The importance of introducing fresh and veg-based meals from early on weaning
Little Tummy is a brand new baby food subscription service, about to revolutionise the way we buy and feed baby food. The brand uses an innovative cold-pressure-method which allows them lock in all the vitamins and micronutrients but also their authentic taste and texture.
Co-founders Nadine Hellmann, godmother of her best friend’s son, and Dr Sophie Niedermaier-Patramani, an experienced paediatrician, always felt that parents should be able to buy fresh and nutrient-dense food for their babies, just like they buy it for themselves. And why go to the supermarket, when you can have fresh baby meals delivered directly to your doorstep?
One of the most important reasons why Nadine and Sophie founded Little Tummy is the lack of fresh vegetable-based meals in the baby food market. Getting babies used to the authentic fresh taste of vegetables from early on is important, because it will help them make healthier food choices later on in life. Vegetables are abundant in vitamins, micronutrients and fibre and can be considered real superfoods. They are also naturally low in fat and sugar, which makes them a great option for meals and snacks.
Unfortunately, our children are not always the biggest veggie fans. Why is that? The answer lies in our genes: We are all born with a preference for specific tastes, one of them is (who would have thought) sweet and the other one is salty. At the same time, we have a dislike of bitter and sour tastes. Researchers think that this is because sour and bitter tastes are associated with unripe or poisonous foods. Hence, babies and toddlers usually love to eat banana or apple sauce but are much more sceptical of vegetables like broccoli or kale. Because of their reactions to veggies, parents often shy away from offering bitter-tasting vegetables again. What few parents know is that they should do exactly the opposite.
Nadine and Sophie have put together a few tips how you can get your little one used to the taste of veggies:
- Start Simple and Early: The best way to get a child used to vegetables is to offer them as the very first foods. In the first few weeks of introducing solids, start with single vegetables. You can offer them pureed, mashed or as soft finger food. It really depends on your own and your baby’s preference, which they prefer.
- Eat The Rainbow: Start with dark green vegetables and try different varieties every day. Your little one will love to be exposed to a variety of colours, tastes and textures.
- Try Again: It can take between 10 to 15 tries until a baby accepts a new taste, especially bitter ones. If one flavour is not liked the one day, give your little one a break for a few days and then try again. You will see that with every try your little one will become more likely to eat the food.
- Embrace The Veg Face: Babies have an inborn reaction to bitter tastes and like to make a funny face, almost as if they just bit into a slice of lemon. This is a natural reflex and gets softer with every try and will eventually vanish.
- Small Bites Matter: Even if your little one tries only one spoonful or two, his brain will be bursting with activity from the new experience. The first weeks of introducing solids are really about trying new tastes and textures. Your baby still gets all calories and nutrients from breastmilk or formula so you don’t have to worry if the plate is not emptied.
- Getting babies and toddlers used to vegetables is hard work but one you will not regret!
Authors & Founders:
Dr Sophie Niedermaier-Patramani
Learn more about the founders and Little Tummy baby food subscription: www.littletummy.co