5 Fruits and Vegetables to Get Your Baby Started On

baby food fruits and vegetables

We all know how important fruits and vegetables are to one’s diet. However, it’s also the group of food that seems to be the hardest to eat enough of, and the one children are most picky about.

Fruits and vegetables are a necessary part of their diet, especially for growing infants. They contain some of the essential vitamins and minerals that will help your baby’s development -- both physically and mentally. Starting them young is a good idea too so they learn to enjoy the taste as early as possible.

fruits and vegetables with baby and mother background

A proper and healthy diet can have the following health benefits for children:

Brain development: Vitamins found in fruits and vegetables, particularly zinc, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B, and magnesium increase children’s intelligence and can lead to better focus and behaviour.

Physical growth: Minerals such as calcium and iron, and vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C help the body grow rapidly during childhood. Hence, every child needs proper nutrition and energy to support this growth, including building bones and improving eyesight.

Prevention of health conditions: Proper nutrition plays a huge part in the prevention of many childhood diseases, including obesity and diabetes. Vitamin C, zinc, calcium are the vitamins you want to look for. Immune-boosting nutrients also include omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, B vitamins, and iron.

Healthy choices: With all these in mind, when a proper baseline is set, they’ll make healthier choices as they grow up, even when parents aren’t around to help them

Before you start your baby with our list of recommended fruits and vegetables, we’ve previously written an article on knowing when your baby is ready for the transition to solids.

Here are some things to remember for your infant’s first meals with solid foods:

  • Introduce them to finely-pureed single ingredient fruit and veggies from 6 months old (just pureed apple for example, not apples and pears)

  • Introduce them one at a time so that you can observe if they have any allergic reactions to it

  • Even if they reject the food, try again another day

  • Mixing new foods into their porridge or oatmeal is also a good idea

Some fruits and veggies to start your baby on:

brocolli on top of table for baby food

1. Broccoli – An excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, fibre, calcium, folic acid, iron and potassium.

How to make broccoli baby food:

  1. Chop a bunch of broccoli and one slice of apple or white potato.

  2. Steam the broccoli and apple/potato until tender.

  3. Transfer into a blender or food processor and add a drizzle of olive oil. Puree until smooth.

  4. Serve or store for later.

2. Carrots – These are a great source of beta-carotene (vitamin A), which is very good for your baby’s eyes.

How to make carrot baby food:

  1. Peel and dice the carrot into tiny pieces

  2. Bring water to boil and cook carrot until tender.

  3. Drain carrot and rinse with cold water.

  4. Puree cooked carrot until smooth.

  5. Serve or store for later.

pumpkin baby food

3. Pumpkin – Pumpkin is loaded with nutritional compounds that every baby needs, including plenty of beta-carotene.

How to make pumpkin baby food:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190C.

  2. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop the seeds out. Cut the stem out.

  3. Brush pumpkin with olive oil and place skin-side down in a baking tray.

  4. To keep the flesh of the pumpkin moist, add a half-inch of water before baking.

  5. Bake until pumpkin is tender.

  6. Once cool enough to hold, remove from oven and scoop the flesh and puree until smooth.

  7. Serve or store for later.

baby holding fruit

4. Apples – These are really easy for your baby to digest, and the pectin or soluble fibre they contain helps with constipation.