All Day Weaning Tips: May Vegetarian Week

Do you have a question about your baby or toddler’s nutrition? Struggling with complementary feeding? Looking for some tips to help your fussy eater?

Every month we hold an all day Q&A session on Instagram where our in-house dietitian, Paula, answers all your questions! If you missed May's Q&A, here are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers - we hope you find it helpful.

Photo from @sinclairsellars on Instagram

Photo from @sinclairsellars on Instagram

What’s the best thing to start weaning with? Baby rice or not? @dithena

The latest research shows that it’s best to start with green vegetables such as broccoli green beans, spinach or kale. This is because all babies are born with an innate liking for sweet things so we need to “train” their taste buds to like vegetables. Don’t worry if they don’t like it at first, just keep trying! You can also mix a little of your baby’s usual milk with the green purée to introduce it to them. It’s also a good idea to offer iron-rich foods from 6 months such as red meats, chicken, oily fish, eggs and also beans/pulses, fortified cereals and green veggies.

I’m vegetarian, and although I give my 10 month old some tuna, do you have some ideas for vegetarian protein I can give her? @ursulahankinson

Eggs are a fantastic source of protein, also beans/lentils/chickpeas/hummus, tofu, ground nuts or nut butters are other examples.

Any tips for helping my baby to like greens? I have tried broccoli and peas over the past couple of weeks (our first two weeks of weaning) to not the best reaction! I really want her to be a veggie lover - but don’t want her to develop a dislike of new foods because she’s not enjoying her first tastes of greens. @cmlcr

Keep going, don’t give up! You are only 2 weeks in and these things can take time. Try presenting the veggies in different ways... steamed, roasted, in sauces, mashed up etc. Have fun with it and let her get messy and explore the foods. 

What are good sources of iron for my 6 month old? 

Good sources of iron include red meats, chicken/turkey (especially the darker meat) oily fish, eggs, beans/pulses, chickpeas, fortified breakfast cereals, nut butters, green leafy veggies. Animal sources are absorbed best. You can improve the absorption of vegetable sources of iron by adding foods rich in vitamin C such as peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, strawberries etc. 

What do you think are the best foods to give babies to hold and try for themselves? @dithena

At first, babies coordination is not great so larger pieces of food about the size of your baby finger are great, such as cooked broccoli or cauliflower, strips of roasted sweet potatoes or potatoes, slow cooked meats are also great but they must be tender, avocado strips, soft fruits such as mango or bananas are also options. You can also make mini meat balls or fish cakes or lentil patties. Boiled eggs cut into quarters are also great.

Tom RedwoodComment