Let’s dive into the best vegetables to start your baby on. 

Veggies! 

Every parent’s worst nightmare. They get such a bad rap from other parents who have dealt with picky eating. 

I’m here to tell you they are NOT that scary and you don’t have to make them a big deal. In fact, the less you make a big deal of veggies the more likely your baby and kids will eat them. 

Today I’m going to share with you a little bit about starting your baby on solid foods. Then I’ll touch on 10 vegetables that are great first foods for your baby using the baby-led weaning method of introducing solid food! 

When To Start Introducing Solids To Your Baby

When you are trying to determine if your baby is ready for solid foods you want to look at 6 different developmental “milestones” your baby needs to be meeting before they are ready for solids! These are called readiness signs for solid foods. 

Your baby’s age is not a good predictor of when you should start solid foods.

The 6 signs your baby is ready for solid foods are: 

  • Sit up on their own or with little support
  • Hold their head up on their own
  • Reach out for small objects placed in front of them 
  • Bring objects to their mouth
  • Interested in your food at mealtime
  • Opens mouth when offered a spoon 

Babies usually will meet all 6 signs of readiness between 4-6 months of age. With most babies ready for solids closer to the six-month mark. 

There is no rush to introduce solids to your baby. Breastmilk and formula provide all they need nutritionally until they are ready to start solid foods. 

So please make sure you are starting solids when your baby is meeting the signs of readiness and not based on their age. 

Related: When Do You Start Feeding Baby Food to Your Baby?

best vegetables to start baby on

How To Get Started With Baby-Led Weaning

Baby-led weaning is super easy to start with your baby once they’ve met all the signs of readiness. At 6-7 months of life, your baby only needs one solid feed per day.

Their milk feedings should stay the same. 

You can choose to offer them food from a meal you are already making for the rest of the family. For example, if you are cooking chicken, sweet potato, and salad for dinner. You could offer your baby the sweet potato! When starting solid foods make sure to only offer a single-ingredient food.

You can also choose to make separate food for your baby during their mealtime each day. It’s up to you!

Related: How to Start Introducing Solids to Your Baby

Here are the 3 different ways you can offer food to your new BLW baby: 

  • Mash the food and allow your baby to scoop it with their hands. 
  • Mash the food and offer your baby a preloaded spoon. 
  • Serve the food in large spears or sticks about the size of two of your index fingers. 

When first starting out make sure you space new foods out for about 3-5 days. Allergenic foods should be introduced in a small amount and then wait about a week before introducing any new foods.

For example, your first-week meal plan may look like this: 

  • Day 1: sweet potato wedges
  • Day 2: mashed sweet potato
  • Day 3: sweet potato wedges
  • Day 4: mashed steamed apples
  • Day 5: cooked apple cut in half
  • Day 6: homemade apple sauce 
  • Day 7: steamed broccoli florets
best vegetables to start baby on

Should Feed Your Baby Fruits or Vegetables First?

You may have heard that you have to offer your baby veggies as their first food or they won’t like veggies. This leads to picky eating because, in theory, your baby will prefer the sweet flavor of the fruit over the savory of the veggies.

But I’m busting this myth! It’s just not true. Breast milk is by far one of the sweetest foods (IYKYK). So your baby is already used to eating sweet “foods” 24/7. 

Related: 18 First Foods for Your Baby-Led Weaning Beginner

There are many reasons for picky eating, but this is definitely not one of them. So don’t stress about what order you start introducing foods to your baby. Just make sure to offer a wide variety of foods – include fruits AND veggies in your baby’s diet. 

10 Best Vegetables To Start Your Baby On

Vegetables are an important staple in your baby’s diet. Vegetables are packed with key nutrients to support your baby’s growth and development like – vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins, and vitamin K.

Here are 10 vegetables that are great first foods for your baby. I’ve also included how you can offer them to your baby to minimize the risk of choking and promote self-feeding.

If you have chosen to start with baby food purees the list is also applicable. I recommend making homemade baby food instead of store-bought baby food.

You can check out my complete BLW Food Guide for 6-9-Month-Olds which includes a list of 17 best first foods and 100 finger foods. Plus, how to offer them to your baby

#1: Broccoli

Broccoli is a choking hazard so make sure to serve it as stated below. 

  • Choose large florets that are bigger than your baby’s mouth
  • Steam the large florets 
  • Serve upside down (stem up) so your baby can easily grab and munch on the floret
  • For smaller florets, steam, mash and add to other foods like eggs, muffins, mashed potatoes, or mashed veggies

#2: Cucumber

Cucumber is considered a choking hazard. Serve as stated below to minimize the risk of choking and only if you feel comfortable. 

  • Serve in long spears or thin strips 
  • If a large piece breaks off into your baby’s mouth allow them the opportunity to push the food out of their mouth themselves before intervening. 
  • Leaving the skin on can prevent cucumber pieces from breaking off

#3: Green Peas

Whole peas are a choking hazard. Always smash or puree before serving them to your baby. 

  • Blend and spread onto a teething cracker or thin piece of toast
  • Mash and serve on a preloaded spoon or add to other foods like quinoa, mashed veggies, pasta, or muffins 

#4: Sweet Potatoes

  • Cook until soft enough to smash between your fingers
  • Cut into large spears
  • Mash and serve on a preloaded spoon, or mix with other foods like quinoa, mashed veggies, pasta, pancake, or muffins
best vegetables to start baby on

#5: Butternut Squash

  • Cook until soft enough to smash between two fingers
  • Cut into large spears
  • Mash and serve on a preloaded spoon or add to other foods like quinoa, mashed veggies, pasta, pancakes or muffins

#6: Winter Squash or Yellow Squash

  • Cook until soft enough to smash between two fingers
  • Cut into large spears
  • Okay to leave the seeds in they aren’t a choking hazard
  • Shred and add into cooked foods like muffins, pancakes, and egg dishes

#7: Zucchini

  • Cook until soft enough to smash between two fingers
  • Cut into large spears
  • Okay to leave the seeds in they aren’t a choking hazard
  • Shred and add into cooked foods like muffins, pancakes, and egg dishes

#8: Green Beans

Pre-cut, canned green beans are a choking hazard because they are harder for your baby to chew before accidentally swallowing. Cook and serve the whole bean pod to minimize the risk of choking.

#9: Carrots

Carrots are a choking hazard. Never serve them raw. Follow how to serve them below to minimize the risk of choking. 

  • Peel, cook, and cut lengthwise
  • Mash or grate to serve on a preloaded spoon or mix into other foods like quinoa, mashed veggies, pasta, pancakes, or muffins

#10: Avocado

Okay…technically it’s a fruit but many people still consider it a veggie and it’s a great first food! So I included it! 

  • Make sure it’s soft enough to smash between your fingers
  • Serve in large wedges 
  • If the wedges are too slippery for your baby to pick up try rolling them in infant cereal
  • Mash and serve on a preloaded spoon or with other scoopable foods like quinoa, couscous, or pasta

Bell pepper are another veggie that you can introduce to your baby when they first start solid foods – around 6 months. I find because they are a bit acidic it’s better to introduce some of these first 10 baby-friendly foods I have listed above first.

What Order Should You Introduce Vegetables In?

There is no particular order that you have to introduce vegetables in. The ones I have included in this list tend to be great first foods for your baby. They are mild in flavor and easy on the tummy. 

Related: 15 + Baby-Led Weaning Breakfast Ideas & Recipes (By Age)

Any vegetables really work great as first foods for your baby. Just keep in mind those that are choking hazards and make sure that you are offering them to your baby in a safe way. 

Vegetables that are choking hazards are: 

  • Carrots
  • Celery 
  • Peas
  • Cherry and grape tomatoes
  • Pre-cut green beans
  • Broccoli

Honestly, any raw vegetables usually pose a high risk of choking. So just make sure you are cooking them until they are soft enough to smash between your two fingers. 

How Many Times A Day Should You Feed Your Baby Solids?

Your baby doesn’t really need the nutrition from solid foods for the first few months of solid foods. They are still getting all they need nutritionally from breastmilk or infant formula. 

Young babies 6-7 months old should have at least one meal per day. 

You can introduce a second mealtime somewhere between 8-9 months of age. 

Older babies should have 3 meals a day by 10-11 months of age. 

Your goal is that by their first birthday they are eating 3 meals and 2 snacks per day. Plus, their day should be very similar to the foods you are eating – whole foods, not mainly pureed or mashed foods.

Related: How Much Should Your Baby Eat? A Baby Feeding Schedule By Age

Don’t worry too much if you feel like your baby is actually eating much food at mealtime. Food at this stage is more of a sensory experience, as well as an opportunity for them to start learning how to eat. They are just meant to be exploring new tastes, new smells, and new textures.

Offer meals when your baby is well-rested and in a good mood. This promotes a happy association with mealtime and is when your baby will learn best! 

In A Nutshell 

Here’s a quick snippet of the important details of how to introduce your baby to vegetables using BLW. 

  • Make sure your baby is meeting all 6 signs of readiness before introducing solid foods
  • Use the 3 different BLW methods of offering your baby solid foods
  • It doesn’t matter if you introduce fruit before veggies or vice versa
  • Broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, green beans, butternut squash, yellow squash, zucchini, peas, cucumber, and avocado are great first foods 
  • Don’t forget to check out my 6-9-month-old feeding guide to help you navigate solid foods with your baby 

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