Ways to Incorporate Vegetables
One trend among kids who were weaned the baby led way is that they are far less picky than those weaned the traditional way. Yes, yes, of course there are always exceptions. But BLWers aren’t afraid of funky textures or colors or new flavors because they’ve been eating a large variety since day one of weaning.
You might be the mom or dad of a baby who will gladly chow down on Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, spinach, bell peppers, and carrots. My son likes Brussels sprouts most of the time, carrots most of the time, and is always willing to try everything. I figure, if I keep offering something to him, he might eventually develop a taste for it.
For now, along with simply offering these things on a regular basis, I do try to sneak in vegetables in other ways. I want to share a few ideas with you.
1. Ice Pops
This is a favorite around here. Ice pops are great for about 8-9 months and older, since younger babies are not coordinated enough to hold onto the handle very well. As soon as your baby can handle it (hehe….), offer him (or her) an ice pop! Here are a few great vegetable blends:
- spinach or kale and strawberries
- baked or boiled sweet potato and mixed berries
- carrots and banana
Simply purée those ingredients, along with either water or whole milk*, pour the mixture into an ice pop mold (here’s the one we love), and freeze for 3-4 hours. TIP: To release the ice pop, run the bottom side under hot water for about 10 seconds. Then it should slip right out!
*Whole milk is perfectly fine from age 6 months, as long as you don’t offer it as a beverage. Mixed with other things or used in cooking, it’s acceptable. If you would rather not use cow’s milk, use breastmilk, formula, or water instead!
If you want to enjoy some of this yourself, you can pour the mixture into the molds, then add a little honey (if you want) and just drink the remainder as a smoothie. NOTE: Just so we are clear, I’m not suggesting you give honey to your baby. I’m suggesting that you use the first half of the mixture to make ice pops and the second half to make a smoothie for YOU. Not for your baby!
2. Mini Quiches
Here is my recipe for mini crustless spinach quiches. Add in whatever vegetables you like. For that recipe, I just used spinach.
Another idea is broccoli with shredded chicken. You could try carrot, onion, or peas, too. Use your imagination!
Here is my recipe for spinach pinwheels! I’ve made pizza pinwheels too, using chicken, spinach, and marinara sauce.
Pinwheels are easily customizable, and you can add lots of other vegetables too.
4. Vegetable Quesadillas
I made a kale and cheese quesadilla yesterday, and it was a big hit. I massaged some kale, sprinkled cheese, and lightly cooked it in butter. You can add spinach, beans, and corn to get in some vegetables.
A pancake with vegetables is an easy idea! And it’s perfect for on-the-go. Mix 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 egg, 2/3 cup of milk, and whatever filling you want. Here are a few ideas:
- peas and carrots
- spinach and corn
- broccoli and onion
I always add cheese to mine, too. Then cook these on the stove, in a skillet with a little butter. Flip like regular pancakes.
6. Scrambled eggs
We love eggs around here. Occasionally, I will mix in some vegetables, but I have found that Alexander usually picks them out and either eats them separately or throws them on the ground. *smile*
What you can try instead:
- Beat a few eggs into a bowl (however many eggs you plan to scramble).
- Then purée a handful of spinach, carrots, corn, whatever you’d like.
- Gently stir the vegetable purée into your beaten eggs.
- Cook as usual!
Primarily, you need to try my sweet potato cookies. Super simple. And you can modify them to be sweet treats for the grownups!
These sweet potato and apple fritters are AMAZING.
There are a lot of ways to prepare vegetables.
If your baby isn’t interested in the steamed carrots, try roasting them or shredding them raw.
If your baby doesn’t like mashed potatoes, try homemade french fries or tater tots.
If your baby doesn’t like these zucchini fries, just try serving raw zucchini cut into sticks or circles.
The point is, keep trying. Try new shapes. Try new seasoning. Try new preparation. Chances are, your baby will eventually have a taste of nearly everything you offer!
Good luck, and happy weaning!
Do you have any other ideas for incorporating vegetables into your baby’s diet?
Are you going to try any of these ideas? Have you tried any in the past?