Vegetables For Baby

We know that your baby is only just starting to eat solids, but it’s also a good time to start introducing veggies into your baby’s diet. These six softer, blendable veggies will be more gentle on your baby’s palate while he or she gets used to eating solid foods.

Whether your little one is new to solids or you’re just looking for a way to get more veggies in, these six softer, blendable veggies make it easy!

Carrots, spinach and avocados are all great soft veggies that your baby can get used to tasting at an early age. Give them a try!

When your baby is ready to move up from the purees, introduce solids. But don’t worry; there are lots of tasty options to choose from. Check out these six veggies to start with.

Vegetables For Babies 6 Months

We all want our kids to grow up eating a healthy diet — and it’s hard to think of a healthier food than vegetables. Full of complex carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, veggies are a dietary building block of wellness, even for very young children.

But the question always follows: Can you actually get your kid to like vegetables? The battle over a plate of veggies is a classic parent-child power struggle.

Here’s how to not only choose the best veggies for your baby, but prepare them in ways that will help your kiddo become a veggie lover for life.

Best vegetables for young babies

For babies just starting to eat solids (around 6 months or so), try these six softer, blendable veggies.

Carrots

Bugs Bunny’s fave orange veggies are a baby food staple for good reason. Once cooked, carrots puree beautifully and offer a not-too-piquant flavor for baby’s sensitive palate.

Plus, they contain plenty of fiber to promote healthy digestion, as well as beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A to boost vision and immune function.

Spinach

Speaking of cartoon characters’ favorite vegetables, remember Popeye’s love for spinach? This leafy green deserves its cartoon reputation for being rich in iron — a nutrient babies especially need for energy and development.

Cooked, pureed spinach is best for younger infants. Add a sprinkle of salt to enhance taste.

Pumpkin

Pumpkin may bring to mind chilly temperatures and falling leaves, but with canned varieties, your child can enjoy the gourds any time of year. Pureed pumpkin’s smooth texture is ideal as one of baby’s first foods, and high amounts of A and C round out its nutrient profile.

Avocados

Avocados are the heroes of healthy monounsaturated fats. These important macronutrients help develop baby’s brain and nervous system, as well as increase absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Meanwhile, each serving of avocado comes with a sizable dose of fiber and folate.

Keep in mind that a little bit of high fat avocado goes a long way. Start with a serving of about 1 tablespoon, mashed.

Sweet potatoes

Mashed cooked sweet potatoes not only make for easy-peasy serving to your little one, they’re loaded with nutrients, too! Like carrots and pumpkin, sweet potatoes burst with immune- and vision-supporting vitamin A, plus plenty of fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

When serving sweet potato to your baby, be sure to mash well and remove the skin.

Peas

Mushy peas might not sound like a culinary delight to adults, but they’re an excellent choice for infants. These little green balls are one of the highest-protein veggies, with 4 gramsTrusted Source per serving.

To serve, simply steam frozen peas and blend until pureed. You can even add a bit of breast milk for a thinner consistency.

Best vegetables for older babies

As your baby becomes more of a solid food pro, try introducing these six veggies.

Broccoli

With cancer-fighting compounds and micronutrients galore, broccoli is an extremely healthy veggie for people of all ages.

Turn your baby on to this cruciferous superfood by serving steamed or roasted broccoli by itself, or add it to pasta dishes, cheesy baked potatoes, or soups cooled to room temperature.

Cauliflower

Has your little eater cut a few teeth? Now’s the time to try cooked cauliflower! The chunky texture of this veggie in a puree (or roasted and roughly mashed) offers just the right level of challenge for new chewers.

Zucchini

When the summer months roll around, take advantage of a bumper crop of zucchini by feeding some to baby. Green and yellow summer squash offer mild flavor and nutrients like manganese, potassium, and vitamin A.

Try serving your baby zucchini prepared as cooked, spiralized “zoodles” with a tomato sauce or thin-sliced and pan-sautéed with a bit of olive oil.

Tomatoes

Before long, your kiddo will likely be chowing down on all sorts of tomato-based foods like pizza and spaghetti with marinara. For now, get them started on the fresh, whole version by serving tomatoes in finely chopped pieces.

Ample water content for hydration plus vitamins C and A add to tomatoes’ value as a healthy first veggie.

Onions

Because of their pungency, you might shy away from feeding your child onions. But these aromatic alliums can be a great way to add flavor to baby’s diet without sodium or anything artificial. Try cooked onions in casseroles or mixed in with other vegetables.

Beets

We’ll be honest: Beets are an acquired taste. That said, you can make them more tempting for baby by pureeing cooked beets with fruits like blueberries or cherries.

The pigments in these colorful blends might leave baby with a red beet “mustache,” but beets’ high content of folate, manganese, and fiber are well worth it.

Best vegetables for baby-led weaning

You can help your child take the lead in the weaning process by providing them plenty of self-feeding opportunities. Incorporate these four bite-sized, easily grasped veggies in baby-led weaning (BLW).

Butternut squash

When first starting with baby-led weaning, opt for softer foods. They’re easier for baby to gnaw, which may allay your concerns about choking. (Still, carefully supervise your baby during mealtimes.)

With their tender texture and sweet taste, pieces of cooked butternut squash are an excellent first round of BLW. Dust cooked pieces with cinnamon for even more flavor.

Bell peppers

Fun fact: Ounce for ounce, bell peppers contain more vitamin C than oranges! This important vitamin not only strengthens the immune system, it acts as an anti-inflammatory antioxidantTrusted Source.

Give baby’s health a leg up by letting them self-feed diced bell peppers. If the peppers’ strong flavor gets a negative reaction, try serving them with cheese or hummus.

Cucumbers

There’s nothing quite so refreshing as a cool, crunchy cucumber. These veggies’ cooling sensation can be especially soothing for babies’ teething gums. To reduce the risk of choking, peel the skin off of cucumbers and dice them into small pieces as part of baby-led weaning.

Edamame

Everyone knows that popping edamame beans out of their shells is half the fun of eating these tender legumes. However, for baby-led weaning, start by placing shelled, slightly mashed edamame on the high chair tray. Their high protein content will fuel baby’s playtime, as well as build muscle tissue.

What’s the deal with babies and vegetables high in nitrates?

Vegetables are among the healthiest foods on the planet. Could anything go wrong with feeding them to your baby?

For very young children, there are some safety concerns about nitrates — compounds certain vegetables absorb from soil.

When babies consume excessive amounts of nitrates, it can lead to a condition called methemoglobinemia. Babies with this condition may develop a blue tinge on their hands, feet, and mouth, and may have fatigue and difficulty breathing.

If your baby has any of these symptoms — especially shortness of breath — seek medical attention immediately.

Root vegetables like beets and carrots and leafy greens (especially spinach) do contain relatively high levels of nitrates. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t feed these healthy veggies to your baby when they start solids.

Older research from 2005 shows that high amounts of nitrates from vegetables are primarily harmful to babies 3 months of age and younger — but since it’s not recommended to introduce solid foods until around 6 months, this is likely to be a nonissue.

Other vegetables to avoid

  • Baby carrots. “Baby” may be in their name, but baby carrots are not a good choice for infants. Their size and hardness make them a choking hazard.
  • Raw celery. The stringy fibers of raw celery can easily lodge in a baby’s throat. If you choose to serve your baby celery, be sure it’s cooked thoroughly and cut into small pieces.
  • Corn. Creamed or pureed corn is fine for infants, but avoid serving the small, chewy kernels by themselves.
  • Any hard, raw vegetables. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, chunks of raw vegetables remain a choking hazard until children reach the age of 4 years.

When to talk to your pediatrician

As with any food group, you may run into snags when introducing your child to the wide and colorful world of veggies. Although allergies to vegetables are rare and no vegetable is among the top eight food allergens, it’s always possible for a child to have an allergic reaction to any food.

If your baby has symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, hives, or a rash after eating a particular vegetable, talk to your pediatrician about the possibility of an allergy or food sensitivity.

The bottom line

Contrary to the stereotypes, getting your kid to eat their vegetables doesn’t have to be an epic battle of the wills. By introducing a wide variety of veggies and preparations from a young age, you’ll give your little one the best chance of developing a veggie-loving palate.

Even if your high chair gourmand spurns spinach or turns up a nose at turnips, don’t despair! Keep at it. The more you expose your child to any food, the more likely they are to eventually accept (and even enjoy) it.

Vegetables For Babies 7 Months Old

I’m excited to share a guest post today from two fellow Registered Dietitians. Read on for 5 tips to encourage your infant to eat vegetables, and great ways to serve vegetables to babies.

I can’t wait to try that recipe out on Riese – and tip #3 below, too!

If you’re interested in learning more about baby led weaning, or looking for recipes or ways to encourage infants to eat more vegetables and plant-based foods, this post is for you!

baby led weaning visual guide - vegetables for babies

Please note there are affiliate links in this post.

How to Encourage Babies to Eat More Vegetables

guest post by Whitney English Tabaie MS, RDN and Alexandra Caspero MA, RDN, Creators of Plant-Based Juniors

As new parents, we were only vaguely aware of the term “baby-led weaning” before we were thrusted into the new-mom community and saw many of our friends doing it.

Isn’t that the funny thing about becoming a parent?

Suddenly, the things you never knew you cared about become all you think about. AM feedings quickly become optimal research times, scrolling on our phone in the dark looking for answers to the day’s questions.

(Related: check out my post about the best natural and organic personal care products to use for babies and toddlers, plus other Products I Recommend for New Babies + Expectant Mamas)

Baby-Led Weaning

If you’re not sure what baby-led weaning means, let us explain.

It’s essentially the concept of giving babies solid food right from the start–without the use of spoon-feeding purees. 

However, the term “weaning” can often be confusing. We aren’t weaning them off breast milk or formula as you’ll still want to offer that until at least the first birthday. Instead, it refers to gently weaning baby on to solid foods, allowing him time to explore various flavors and textures.

In our new ebook, Plant-Based Juniors: First Bites, we outline everything you need to know about baby-led weaning, from how to start, troubleshooting, nutrition, meal prep, a grocery list and more. We also include 20 delicious plant-based, baby-led weaning recipes. (Interested? Use code ‘pbjpartner’ for 10% off your own copy.)

baby led weaning tips vegetables

While there are a few advantages of offering solids right from the start, we think the biggest plus is increased acceptance of more interesting and varied flavors and textures since babies get to experience food in its natural state.

Think of your baby’s palate like a blank canvas, easily shaped by each new taste and experience. As dietitians and parents, we’re focused on shaping that palate to enjoy all foods, especially nutrient-rich foods like vegetables.

Therefore, whatever approach to feeding you take, we recommend adding vegetables at almost every meal.

Studies have shown that babies who eat a wide variety of vegetables during the first year of life go onto eat more vegetables than those that don’t. Sweet-tasting vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes might be more accepted than bitter-tasting vegetables but that’s OK.

Continuing to offer vegetables in different ways helps improve acceptability.

Want more ideas?

Tips to get babies to eat more vegetables

  1. Vary your own diet

Breastfeeding? Then your diet may be just as important as baby’s!

According to recent studies, babies are more likely to enjoy the foods their moms ate while breastfeeding over new foods they were never exposed to. If you are nursing, here’s one more reason to pile on the vegetables.

  1. Add spice to vegetables

Yes, babies like flavor!

We don’t know where the idea of bland baby food came from, but it likely wasn’t from a baby! Season baby’s food the same way you would yours.

All seasonings are on the table, except for salt, sugar and anything too spicy. Experimenting with different spice blends is a great way to expose your baby to new flavors.

  1. Make superfood baby popsicles with vegetables

We consider popsicles to be the perfect place for leftover smoothies and green juices – throw them into a popsicle mold, freeze and you’re done!

Since whole leafy greens can be a choking hazard for young infants, serving them blended in popsicle form is a great solution!

There’s a full recipe in the e-book, but we like to make superfood popsicles with spinach or kale, fruit, and breast milk or formula. A bonus point is that popsicles are a nice treat for teething babes!

More popsicle ideas: Watermelon Rosemary Popsicles (leave out the honey for babies under 1) and Nectarine Ice Pops (leave out the maple syrup, babies don’t need the extra sugar). 

baby led weaning popsicle made with fruits and vegetables
  1. Offer your baby vegetables often

The key to acceptability?

Making vegetables part of the everyday routine.

This is true for kids of all ages, the more they are exposed to veggies; the more they are willing to try them.

We like to offer a vegetable in some form at every meal; it doesn’t need to be fancy – even steamed broccoli or finely chopped spinach in scrambled eggs works!

  1. Try serving veggies in a dip

We all know that kids love dips!

If your baby is less than a year old, dollop the vegetable dip onto steamed vegetable fingers or spread a thin layer on toast or simply put a dollop on a baby spoon and let them grab it themselves.

For older kids, offer the dip alongside items you know they will eat. For infants, omit any salt in recipes completely as their growing kidneys don’t need it. For older kids and adults, add salt to taste.

Here are a couple dip recipes to try with your kids: Savory Pumpkin Bean Dip + Avocado White Bean Hummus with Lemon.

Want more baby led weaning friendly recipes? Be sure to check out the e-book First Bites! In addition to helpful info about starting your baby on solids, it’s packed with 20 delicious plant-based recipes that can be used for baby-led weaning and beyond the first year. Use code ‘pbjpartner’ for 10% off.

Other posts from my blog you might enjoy:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.