Best vegetables for babies; the vegetables are among the first foods introduced during the baby's dietary diversification. But when to put them on the menu? In what quantity and which ones to choose?
1. Best vegetables for babies for a good start to food diversification
Traditionally, food diversification begins with vegetables and not with fruits. Indeed, the fruits being sweeter, the baby might sulk at the taste of vegetables afterward.
Between 4 and 6 months, your baby is open to new flavors: take the opportunity to offer him a wide variety.
Start by introducing just one vegetable at a time as a smooth puree. Do not add salt or fat. Wait at least 3 days before offering another vegetable, so the baby gets used to the new flavor. Also, if he was to experience an allergic reaction, it might make it easier to pinpoint the cause.
Once the baby has tasted several vegetables, you can offer mixtures.
As for the textures, they change depending on the age of your baby:
- Between 4 and 6 months: smooth texture
- Between 7 and 9 months: mixed texture
- Between 10 and 12 months: milled texture
- From 12 months: small pieces.
The quantities will gradually increase:
- 4/6 months: from 30 to 120g per day
- 7/8 months: from 120 to 150g per day
- 9/12 months: from 150 to 250g per day
- 12/18 months: from 250 to 350g per day
- 24/36 months: 400g per day.
2. Best vegetables for babies
Between 5 months and 6 months
You can offer to your infant most of the vegetables, provided they are well cooked and mixed. In addition, avoid starting with those that have a strong taste or which fermentation may be responsible for stomach pain (peppers, salsify, leafy cabbage, celery, peas, turnips, leek greens). Prefer more digestible vegetables: carrot (not too much in case of constipation), green bean, spinach (not too much in case of diarrhea), zucchini without skin and seeds, pumpkin, white leek, potato, sweet potatoes, etc.
Start by introducing the vegetables for one of the 2 main meals, usually at noon. For the first few days, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of a mixed cooked vegetable in the bottle of milk, or offer this vegetable with a spoon. Gradually, increase the quantity to reach 65 g (the weight of 1/2 small jar).
It is desirable to introduce the vegetables one by one to check the baby's tolerance while training his taste.
Between 6 months and 8 months
Continue to increase the quantities of cooked and mixed vegetables to reach 130 g at lunch. We continue to avoid strong-tasting vegetables, which are too irritating (because they are rich in fiber)
In the homemade vegetable purees, do not hesitate to add 1 knob of butter or 1 teaspoon of oil (rapeseed, soybean, sunflower) rich in essential fatty acids, which complements the contributions of 2nd age milk.
Between 9 months and 1 year
The amount of vegetables served gradually increases to around 200-250 g divided over the midday and evening meals. Gradually introduce new vegetables, always one by one, cooked and mixed or in small pieces: tomato pulp, artichoke, eggplant, peas, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, pepper, fennel, beet. You can also flavor them with fine herbs: parsley, chives, chervil, basil, or thyme.
Between 1 year and 3 years
Maintain vegetables twice a day in ground or chopped form. From 12 months (not before), you can introduce dried vegetables, less digestible: lentils, split peas, white beans, to prepare mashed. It is also the moment to introduce the raw vegetables in addition: tomato, cucumber, avocado, green salad, grated carrot ... Offer 1 to 2 spoons as a starter.
From 2-3 years old
Your baby may start to refuse certain vegetables (neophobia); it is a perfectly normal food stage. Do not force him, but regularly offer him the neglected foods. It is sometimes necessary to present the same food 10 or 20 times to the child to start eating it again.
3. Best vegetables for babies; Homemade vegetables or small pots; which to choose?
Do not hesitate to alternate between homemade vegetables and small pots; it is preferable for the taste training not to accustom the baby to only one type of preparation.
To cook at home, use fresh or frozen vegetables. Vegetables steamed or boiled in water (preserves their vitamins better). You should not salt the first months, then very lightly from 10 months. It is necessary to avoid cooking them in fat, and it is better to add them raw butter or oil. After draining the vegetables, mix or grind them (depending on the desired consistency). To make a puree, it is possible to add follow-on milk and/or water.
4. Best vegetables for babies; Benefits of vegetables for babies
Here are the most important vegetables that your child should have in his first year, which doctors consider the best first foods offered to the child:
Benefits of carrots for infants
- It helps in rapid cell regeneration and growth, ideal for wounds and injuries.
- Enhances the performance of the liver and contains elements that protect it from being affected by harmful chemicals.
- It strengthens immunity and keeps your baby's body in good shape most of the time.
- Contains the most essential elements that aid in strengthening eyesight, namely vitamin A and beta-carotene.
You can make many recipes from carrots that are suitable for babies due to their wonderful and sweet taste.
Benefits of Pumpkin for Infants
- It has antimicrobial properties, so it is important for preventing fungal infections and diseases caused by bacteria and viruses.
- It contains omega-3 that helps reduce inflammation in your child.
- Contains a high percentage of fiber, so it is one of the foods that enhance the work of your child's digestive system and reduce constipation.
It contains vitamin A and beta-carotene, which strengthens eyesight and protects the eyes from UV rays.
- It contains antioxidants that are important for your child's immunity and body.
Benefits of zucchini for infants
- Zucchini contains calcium, which is necessary for the bone growth of your baby.
The magnesium in zucchini helps the development of your child's bones and teeth and promotes the digestive system's work.
- Zucchini contains phosphorous, which aids in brain development, combating fatigue and lethargy.
- Zucchini strengthens your child's immunity because it contains vitamin "C" in a large proportion.
Benefits of spinach
- It contains a high percentage of water that keeps your baby's body hydrated.
- Protects the liver from harmful bacteria.
- Spinach helps your child's body to fight parasitic worms attacking his weak body.
Benefits of peas
- It helps give your child a strong immunity.
- It reduces the risk of various heart problems.
- Helps get rid of constipation and improves the functioning of the digestive system.