How to Turn Your Lil’Ones into Veggie Lovers: A Journey with lil’gourmets
Between four and six months of age, parents start planning for their baby’s first introduction to the world of solid foods. First foods set the stage for lifelong eating habits and while this can be an exciting time for new parents, it can also be stressful and confusing!
So we’re going to provide some simple tips for how to transition your little one to solids and even help toddlers become healthy, adventurous eaters.
1. Start with a Variety of Veggies
One thing we all know is the importance of vegetables. They’re packed with vitamins, dietary fiber and are low in sugar.
The early months set the stage for healthy eating throughout a child’s life and the benefits of those first foods being vegetables are becoming abundantly clear. Research shows infancy is a uniquely opportune time to cultivate vegetable acceptance, all while providing power packed nutrients.
2. Change It Up, And Don’t Give Up!
Ensuring there is a variety of food introduced, while leading with veggies, is another key to first foods.
“The key to success is making a variety of food introductions early and repeating this exposure often. There may be an adjustment period when introducing new flavors or textures but don’t give up,’” said Texas-based Pediatrician Rupa Mahadevan, MD FAAP. “It can take up to ten or more tries for a child to accept a new veggie, particularly in toddlerhood. This repeated exposure helps shape a child’s taste preferences, combats picky eating, and allows for flavor training.”
3. Forget the 3-Day Rule
You’ve probably been told the old rule of introducing only one new food every few days. Well that’s no longer relevant in most cases! According to Dr. Mahadevan, “New vegetables and fruits can be introduced daily. We typically recommend waiting 3-5 days between foods only when a parent may have an allergy to the food or if it’s a top allergen producing food like tree nuts, shellfish, or eggs so any reaction can be identified.”
4. Sprinkle the Seasoning
Try flavor enhancers such as mint, turmeric, lemon and ginger to expand your baby’s taste palate. A spice like cinnamon is a great substitute for sugar.
“Don’t be afraid to play around with flavors. There are incredible benefits to adding flavorful herbs & spices to baby’s food. Brands like lil’gourmets veggie meals use a variety of authentic spice blends to introduce babies and toddlers to global flavors that are both gentle and enhancing to the palate,” says Dr. Mahadevan, also a pediatric advisor to lil’gourmets.
lil’gourmets – A Brand Like No Other Now at Whole Foods
lil’gourmets is a mom-founded, organic food start-up that has created delicious veggie meals for babies and kids. It was started when the brand’s founder, Shibani Baluja, saw firsthand the connection between kids’ first foods and their future eating habits. She set out to create fresh, organic, globally-inspired veggie meals that were nutritious and tasted like a homemade meal.
The mission of lil’gourmets is to provide essential nutrients today while helping lil’ones develop a love of vegetables and cultivate a curiosity of flavors and global cultures. As the first and only brand with a ‘veggie-first promise,’ their recipes always feature veggies and beans as primary ingredients.
So what else makes lil’gourmets so unique?
- It’s all about the veggies: Every veggie meal delivers 1+ serving of vegetables or beans per 3.5 oz cup.
- Bring the global flavors: Chef-crafted recipes feature ingredients like coconut milk, extra virgin olive oil, and authentic spice blends to create flavors such as Moroccan Butternut Squash and Spanish Corn & Bean Gazpacho.
- No added sugar or salt: And each cup has only 2-5g of naturally occurring sugars, which is less than half of the national brands.
- Sold refrigerated: These veggie meals are fresh, taste homemade, and retain the nutrient-density of their ingredients. Find them by the yogurt in the refrigerated section.
- Come in the convenience of a cup: Available in a resealable and reusable cup to encourage independent feeding, sensory development and recognition of satiety cues (to avoid overeating).
- Purity Award Winner from the Clean Label Project™: lil’gourmets has been rigorously tested against hundreds of other baby & toddler food brands for harmful contaminants, chemicals and other unwanted additives, and received the highest overall rating for product purity and quality.
To make lil’gourmets veggie meals part of your lil’ones’ meal or snack time, head to Whole Foods Market across Texas and find the veggie meals by baby yogurt. Before you shop, get your BOGO coupon here.