Over the moon with ‘Baby and Toddler’ award

I am a bit overwhelmed and humbled with the awards that we have been winning the past couple of months. Last week my ‘Baby and Toddler’ cookbook won best family cookbook at the ‘Maternity and Infant Magazine Awards’ and I am absolutely thrilled. I will be sharing a recipe from this book below and I hope you enjoy it.

OVER THE MOON... This was one of the hardest books I have ever written but I loved the end result

OVER THE MOON… This was one of the hardest books I have ever written but I loved the end result

Of all the books that I have written this was one of the hardest. I really wanted to make it a Family Cookbook with recipes that everyone could enjoy. Once again it was a huge team effort. From everyone at Gill and MacMillan a big thank you, It is so great to work with you. To Orla Broderick, Sharon Aherne-Smith and Joanne Murphy you know I couldn’t do it without you. To my own team of chefs especially Olivia and Clare who tested the recipes I have to say a big thank you. And also to Danone Nutrition who vetted the recipes and without whom I would not have written the book at all because their advice and knowledge has been fantastic.

I really am passionate about introducing good eating and good food to our children from an early age. With our experience with the twins Amelda and I know the challenges that there can be. They don’t like to see herbs in their soup for example and sometimes they can be reluctant to try new things but it is a case of just keeping going and staying patient and getting them involved in the cooking and the preparing of food from an early age. The twins like their treats too and I think everything is ok in moderation, that is the key.

I always say this, I may be a chef professionally but one of the greatest gifts that any parent can give their child is good food form an early age and also to sit down and eat that food together as a family. That is so important and if you can ban the phones and the ipads and the television even better! 

So a big thank you again to everyone. I really enjoyed writing this book and here is my take on egg and soldiers with a twist. Most toddlers love dipping soldiers into their soft-boiled eggs, and these are just a fancier version that I saw being served in Italy while on holiday.

Soft-boiled Egg with Parma Ham Soldiers

Serves 1.


1 large egg

1 slice of Parma ham

3 breadsticks


1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Gently lower in the egg and cook for 4½ minutes, turning it over once or twice during cooking.

2. Meanwhile, cut the Parma ham into strips and wrap it around the breadsticks.

3. Put the soft-boiled egg into an eggcup and then carefully crack off the top.

4. Arrange on a plate with the Parma ham soldiers alongside.

Neven’s Tip: Before cooking the egg, prick the wide end with a pin – this will release the air trapped in a little pocket here and stop the egg from cracking while it cooks.

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