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How to guide your little one to love veggies

We have a critical window of opportunity to prime our children to love flavour's other than sweet. 

That’s right! Your little one has the potential to love vegetables!

We know it can take a minimum of ten times before a baby accepts a certain flavor or texture, so if they spit it out the first time then don’t give up, in fact keep going! 

It takes patience & persistence, but the result is lifelong healthy eating habits.

My number one tip is to introduce a range of flavours from the get go. Babies are born with an innate preference to sweet & salty food; it is unlikely that you’ll have to encourage these flavours. 

Most of the commercial baby food on the supermarket shelf is not only nutrient-devoid but also flavourless. These bland purees & cereals are not supporting a diverse palate, in fact these sweet fruit concentrates & bland rice cereals may actually be training your baby to be addicted to sugar for life. Diet related diseases are on the incline & it starts with the introduction to solids. 

The purpose of offering a broad range of flavours is to support our little one to be more receptive to a variety of vegetables, herbs, spices & proteins. These foods hold nutrients that are going to prevent diet related disease and support the growth & development.

Variety & Repetition

Flavours such as bitter, sour, spicy & savory need to feature frequently. 

Your little one might pull a funny face, quiver or simply spit it straight out; this is a natural response to a new flavor or texture. Their palate will adjust over the coming months; remember it may take 10 or more tries before it is accepted.

Examples of flavoursome foods:

Bitter – leafy greens, brussel sprouts, asparagus, eggplant.

Sour – lemon, limes, greek yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut.

Spicy – pepper, radishes, ginger, garlic, onion, herbs & spices.

Salty – kelp, capers, olives, anchovies.

Monkey see, monkey do!

The role models in your baby’s life have a significant impact on their eating habits too. Ensure you are displaying what you’d expect to see in your little ones. Eat with them, involve them in the family meal, sit around a table or picnic blanket, show them how to chew & move food to the mouth, they’re like little sponges & you have enormous influence over their eating habits. 

Enjoy this critical phase of shaping your little one’s palate.


Because every mouthful matters.


Gina Urlich 

BHSc Nutritional Medicine

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