Veg led weaning is something I did with my first son and something I will definitely do with my second. It is a type of weaning approach to help ensure your little ones develop a taste and acceptance for vegetables. We are all born with palettes that are very accepting of sweet foods – much more so than savoury. Veg led weaning suggests parents offer a variety of single veggies for the first 10 days, ensuring these are a mix of bitter, savoury and neutral flavours such as broccoli, potato and spinach.
Why are vegetables important in a child’s diet?
Introducing babies to savoury foods during weaning is essential for developing their taste preferences and promoting a balanced diet. A balanced diet helps to better support their growth and development and it is more likely that they will take these healthy habits into their adulthood. Vegetables are a great source of fibre and other nutrients such as vitamin A and C, folate and potassium.
Tips to help you incorporate savoury foods into your baby’s diet:
- Start with Single Vegetables: Begin weaning with single vegetables, such as steamed or boiled broccoli, potatoes, or peas. This allows your baby to experience the natural taste of each vegetable.
- Offer Homemade Purees: Make your own vegetable purees. Steaming or boiling vegetables and blending them into a smooth texture can be a good way to introduce different flavours.
- Mix Flavours Gradually: As your baby gets used to individual vegetables, you can start combining different vegetables to create new flavour combinations. Mixing sweet and savoury vegetables can help transition from exclusively sweet tastes.
- Avoid Adding Sugar and Salt: Babies should not be consuming sugar and salt. Babies’ taste buds are still developing, and they do not need added sugar or salt in their diet. Additionally it can be detrimental to their health.
- Incorporate Herbs and Spices: After your baby has tried various vegetables, you can introduce mild herbs and spices like a pinch of cinnamon in sweet potatoes or a bit of basil in tomato puree. This will expose them to a broader range of flavours.
- Offer Finger Foods: As your baby progresses in their weaning journey, offer soft, finger-sized pieces of cooked vegetables for them to pick up and explore independently.
- Be Patient: It may take some time for your baby to accept new flavours. Be patient and continue offering a variety of savoury foods.
Remember, each baby is unique, and their preferences may vary. The key is to expose them to a diverse range of flavours and textures, gradually expanding their palate and promoting a lifelong love for healthy, savoury foods. Always consult with your paediatrician before introducing new foods to your baby, especially if they have any allergies or health concerns.
I followed my friend and fellow nutritionists lead on this using her book.
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