Introducing your weaning baby to the taste of vegetables is key to helping them develop a lifelong liking for all things green and wholesome: recent research shows that a ‘veg-led’ approach to your baby’s first foods can increase vegetable acceptance in early life and later childhood1.
Pretty much all vegetables make great weaning foods and offering your baby a wide mix of veggies in the early weeks will expose them to lots of different new flavours– from savoury to bitter to sweet to peppery.
Babies have an inbuilt preference for sweeter foods but many baby-feeding experts, including those at the NHS Start 4 Life campaign, suggest making a specific effort, in the 1st weaning weeks, to offer your baby a vegetables that aren’t so sweet – to encourage your baby to develop a liking for a variety of tastes right from the start.
So, as well as sweeter veg, such as squash, carrot and sweet potato, it’s a good idea to dish up ‘green and bitter’ veggies, including broccoli, spinach and cauliflower. We’ve featured lots of these in the recipes for 6-month-olds, 7-month-olds and 8-month-olds we’ve pulled together here.
Here’s our pick of the best veg-led recipes for babies aged 6 to 8 months…
A fresh-tasting, no-cook puree you can whip up in under 10 minutes. Suitable from 6 months.
A clever flavour-mixing veggie duo, blending the slightly bitter taste of spinach with sweeter carrot. Suitable from 6 months.
A simple blend of root veg and frozen peas – all cooked in 1 pan. Suitable from 6 months.
Steamed courgette adds just a touch of sweetness to the more bitter taste of cauliflower. Suitable from 6 months.
Three gorgeous greens, blended to a smooth, nutrient-rich puree. Also works well with broad beans. Suitable from 6 months.
A super-simple puree recipe that makes enough for 6 to 8 portions. Suitable from 6 months.
A smooth and nuttily sweet puree, made by pureeing scooped-out squash ‘flesh’ after roasting it with a drizzle of olive oil. Suitable from 6 months.
A flavoursome combo of nutty squash and slightly bitter broccoli. Suitable from 6 months.
Add a fresh and herby twist to a classic early-weaning puree. Suitable from 6 months.
A mild first curry recipe, with onion, potatoes and tomatoes swell as red pepper and aubergine. Suitable from 7 months.
A simple pasta sauce that showcases the tangy taste of tomatoes. Suitable from 7 months.
A finger-food special, with 4 different veg to eat with a refreshing dip of cucumber and yoghurt. Suitable from 8 months.
Grab-friendly herb-and-paprika-sprinkled wedges of oven-baked sweet potato. Suitable from 8 months.
Introduce your baby to the sweet, peppery taste of basil, mixed with a little parmesan, garlic and oil. Suitable from 8 months.
A super-flavoursome dish, using 4 different veggies, simmered in a little low-salt veg stock. Suitable from 8 months.
1. Reaching consensus on a ‘vegetables-first’ approach to complementary feeding. Chambers, L et al. Nutrition Bulletin, vol 41, issue 3. September 2016. Pages 270-276. https://doi.org/10.1111/nbu.12220