Getting Enough Fruits and Vegetables in you Older Baby’s Diet

As your baby gets older and weans from breast milk or formula, you will need to make certain that his diet is filled with all the healthy foods necessary to meet his nutritional needs. Unfortunately, this is also the age when many babies start to develop a stronger opinion about which foods they like or dislike. It can become a challenge to fit in the 5 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended every day for good health. There are some easy ways to add extra servings of fruits and vegetables to your older baby’s diet, however, without a fight.

Super Smoothies

A fruit smoothie is a great way to get several servings of fruit into your baby all at once. Add yogurt for a protein punch and you have an excellent snack that could even serve as a meal. Frozen fruit works best for smoothies, and adding a little juice or milk will thin it out to make it easy for your older baby to drink. Great smoothie combinations include strawberry-banana, peach-mango and mixed berries. You can even slip in some vegetables

Smoothies offer a benefit over juice as a serving of fruit as they contain the whole fruit and not just the juice, meaning your child will benefit from all the available nutrients. They are also more filling and will offer longer lasting energy due to higher levels of fiber. 100% juice is an easy way to get an extra serving of fruits into your baby’s diet, but keep it to one drink of juice a day.

Spectacular Soup

Fruits are generally easier to fit into baby food diet. They are sweet, portable snacks that babies love to eat. Vegetables, however, can be a little more challenging. Even if your baby ate veggies with no qualms in the first months of solid foods, as he gets older, you might find he turns up his nose at them. There’s a simple, delicious way to get extra veggies into your baby’s diet, however – give soup a try!

Soups such as vegetable and minestrone are filled with all sorts of vegetables, and because they have been cooked so well, they are soft and easy for baby to chew and swallow. Because they are infused with the flavor of the broth, they don’t taste so much like veggies. Adding a few crackers will soak up some of the extra broth and make it easier to get the soup into your baby’s mouth.

Watch out for canned soups that can contain a lot of sodium, however. Check labels and buy low sodium versions, or try your hand at making your own soup at home for an even healthier version.

Spread Out the Servings

If you try to fit all of the fruits and veggies in at one part of the day, it’s harder to get enough of them in. Many parents don’t serve a vegetable until dinner time, but lunch and snacks are great times for veggies too!

If you serve a fruit or veggie at each of the three main meals of the day plus two snacks containing a serving each, you have hit your five without even trying. Still, sometimes it can be difficult to get baby to eat a fruit or vegetable at every sitting. Double up the fruits at breakfast by serving oatmeal mixed with berries and banana slices on the side. Do the same at dinner; try mixing finely chopped spinach into meatballs or a pasta sauce, and serve a regular portion of veggies on the side as well.

Fruits and vegetables are vitally important to good health, so make an effort to ensure your baby is getting enough. You’ll set a great example for a lifetime of good eating habits.

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