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Your baby has been living on breast milk or formula milk for several months now. And it’s probably time for them to expand their palate and start trying other foods such as veggies. Mothers typically start introducing solids in the form of vegetable and fruit purees at around 6 months. It’s important to help them get the taste of other foods besides mom’s milk or formula so that they don’t end up being picky. Also, babies need their veggies which provide them a variety of nutrients in the first year of life. Here we share ten tips to help your baby eat their veggies.
1. Start With Mild Flavors
You can start with sweet potatoes and sugar snap peas that don’t scream vegetables when they see it. Then slowly introduce other flavors like carrots, broccoli, and spinach. You can also start adding avocados as their first foods because of their soft texture which babies can easily swallow. Plus, they are packed with nutrients.
2. Don’t Forget The Superfoods
Introduce superfoods such as dark leafy greens, avocados, sweet potatoes, legumes, nuts, and berries early in their life (1). These are foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals. Introducing them early will help them get familiarised with the taste so that they won’t say no to it later.
3. Avoid Anything Too Much…
Especially foods that can give your baby excess gas and a tummy ache. Certain foods that are high in sulfur might make your baby uncomfortable. So make sure you mix it with other veggies or wait till they are a little bit older before you feed them in large amounts.
4. Don’t Give In
You will most likely encounter some brow-furrowing and nose-wrinkling expressions from your little munchkin when they are served something unfamiliar. Try to look happy when you are serving them and even take a bite and say “yummy” so they are tempted to try it. Continue giving them those foods, and who knows they may ask for seconds after a few tries.
5. Lead By Example
Kids become curious about what elders do and have. So seeing those beautifully colored veggies on your plate will spark curiosity in them. And kids always try something when you say they are for grown-ups. Your baby might even try to grab the vegetables from your plate.
6. Sweeten The Deal
Since veggies have an acquired taste, your baby might not be a fan of it in the beginning. It takes some getting used to. Until then, sweeten the deal by offering some berries or their favorite fruit if they finish their veggies.
7. Make It An Every Day Thing
Once you start giving solids to your baby, don’t restrict it to a few days or once a week, make it a regular part of their diet. Give a small amount of pureed veggies daily so that they are more accustomed to the taste.
8. Let Them Eat Themselves
Babies want to be more in control of themselves. So let them use those tiny hands and feed themselves. It can get messy but they might surprise you.
9. Roast It
Let’s face it, not all veggies taste great. There are days when we become picky with our vegetables. So try a different approach like roasting which brings out the best flavor. Your baby will definitely devour Brussel sprouts and cauliflower if you slightly roast them before serving it.
10. Hide And Seek
Sneak your baby’s not-so-favorite veggies with other foods if they rebel at the sight of it. This way your little one will taste the flavor and get the nutrients without feeling overwhelmed.
Every one of us was picky eaters at one point. And we certainly enjoy our greens now. So be patient and try out our tips to get those veggies in your baby’s tummy.