Some babies take to weaning and trying new fruits and veg beautifully. Others, not so much (you might want to see our ‘weaning woes’ post here!). Vegetables that are good first ones to try such as carrots, butternut squash, peas, broccoli, avocado, sweet potato, and red peppers, are naturally sweet, creamy, juicy and palatable, so tend to go down pretty well if they’re introduced a lot at the beginning (see ‘feed baby the rainbow’, our first blog post for more colourful and delicious ideas!). But even the most amicable of weaning babies have been known to struggle with the likes of the more bitter and strong-tasting veggies such as courgette, kale, beetroot, and spinach.
Research has shown that you might have to try 10-15 separate times before baby learns to love the taste of some veggies!!
It’s great to be able to offer a wide variety of vegetables at the family dinner table and it’s best to start young. So, below we’re sharing with you three flavour combinations that we’ve tried and found to be totally delicious; perfect for those first taste explorations! The idea here isn’t to mask the flavour of the main veg, but just to reduce the bitterness so that babies can learn to enjoy them more and take in all the goodness they offer.
After these first tastes, or if you’re opting for a baby-led weaning strategy, your baby might enjoy some sticks of Courgette sautéed in a little coconut oil, or Beetroot fingers roasted with a sprinkle of dried rosemary (*major mess warning*). Alternatively, if you need to make these even more creamy and palatable for your little one, try blending with some breast milk or formula, whichever your baby is used to so that it’s combined with a taste they know and love already!
We’re probably not all going to end up with Kale-loving hipster kids (yikes, what a thought!), but the more we offer a colourful range of veggies at EVERY meal, the more normal a part of family mealtimes they become and they’ll
soon eventually start to have some firm favourites! This might seem obvious, but after the initial weaning, experimenting, and puree-ing phase, enthusiasm and creativity tends to dwindle. Getting into the habit of serving up veggies regularly means they’re less likely to be rejected. Of course, there will most certainly be some days that they refuse them, but this could be for many different reasons, so don’t sweat it. No harm in trying again another time…and again…and again!
Courgette and Pear – light and mild
1/2 a pear
1. Core, peel and slice the pear. Steam the pear for 7-10 minutes until soft
2. Meanwhile slice the courgette and fry gently in a little oil (rapeseed or coconut)
3. Combine the pear and courgette in a blender and blend until smooth
Beetroot and Coconut – rich and smooth
1 raw beetroot
3-4 tbsps coconut cream
- Wash the beetroot skin or peel lightly to remove rougher outer layer.
- Top and tail the beetroot then slice into segments and steam for 10-15 minutes until soft
- Once cooked combine the beetroot and coconut cream in a blender and blend until smooth, adding a little more coconut cream or milk until reach desired consistency
Kale and Apple – thick and fruity
This one is inspired by one of my favourite breakfast smoothies (kale, apple and banana – yum!)…
1/2 dessert apple, cored and sliced into segments
2-3 large handfuls chopped curly kale
- Place the apple in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water
- After 5 minutes, place the kale into the saucepan of boiling water under the apple
- Simmer for 4-5 minutes until wilted and soft and the apple in the steamer above is soft
- Place the apple and kale into a blender (retain some of the cooking water). Blend into a smooth puree, adding a few splashes of the cooking water as you go to loosen the mixture until you reach desired consistency