of sweet and salty.”


Ideas Magazine


As any new mom knows, it’s important to start with the right information about your baby’s food. Mila’s Meals by Catherine Barnhoorn will help you with nourishing wholefood recipes and food ideas for baby’s first year (and for the rest of the family too), free from gluten, refined sugar, dairy and artificial additives.”

Lose It Magazine

“Catherine Barnhoorn’s collection of recipes for tiny tots, dedicated to her daughter Mila, is a real labour of love.

Mila’s a picky eater, so Catherine had to up the bar.

She soon saw the negative effects of sugar and why it should be avoided, but didn’t want Mila to feel she was missing out on treats.

‘In choosing to raise Mila as a “free-from” child it has been very important to me that she never feels “less than” the other kids,’ Catherine says.

The result is many yummy, healthy recipes that are not only sugar-free, but also gluten- and dairy-free.”

Sandton Chronicle

Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics

Organic Emporium and the Jozi Real food (R)evolution are proud to be hosting the Johannesburg book launch of Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics by author Catherine Barnhoon on 27 and 28 May.

Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics is an indispensable book for parents, jam-packed with an abundance of knowledge, food ideas and guidelines complemented by healthy, nourishing family-friendly recipes for baby’s birth years and beyond.

The extensive 500-page book guides parents and expectant mothers with a road map on feeding children and reawakening their own knowledge of eating. It steers the path by dispelling myths on feeding to focus on essential nutrients, their roles and sources, explaining the motivation to remove gluten, refined sugar and dairy from the diet, and bring awareness of feeding your child for long-term health.

Owner of the Organic Emporium store, Debbie Logan believes that it is an essential book for families with children. “The book covers the topics of nutrition for children with it featuring over 100 wholefood recipes free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar,” she said.

“I haven’t come across a book on baby’s first years this joyful, this comprehensive, this progressive, this sensible and this exciting that I am delighted to be hosting Catherine Barnhoon in Jozi for her Jozi book launch. Mila’s Meals is the book that gives you the best tools to give your baby and its sensitive immune system the great start it deserves.”

Samples of the food featured in the book will be available at the launch for parents to taste and take home to their children, who are the ultimate judges of the success of a recipe.

Sandton Chronicle​

Mila’s Meals: Healthy eating for young and old

Author Catherine Barnhoorn launched her new cookbook, Mila’s Meals at the Landmark Bar in Bryanston.

The book launch was attended by health conscious moms who wanted to find out more about healthy diets for their children, and a few of the scrumptious recipes featured in the book were on display for all to taste.

Debbie Logan, owner of The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium was in attendance and was thrilled with Barnhoorn’s book. “In the last seven years I’ve seen a lot of books dealing with child diets, so to be honest I was suspicious at first, but as soon as I started reading Mila’s Meals I shrieked. This is the book that is going to address the big black confusing hole that is child nutrition,” said Logan.


She added that the book was very comprehensive and took you through each recipe and diet plan step by step. “I wish I had this book when my daughter was born. This book incorporates all the latest research to develop a balanced diet that will not only help your young ones, but the whole family to avoid things like insulin resistance and allergies.”

Barnhoorn spoke about the ideas and philosophies behind the book. “After being diagnosed with a candida overgrowth and later endometriosis [tissue that forms on the lining of the uterus which grows outside the uterine cavity], I started to look at the way different foods can have an effect on the body. I started to limit my intake of sugar and gluten and made a conscious decision to only eat wholesome homemade food,” said Barnhoorn.

She added that after having her daughter Mila, she wanted only the best for her, and that included her diet. “I once again delved into research on the body and what it needs to be healthy. It became clear to me that when I started feeding Mila, it would be strictly refined sugar, preservative and additive free, so that her immune system could reach its full potential.”

Barnhoorn’s book is filled with more than 100 whole food recipes that are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar.

Living and Loving Magazine

June 2016


Inspired by her daughter Mila, Catherine Barnhoorn has developed a collection of nourishing wholefood recipes and food ideas for baby’s first year: In fact, the rest of the family will love them too.

After cutting out gluten, refined sugar and dairy from her diet while she was breastfeeding, because of their negative physical effects on herself and her daughter Mila, Catherine Barnhoorn began to develop her own free-from recipes that would still provide all the essential nutrients for a growing baby.

Three years later, this food journey is now a book, Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics, which offers more than 100 recipes and food ideas, including smoothies, finger foods and even sweet treats for a baby’s first year and as she starts solids. Catherine, now a holistic health coach, says, “My food philosophy is that it should delight the senses as well as the body.” She’s passionate about empowering parents to make informed decisions about what they feed their children and themselves. “As a mom, trust your instinct when it comes to your little one – you are so connected. Make use of that, it’s a wonderful tool.”

Try these three recipes, which are warm, comforting and wholesome for winter.”

Recipes featured in the magazine include: Lamb Casserole, Chicken Curry and Cottage Pie.

Your Family Magazine


Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & the Basics by Catherine Barnhoorn (self-published) is a collection of nourishing wholefood recipes and food ideas for baby’s first years (and the rest of the family too).

This 500-page book features over 100 recipes that are free from gluten, refined sugar, dairy and artificial additives, and includes lots of easy to understand health advice.

Recipes include choc-nut fudge, carrot cupcakes, tomato sauce, and butternut & cranberry fritters.

R499 from or Kindle version available for $12.99.”

Essentials Magazine


“Get inspired by Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics by Catherine Barnhoorn (R480 from her site You’ll love her nourishing collection of wholefood recipes for tots… and so will the rest of the family.”

Child Magazine


Food should be delicious and nutritious believes Catherine Barnhoorn. From Mila’s Meals, her new cookbook, she shares some of her gluten-, sugar- and dairy-free recipes.”

Recipes featured in the magazine include: Choc-Nut Fudge, Quinoa Bites, Dairy-free Ice Cream, Butternut and Cranberry Fritters.

About the book

This book 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 do this as effectively and effortlessly as possible. If you are a new mom or know anyone who is; if your child has food allergies or intolerances; if you plan to raise your children on a “free from” diet; or if you would simply like to educate yourself, then this is the book for you. Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics is self-published by Catherine Barnhoorn and to order the book visit”

Mila's Meals in Living And Loving Magazine September 2016

Living and Loving Magazine

September 2016


Ditch the refined sugar and opt for these satisfying sweet-treat recipes, extracted from Mila’s Meals by Catherine Barnhoorn.”

Recipes featured in the magazine include: Oat Bars, Sweet Potato Muffins, Strawberry Jam, Date Balls.”

Mila's Meals: The Beginning & The Basics

Reviews & Awards

Book Awards​

Our book ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’ has been award EIGHT international books awards!

(I still can’t quite believe it!)

reading mila's meals cookbook

What people are saying

I am deeply humbled by the impact my book ahs had in people’s lives. These reviews bring tears of joy every time I receive one.

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