Much like our own diets, babies require a sufficiently varied diet to get everything they need. As well as having nutritional importance, variety means your baby is less likely to become a picky eater and they are more likely to enjoy their food and accept new flavours. Variety also assists in the development of your baby’s gut microbiota – which plays an important role in immunity as well as the production of vitamin K and metabolism of protein. However – we know this is easier said than done, and “variety is the bane of my life” might become your version of the spice-y mantra…!
In these 6 months, baby steps are necessary. A shameful pun, but 100% appropriate. This is the trial and error phase, the pull-your-hair-out phase, the rejoice-at-that-one-spoonful phase… it’s not easy and we know it. We also know that thinking about achieving ‘variety’ might not be top of your list when there’s only one food they seem to like, all the others you’ve tried are on the floor and at this point you’re just worried about filling them up. So, we need to turn to the science and reassure you that trying, trying and trying…and trying ten times, in fact, is worth it…
Research suggests it can take up to ten times of introducing a new food before your baby will accept it. Plus, babies are born with a taste for the sweet stuff and dislike of the bitter. So, it’s typically these bitter foods that might require that tenth-time-lucky patience…
Thought to be a legacy from when we needed energy quickly (sweet foods) and bitter was associated with poison, babies are more likely to have a natural dislike of foods such as broccoli and kale… This “neophobia” (a fear of new foods) can be overcome if you give it another go. Well, another ten-ish goes, to be precise! So here are ten ways to trial broccoli…let us know how you get on!
- Plain broccoli
- Broccoli with chees
- Broccoli with hummus
- Brocolli pureed
- Roasted brocolli
- Brocolli with a little lemon (helps for the iron absorption too!)
- Broccoli frittata
- Broccoli whizzed up in a savoury pancake recipe
- Broccoli savoury muffins
- Broccoli in meatballs