Experts say baby’s first foods should not be mashed banana or rice.
Parents are now being advised to wean their children onto bitter vegetables like broccoli.
Child food experts at University College London are advising parents to choose bitter vegetables such as broccoli, spinach or cauliflower as their baby’s first solid food, shares Daily Mail.
They say baby rice, chosen by more than half of parents, is too bland and a ‘missed opportunity’ to make them less fussy eaters.
Fruits such as mashed banana are feared to give a baby an early sweet tooth and make them less open to trying vegetables later on.
Dr Clare Llewellyn and Dr Hayley Syrad, who have researched baby eating habits for over a decade, want the first foods introduced to children at around six months to be bitter vegetables, as these are the foods most commonly disliked by children.
They say parents who attempt to give infants vegetables after starting them with fruit ‘may be disappointed’. Even if it takes 15 attempts with a vegetable to make children like it, studies suggest this strategy works to make children less fussy, healthier eaters.
Dr Llewellyn said: ‘The most important thing when you introduce solid foods is to introduce the foods babies are more likely to reject.
‘If you introduce savoury foods, particularly the more bitter-tasting vegetables like broccoli and spinach which children often struggle with, or cauliflower which they are reluctant to eat, they are more accepting of those foods going forward.
‘If you start with sweet, delicious-tasting foods like fruit, who could blame children for struggling to enjoy vegetables after that? Weaning is a chance to introduce children to new flavours, not to help them develop a sweet tooth.’
Sweet potato, parsnips and carrots are advised against as they are too sweet, with steamed, mashed and pureed dark green vegetables recommended. The experts also say giving babies sour fruits, such as plums or cherries, may be best for deterring fussy eating.
What was your babies first food? (it was banana and rice for my boys. oops!)
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