First Foods for Baby: Vegetables

first foods for babiesWe shared last week: First Foods for Baby: Fruits, and today we are continuing our post with the first veggies for baby. Vegetables are very important to our daily nutrition, and even more important to a baby who is first beginning to take real foods.

Learn which veggies are best, their nutrients, and how to prepare them:

Carrots: Carrots are one of the many vegetables high in beta-carotene, which is a wonderful antioxidant for your baby. Carrots are also rich in Vitamins A and C, calcium, folate, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and have small amounts of iron, copper, and zinc. Before you buy your carrots, make sure you are buying the proper ones. Baby carrots are an industrial made product, and more than often they contain less of the valuable nutrients your baby needs compared to regular, large carrots. If you find baby carrots that say “baby cut” than they are fine. You can serve the carrots either steamed or boiled and then mash them.

Sweet Potatoes and Regular Potatoes: The consistency of a potato is very soft and easy to mash. While both are going to be fairly easy to feed to your baby, you might find the sweet potato too be easier due to its sweetness, which is similar to breastmilk. Both sweet and regular white potatoes have are good sources of Vitamin C and potassium. They are also rich in fiber and great for your baby’s digestive system. When you baby becomes used to solids you can finely chop the potatoes and serve them whole. They are great finger foods as well!

Butternut Squash: Butternut squash and acorn squash are the perfect first foods for your baby! Butternut squash contains lots of vitamin and nutrients your baby needs in their first foods. With a smooth consistency, it is also easy to mash and puree which will make preparation simple. Butternut squash is high in Vitamin A, folate, calcium, and potassium. The sweet flavor might also be easy to feed your baby because they are already used to the sweet taste of your breastmilk. Be careful if you’re making it homemade because you will need to properly wash the vegetable to rid all pesticides and germs. Butternut squash can be served mashed or pureed, and once your child is ready for solids you can serve them baked and finely chopped.

Eggplant: Compared to the rest of the vegetables on this list, eggplants will have the smallest amount of nutrients. However, they are packed with Vitamins A and K, folate, and calcium. Eggplants also contain fiber, which is important for your baby’s digestion. You can serve eggplant pureed with the skin or peeled. Some experts say if you baby is having trouble with their digestion then peel off the skin before pureeing. Make sure to always wash your veggies before you serve them to your baby.

Cauliflower: Cauliflower is a wonderful first food for your baby. This veggie is jam packed with Vitamins A and C, and contains a healthy amount of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folate, and lutein. Although this vegetable might make your baby a tad bit gassy, cauliflower holds lots of phytochemicals which are said to fight against cancer! The best way to prepare cauliflower for your baby is to steam it and then mash it. Steaming your vegetables will keep all the nutrients inside. When your baby is ready for the next step you can either bake or roast the cauliflower for small finger foods.

Zucchini: Zucchinis are great during the colder months because they are at their peak and loaded with vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is also really great because it can easily be steamed and mashed and ready to serve in less than 20 minutes. Zucchini is rich in Vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, potassium, and folate. It works wonderfully with your baby’s digestive system and will help with constipation. Zucchini can be served in a number of ways. It can be steamed or boiled and then either pureed or mashed. It can also be frozen into tiny ice cubes to give to your baby while they are teething.