6 Ways To Introduce Vegetables To Your Baby

How to get your little one loving those greens.

6 Ways To Introduce Vegetables To Your Baby

When you see a toddler savoring pieces of broccoli, do you ever wonder how his parents got him to eat vegetables? For most parents, it's a constant struggle. Vegetables aren’t laced with sugar, and they certainly aren't glamorous. Plus since a child doesn't really know or understand what flavor means during those critical years of introducing solids, they’re not going to tell you to add salt, seasoning or herbs to give their steamed vegetables some pizazz.

So how does one achieve this arduous task? Here's 6 ways to introduce vegetables to your baby.

  1. Cook It Yourself. The first introductions to vegetables are extremely important. When you are prepping and cooking the food yourself, you’re not only doing it with love but you’re also aware of what the product tastes like as well as what texture is most appropriate. While it’s not a guarantee that your child will absolutely love this and embrace it, the chances are MUCH higher than if you bought it home in a jar or packet. Most commercial shelf-stable brands offer pureed vegetables but they aren’t always fresh, they don’t taste good and their colors are unappetizing (even by our standards).
  2. Offer Multiple Times. Do you remember the first time you ate something and it didn’t sit well? Maybe you didn’t like the taste. Maybe you didn’t like the texture. Just because it didn’t hit home on the first try, it doesn’t mean it’s forever a lost cause. Some kids like mashed potatoes, some kids like French fries, some kids like baked potatoes and a whole bunch of kids like all kinds of potatoes. Your goal should be try one veggie at least 3 times to get your child exposed to it and then offer it multiple ways to them throughout their toddlerhood.
  3. Stick To Your Season. The best part about seasonality is that the climate controls what produce grow optimally during each season. Initially, it’s good to follow a guide such as this one from Wholesome Baby Food, but when you’ve surpasses that initial stage, focus on seasonal fruits and vegetables. When you buy seasonal produce, you’re limiting your carbon footprint as well as decreasing pesticide exposure. Within the seasonality, choosing organic is important as well.
  4. Hands on. When you feel your baby could grasp the concept of a vegetable, let them play with it. While a mushy avocado may cause a mess, it’s a good way to spark their curiosity and encourage consumption. Tactile methods are a good way to teach them – while they aren’t responding immediately – the information is being processed and it’ll come back in different communication methods later. They’ll also slowly start to form a connection with food, and hopefully a healthful one.
  5. Introduce combination meals. As adults, a healthy meal includes a protein, a carbohydrate and a vegetable. For babies and toddlers, it’s the same format. Since they’re little and their stomachs (& patience!) are little, the best way to achieve this combination meal is by making soups such as minestrone or chicken noodle. It’s your freedom to modify the recipe to whatever you have on hand and of course, blend it or puree it to the desired texture of your little one. Even basic vegetable soups with 4-5 vegetables are a great way to start. The nutrition will be top notch!
  6. Invest in a reliable brand. While it's always best to cook your own food, if you aren't able to -- the next best thing is to invest into brands who replicate the same process. For example, a brand like Yummy Spoonfuls offers organic and fresh baby food pouches without any preservatives. It's a frozen concept that requires thawing. It's the same process if you were to make and freeze it yourself.

As a dietitian and mom, I’ve found that everything is trial and error. The above suggestions are a good starting point but only you know how to build upon in order to best cater to your little one. Just go with their flow!


In This Article

    14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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    Since 1973, Micuna has been perfecting the art of sustainably handcrafted baby furniture. Made from wood sourced from the north of Spain and Germany and manufactured in sustainable certified sawmill companies only, their modern and minimalist high chairs are perfect for families who don't want to sacrifice their aesthetic for function. What's more, they hold themselves to the strictest of European and American safety standards, resulting in only the best for parents and their littles.

    Habbi Habbi: The easiest way to expose kids to a different language

    Created by two best friends as an expression of their effort to be intentional parents, Habbi Habbi Reading Wand & Bilingual Books are the easiest way to start your kids bilingual learning without the screen. Their innovative and engaging play-based tool brings language to life through a tech-enabled wand and "tappable" books that give kids instant feedback, from vocabulary and phrases to musical tunes. The content is as intentional as the books are beautiful highlighting topics like emotions, female role models and diversity.

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    Founded by a mama who came up the idea at the end of her own uncomfortable pregnancy, Countdown to Mama is the only advent calendar-style mama-to-be gift box out there. With a range of "niceties to necessities," she made it her mission to curate a collection of mama-loved products that thoughtfully usher her through the biggest transformation of her life.

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    So, what's new this week?

    Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

    Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

    WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

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