Weaning: Offer a variety of vegetables early on
Why you should introduce a variety of vegetables in the early stages of weaning
Babies who enjoy a wide variety of different vegetables when they are weaning have been shown to be more open to enjoying other different foods and unfamiliar varieties later on.
Studies in the UK, Portugal and Greece repeatedly exposed infants to a mixture of vegetables during the first 15 days of weaning. Experts showed that babies were more willing to try, accept and like new vegetables, according to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
In the UK, the University College London (UCL) led the research, which involved 53 babies. There was a control group of 25 babies who were fed regular weaning vegetables and another group of 28 where parents offered five different vegetables in rotation over 15 days. They served a range of colours and flavours with a focus on green vegetables such as broccoli, peas and spinach, and did not mix them together or with other foods.
Parents later introduced other foods as they normally would. Researcher then visited families and the babies were fed artichoke puree. Artichoke was chosen because it is not included in commercial baby food and is rarely eaten by children. Those in the ‘variety vegetable’ group were much more likely to eat more of the puree and were more likely to enjoy it.