Veggies First: Help Shape a Love of Healthy Foods Right from the Start

Nov. 1, 2018

Earth’s Best® Nutritionist Kate Geagan Shares Three No-Fuss Tips for Transitioning Baby from Bottle to Spoon 

Please always discuss any health and feeding concerns directly with your pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read below.

As a parent, we hope to raise adventurous eaters ready to take on the world. But life with a little one is filled with questions, especially around the best way help shape a love of healthy foods. The secret? Start early. Earth’s Best® Nutritionist (and mom) Kate Geagan shares these top tips for setting your baby up for success:

  • Get a jump start on developing baby’s love of veggies: Research continues to shine a light on how babies develop early taste awareness beginning in the womb (through amniotic fluid), while nursing (flavors are transmitted in breastmilk), and in those early bites of solid foods[1]. Although genetics also may play a role in taste preferences[2], as you transition from breastmilk or formula to solid foods, practicing “veggies first, veggies often and a variety of colorful veggies” can help set a foundation for little ones. That’s because this stage is a natural window of opportunity when your baby is more accepting of different tastes, flavors and textures. Choosing veggie-filled jars and pouches like Earth’s Best Organic® First Peas, made with USDA certified organic ingredients and available in regular stores for reasonable prices, will help expose those young palates to a variety of veggies. 

 

  • Offer lots of dark green veggies (and go organic!):Did you know dark green vegetables are the least commonly consumed option among both infants and toddlers? That’s the finding of a 2017 study from the American Academy of Pediatrics.Yet research has found that only 20 percent of babies are given vegetables as their first solid food[3]. You can help reduce potential “yuk” reactions later by regularly offering a variety of nutrient-rich dark green organic veggies, like the spinach in Earth’s Best Organic® Pumpkin and Spinach Veggie Puree, at the early stages of their real food journey. Plus, organic veggies are grown without potentially harmful pesticides.  

 

  • Continue the journey beyond baby food: “As toddlers grow older, often their fruit and veggie consumption goes down,” says Geagan. Continuing to offer a variety of veggies and fruits as part of meals and snacks helps them eat nutritiously as they age (it can take between 15-30 exposures to a new food, so the key is to keep offering). Opt for easy, on-the-go options, like a fresh banana or Earth’s Best Organic® Pea Crisps, which are made with only five ingredients and provide a good source of fiber for toddlers two and up.   

 

 

Choosing the right baby food can be daunting for parents who have to make so many decisions for their children every day. Earth’s Best Organic® Stage 1 and Stage 2 jars and pouches make it easier by offering a large variety of organic vegetable and fruit combinations. 

As one of the very first organic baby food brands and a pioneer in organic baby food, Earth’s Best® brand strives to make organic (food)? accessible for more families than ever before by keeping its products affordable and making them convenient to find. 

To learn more about Earth’s Best® brand and its veggie-filled baby food options, visit www.earthsbest.com.

 

[1]Amniotic Fluid+ Breasmilk Exposure: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/107/6/e88

[2]Genetic Component to taste. Fildes A, van Jaarsveld C H, Llewellyn C H & Wardle J, Nature and nurture in children’s food preferences, 2014, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 4: p. 99 

[3]Ella’s Study on First Foods: YouGov Results / ‘Veg for Victory’, Commissioned by Ella’s Kitchen, April 28 2016