Worried about how to start weaning? Introducing veg first means your baby is getting the best possible foundation
At six months, your baby will be ready to explore the wonderful world of food. It’s an exciting milestone as they discover flavours and textures for the very first time. In order to give them the right start, you might want to consider veg first weaning.
What is veg first weaning?
Simply put, veg first weaning is giving your baby a variety of vegetables as their first foods, rather than fruit, cereals or a combination of the two.
What are the benefits?
Using vegetables rather than fruit means that you are avoiding giving you baby unnecessary sugars when they are still so young. The idea is that eating vegetables from day one of weaning means they are more likely to accept and enjoy a wider variety of veggies as they grow older, rather than developing an over reliance on sweeter tastes. It’s important to make sure your baby isn’t having too much sugar.
Does it really work?
Scientific evidence* shows that repeated exposure to vegetables, offering a wide variety of vegetables and introducing vegetables as first foods during complementary feeding can increase acceptance of these in early life and childhood.
How do I start?
Try beginning with single cooked vegetable purées so baby gets used to the flavours of vegetables one at a time. Steam the vegetables rather than boiling them as this preserves more nutrients. Don’t worry if most of it ends up on their face or on the floor – they are still getting the majority of their nutrients from milk at this age and it’s all about them exploring and learning how to take food off a spoon and swallowing.
Which veggies should I start with?
Anything really but popular first veggies include carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and peas. If your baby isn’t keen on the stronger flavours of green vegetables, you could start with a sweeter root vegetable like parsnip or sweet potato. Try this simple carrot recipe to kick off your baby’s weaning adventure.
Once your baby has tried and enjoyed a variety of single vegetable purées you can start to combine ingredients to give them a bit more flavour. This trio of root vegetable puree is bound to go down a treat.
My baby just doesn’t seem to like vegetables, what should I do?
Keep trying. It can take between 8-10 times for your baby to like a new flavour so don’t give up.
For more hints, tips and buying guides for your weaning adventure, take a look through our weaning articles.
* Chambers L, Complementary Feeding: Vegetables First, frequently and in variety, 2016, Nutrition Bulletin, 41:p. 142-46