In the previous articles we have shared some tips to stop baby crying and things you probably don't know about newborn baby. This time we're sharing some ways to help baby love veggies. Babies need a variety of nutrients in their first year. But Some of them may become picky eaters and refuse to eat veggies. If your baby is showing all the symptoms that he or she is ready for the next step of eating food beyond breast milk and formula, you must want them to expand their exploration with foods especially those ‘green stuff’ and try a variety of them. Here are 8 tips for getting your baby to eat vegetables.
1. Transmit flavors early through breast milk
The amniotic fluids around baby are flavored by the foods mum eats. And baby’s taste buds start developing at 21 weeks of pregnancy. Flavors from a mom's diet can be transmitted to her baby through breast milk. Babies are more likely to enjoy the foods their moms ate while breastfeeding than new foods that they were never exposed to. Fill your own plate with veggies to start baby's love of veggies early if you're breastfeeding.
2. Make vegetables his first weaning foods
It's a good idea to introduce your child to solid foods starting at 6 months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. You can start by steaming or boiling vegetables like carrot, beans, sweet potato, and green peas. You can puree and serve them to your babies. Be sure to avoid potential allergens, such as corn. Introduce mild-flavored vegetables with naturally baby-friendly texture to your baby early, such as avocado. Feeding a few teaspoons of veggies once a day for a week and gradually increase the amount to help baby get accustomed to the flavor and enjoy it.
3. Move on from purees
Just when your babies get ready to eat mashed food at around 8-10 months, start to make the purees a bit coarser and then move to soft cooked vegetables. Sit with your kid while he is feeding himself to make sure he doesn’t choke. After this stage, try stopping pureeing vegetables into rice. Let him learn to relish the soft cooked vegetables on his own. By one year, he can just eat the vegetables you cook for yourself. Just make sure to make it soft and not too spicy. Remember, babies don’t need all teeth to chew. They chew with their gums.
4. Avoid uncomfortable side effects
Veggies high in sulfur, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and beans, may lead to tummy ache in babies because they can produce excess gas. If this becomes a problem, you can introduce these foods until your baby is older, or mix the vegetable with another vegetable, like a potato, to decrease its potency.
5. Involve him in the process
Take your kid to the market, choose and buy veggies with him. After you come back home, let him put the veggies into the fridge. And let him pick the leaves while you are cutting the vegetables. So, when the veggies get cooked and end up in his plate, it’s far more to him than some boring food. He would be more willing and excited to try them since he’s been getting involved from picking the vegetables to seeing them get cooked.
6. Persist, but do not force
Your baby will probably make a nose-wrinkling, brow-furrowing, yucky face the first time you serve him something unfamiliar, but that doesn't mean he won't eat it. Sit in front of your baby and make eating veggies a positive experience by smiling and say ‘Yummy!’ to encourage your baby to eat it. This will work so much better than explaining that it is good for his health. After several times, he may get familiar with it and want to try it. While you encourage him to take a bite before rejecting any food, don’t force him to eat.
7. Cook vegetables the way babies love them
Learn to cook the vegetables the way your kids love them. Many parents are too busy to spend time cooking vegetables or do not care to eat vegetables themselves.
Being a vegetable lover yourself, not all vegetables should be cooked the same way. Find a way to make veggies more palatable. If your kid is not fond of a particular vegetable, you can try to change to a different recipe and find the version he loves.
8. Pill some veggies on your own plate, too
Not only you should eat vegetables to introduce flavors to your unborn baby but also eat them even after the baby is born and able to eat veggies. Let your kid see you eating vegetables and proteins. Eat well-rounded meals in front of him so they can see that you enjoy them. You can set a good example for him and on the other hand, eating veggies is also good for your own health. Besides, there are also other foods pregnant woman should eat that is conducive to good health.
It’d be good if you instill a love of veggies early before your baby is born. But it’s never too late to encourage your baby to eat vegetables even after he is born. Just try our ways to make your kid like vegetables. Insist on them and you’ll finally get what you expect!