How exciting, your babe is ready to start their food journey - wahoo!!
Do you want:
- your babe to love their veggies, especially the green ones?
- vegetables to be your babe's first foods?
- to palate train with the real thing - fresh vegetable purees?
Fabulous, you've come to the right place.
As a busy parent myself, I know that palate training is exciting and challenging, so I thought I'd share my top tips for starting solids with “veggies first”.
1. OFFER A RANGE OF VEGETABLES
Foodie Babe’s food philosophy focuses on vegetables and savoury flavours. From my own experience with palate training my daughter Valentina, I believe that when you start to introduce solid foods to your babe, it’s important to start with 30 days of “veggies first”, in as much variety as you can manage. Offer a range of vegetables, colours and flavours with a focus on green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, courgette and spinach.
Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that infants who are repeatedly offered a variety of vegetables during the first 15 days of starting solids are more willing to try, accept and like new vegetables.
Also, as breast milk and formula are sweet, introducing “veggies first” will start to train and shape your babe’s palate to appreciate savoury flavours and to develop a lifelong love of veggies.
2. MIX IT UP... LATER
To help your babe understand and appreciate the flavours of all individual vegetables, bitter and sweet, serve each vegetable meal on their own, as individual meals. You can have fun mixing up the veggies from day 31 and beyond 😊
3. OH, JUST A LITTLE
When introducing a new vegetable (especially the green ones) try a teaspoon (15-30g) at a time. Little and often will ensure your babe doesn’t become overwhelmed and will accept the food quicker. Also, once you're comfortable that there are no allergy issues, alternate between green veggies and root veggies eg: green veggie at lunchtime and root veggie at dinner.
4. A LITTLE PATIENCE
You will need to try, try and try again, especially with the more bitter flavours eg: broccoli, spinach, silver beet. Babes need to taste new flavours many times (sometimes up to 15 times) before they get used to them. So, don’t give up, your perseverance will pay off as you’re starting to create a healthy and adventurous eater for life!
Studies in the UK have shown that babies who eat a wide variety of vegetables during complementary feeding go on to eat more vegetables in later childhood (up to 7 years) than those that don’t.
5. BE POSITIVE
Your babe will make funny faces when trying new flavours and textures. This is normal and doesn’t mean they don’t like a particular food. So, this is when your “super-smiley face” is required. It’s also important to accompany the “super-smiley face” with a positive affirmation like “mmmmmm, yummy” even if you don’t like a particular veggie. It’s about creating positive memories with food, so that your babe has a healthy connection with the overall eating experience.
6. FRUIT IS A TREAT
After the first 30 days of vegetable meals, start to introduce fruit and try to establish fruit as a healthy treat at the end of the meal. For example: a seven-month-old baby may eat some Foodie Babe Super greens & roasted chicken for lunch and may want extra kiwi fruit at the end of the meal.