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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.

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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!)

Share your comments below.

  • We went with the rice first as advised by our Maternal Health Nurse.

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  • I just used to mash up whatever vegies we were having for tea that night and that’s what they got. We rarely had banana in the house, so they certainly didn’t get that for starters.

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  • As a treat my boys would get milk arrowroot biscuits with hot water and a dash of milk. They now don’t have sweets very often and love their veges.

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  • How interesting. I made most of my bubs food out of vegetables ????

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  • Cauliflower and broccoli gave my first wind, so I have tried to avoid them. Interestingly, super sweet raspberry was not well like by my son!

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  • My girls started on fruits and now hardly touch them or their veggies.

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  • Bitter veggies like cauliflour and broccoli are reactive veggies for reflux babies, so I have been very reluctant to try them just yet.

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  • Both mine started on apple

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  • Both mine had apple and blueberry purée as their first meals. I then introduced other fruits and vegetables and mixed in a bit of rice cereal. Tuna mornae was also a fave of my eldest as well as butter chicken! My kids are now 3 and 5 and love fruits, vegetables and meats, they also love eating rubbish and junk foods! I grew up with meat and vegetables and as an adult I still have to hide my veggies in my dinner! I didn’t eat a lot of them prior to kids but mine love them! Not sure if it has anything to do with what I fed them as babies or if it’s just their tastes!

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  • I started my boys on mashed potato and pumpkin then added broccoli, cauliflower, beans and silverbeet. They still love their veges and only have sweets every now and then.

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  • My first baby food was mashed avocado and he loved it

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  • my two youngest eat pretty much anything put in front of them and everything hiding in the cupboard or the fridge when dad forgets to put the child lock on

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  • I knew this when weaning and he only got veggies and meat until he was almost one. Didn’t work. He’s still a fussy eater with a very sweet tooth.

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  • We tried a variety of fruit and vegetables.

    Reply

  • I started with egg yolk of a soft boiled egg and veggies.

    Reply

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