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Baby's First Cereal
How to Get Your Baby to Eat Vegetables
by Christine Albury
Vegetables contain so many vitamins, minerals and nutrients necessary to good health that it's important to ensure your baby is eating enough of them. Understandably, then, many parents become concerned when their little ones refuse to eat vegetables at all!
When starting solids, it's a good idea to try introducing veggies before fruits - the thinking behind this is that babies will be less happy to accept vegetables after experiencing the sweetness of fruits. Despite this, though, some babies just don't seem to particularly enjoy vegetables - so here are some ideas to help incorporate these nutritious foods into his diet:
1. Try cooking your baby's vegetables in homemade beef stock or chicken stock instead of water (avoid commercial stocks, which are too salty for use in baby food preparation). This is a popular solution that works well for many parents.
2. Try stirring some pureed veggies into pureed fruit. It sounds awful, but actually tastes pretty good - babies have no idea which foods should "go" together, so you'll be surprised by what they enjoy!
3. Top a dish of cooked veggies, whether pureed or cut-up, with grated cheese. A subtle difference, but one that many babies appreciate! Alternatively, serve veggie pieces with a cheese dip.
4. Add pureed veggies to your baby's favourite soup or pasta sauce - he won't even realize he's consuming all those wonderful vitamins!
5. For older babies, add grated squash, pumpkin or carrots to your homemade muffins.
6. At mealtimes, offer your baby a plate of cooked vegetables to feed himself at the beginning of the meal (if he is developmentally ready for finger foods). This is when he will be most hungry... and therefore most likely to try them.
7. If you are making mashed potatoes for your baby, use sweet potatoes instead of white ones - they are highly nutritious and a great source of beta-carotene.
8. Don't overcook your veggies! As well as losing their texture, vegetables lose their goodness AND their colour when cooked to a mush. If you want your baby to enjoy vegetables, they need to be appetising and visually enticing, too!
9. Set a good example by eating plenty of veggies yourself - eat them in front of your baby, with exaggerated enjoyment... and your baby might just copy you!
Christine Albury is a mother of four and the author of http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com, a site which deals with the many aspects of feeding and caring for baby throughout his/her first year.