Turning Your Baby into a Veggie Lover
We all know vegetables are important food items to ensure babies develop well during their first few months. However, many parents also know all too well that trying to feed their little tykes veggies can sometimes turn into a gruelling experience. So, how do you turn your young bundle of joy into a veggie lover? Read on to find out.
When should you introduce vegetables?
A popular piece of advice commonly given to new parents is to introduce vegetables first before giving them any fruits. This is supposedly so that they won’t develop a dislike for vegetables later on.
However, as we have pointed in our previous post, this is nothing but a myth. According to baby nutrition specialists, there is no correlation between whether you introduce fruits first with any potential dislike of vegetables later on. They also pointed out that babies will always have an inherent dislike of bitter tastes, so this is something you can’t avoid.
With that sorted out, we now have the question of when you should actually introduce veggies (or any other food item for that matter) to your baby’s diet. Experts say that introducing vegetables into their meals can begin at 4 to 6 months. At this stage, your baby is already showing interest in other food items aside from milk. Here, you can begin introducing pureed veggies to develop their taste for it.
You continue feeding pureed veggies until their eighth month. From the eighth month to the tenth, you can introduce mashed veggies. Finally, by the tenth month, they can transition to fully solid foods, such as bite-sized chunks of squash and other vegetables.
How to turn them into a veggie lover
Of course, as we already know, introducing vegetables to your baby’s diet is only the first part. Making them actually love it is undoubtedly going to be the challenging part. For that, here are some useful tips and tricks.
1. Begin training them while they are still in the womb
As we all know, during pregnancy, nutrients are transferred to the baby through the umbilical cable. Some experts believe that flavours can also be transferred this way. While more evidence is yet to surface to support the idea, the incentive of taking in more vegetables during your pregnancy is already a well-established matter.
On the other hand, breast milk is already well-known for its ability to transmit whatever flavours are present in the mother’s food intake to her baby. Thus, while they don’t actually discern whether such flavours do come from veggies or from other sources, they are more likely to get accustomed to these, allowing them to be more receptive to foods with such tastes.
2. Enjoy veggies yourselves
Of course, your baby getting his first taste of bitter flavours is not the same as him actually eating vegetables. And for them to really appreciate veggies, you yourself need to be a good role model. By seeing you heartily consume veggies during meal time, your tots will me more curious as to why you seem to enjoy it much and will be tempted to try it for themselves.
However, don’t try to force them to eat veggies whenever you do. This will likely make them more sceptical of such food and will try harder to counter your efforts. Instead, simply be patient until they sloo9wly acclimate to the taste.
3. Add a variety of flavours
Once you manage to get them to eat their greens, you might come across a period where their choices of vegetables to eat start to get smaller. To offset this, you can start introducing new flavours to their palate. Salt, for instance, can be used to lessen the bitter taste of the vegetables he does not like.
It is also at this point that you can start to mix and match the various vegetables to create new tastes. You can also start to introduce new veggies that they might find more delectable. Ultimately, you will be able to transition your young one to the same foods the rest of your family eat.
While trying to feed your young ones vegetables can become a gruelling experience, it can also be a rewarding one, as once they come to love their greens, you know they are now eating healthily. So, don’t cave in when you see those displeased faces. Sooner or later, they will love it anyway.