Getting Green Foods into Your Baby’s Diet
“This post on getting green foods into your baby’s diet has been sponsored by Gerber. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”
As a parent, you want your kid to eat plenty of green things and have a balanced diet. But babies often have an opinion about food as well. Out of our four kids, two did not like anything green when they first started trying out foods. Sometimes as a parent, you have to be strategic in order to get green foods into a baby’s diet. The NEW Gerber® Lil’ Mixers™ are one way I can help my son expand his taste pallet.
Getting in the Green Foods
The first food I usually tried introducing to my babies after rice cereal was peas. Sweet potatoes and fruits are usually easier for babies to like, so the doctor recommended waiting to introduce those sweeter tastes until the baby ate veggies. Both Klay and Kaleb absolutely hated peas, green beans, spinach, or anything that even looked a tad bit brown (the color of orange baby food when it is mixed with anything green). So, I started mixing together just a couple of the 1st Foods® together. I might take peas and add just a spoonful to a container of sweet potatoes.
I’ve also made my own green veggie powder to mix into sweet potatoes but with Gerber, I can get this done quickly. Gerber 2nd Foods® made this mix and transition really easy because they often mix those flavors themselves. When they add in the green foods, the baby still tastes the sweeter veggie or fruit paired with it. Klay’s favorites were:
- Sweet Potato, Mango, Kale
- Apple, Avocado
- Carrot, Sweet Potato, Pea
Eventually, we even worked our way up to peas, carrots, and spinach (which were more green than he could handle at first).
Working Up to Food Texture (While Still Getting in Green Foods!)
Many kids struggle with texture, too. According to one study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and looking at the eating habits of infants, 19% of 4- to 6-month-olds are picky eaters. That number jumps to 50% for 19- to 24-month-olds and only gets worse through toddlerhood. The dislike of vegetables starts early and often persists through childhood.
To combat this, many professionals encourage parents to avoid the “easy” solutions of the common children’s food menu (chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, etc.) and opt for as many nutrition-focused meals as possible. While the occasional “children’s meal” is okay, it is the consistent exposure to new tastes and textures that helps them develop a diverse palette. But, it can be really hard not to turn to the quick foods you know your baby likes.
Gerber does a really good job of helping babies move from the blended tastes to experiencing new textures by remixing mealtime with the Lil’ Mixers™. There are 8 combinations inspired by homemade tastes with no artificial colors or ingredients.
They are so easy, and I know he will get nutrition in every bite! Lil’ crisp? Lotta crisp! Add texture your way. The texture is in a separate container, so you can custom mix the amount you want in the food (the food isn’t wasted if your baby isn’t feeling the extra texture!). Plus, some textures are best kept dry to keep them from getting mushy from being premixed in the food.
Klay is a huge fan. They offer the flavor of other Stage 2 foods, but with an additional texture for toddlers like him that are starting to outgrow purees.
You can explore the whole range of Lil’ Mixers™ by heading to Walmart and using this Ibotta offer! I go to Walmart for a convenient one-stop shop. We grabbed some of these while the auto center replaced the battery on our van. They are located in the baby food aisle, on the end of the Gerber food section.
Offering Green Foods as Snacks
Another tip is to make healthy foods (especially vegetables) the only option for snack time. Just offer whatever vegetable you are cutting up for dinner. If your kids are at all like mine, they will actually start to enjoy raw green beans, sweet peppers, celery, and carrots.
For babies, this can be difficult because they are hungry and don’t fully understand dinner is right around the corner. Gerber also has all kinds of snacks, like Veggie Melts® snacks or veggie-filled granola bars, that even make snack time nutritious.
Once they are old enough to understand they can either eat the fresh vegetable snack offered or wait for dinner (around 2.5 or 3), it gets easier to make the vegetables an exciting treat. And they learn from each other. Klay has been more willing to gnaw on a green bean when he sees the older kids think it’s cool.
Keep offering the green foods and textures. Use Gerber to help with the transition. Over time, they will become familiar and your child won’t be as limited with taste. Use Gerber to help with the transition. Over time, they will become familiar and your child won’t be as limited with taste.