Expert tips for encouraging a more varied weaning diet
Although it can be hard to get babies to eat vegetables, particularly the more bitter tasting ones, the key is to be persistent at this stage of weaning. If you only offer fruit, you’re likely to encourage your baby to develop a sweet tooth and make the introduction of vegetables even more difficult, so aim to start your baby off on vegetable purees rather than fruit. There are lots of vegetables with sweeter flavours, such as butternut squash and sweet potato, which are perfect for the early stages of weaning, but also try to give some of the less sweet vegetables, such as broccoli, so your baby becomes used to them right from the start.
If your baby is already showing a preference for fruit, then don’t be afraid to mix flavours to encourage him to eat more vegetables. It might sound odd, but try combining fruit and vegetables in the same puree: cauliflower and apple, for example, go surprisingly well together. You can also alternate a spoonful of vegetable puree with a spoonful of sweet; there’s no need to keep the main course and dessert separate at this stage.
Above all, persevere and keep trying to introduce new flavours. Remember that weaning can be a slow process, and that babies’ tastes change all the time. What your baby won’t touch today may become a firm favourite in time, so keep trying to avoid fussiness later down the line.
Answered by: Catherine Jeans, clinical nutritional therapist, www.thefamilynutritionexpert.com
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