Vegetables for Your Baby
Before your baby has any teeth, water sauté, steam, or roast the vegetables until they are soft, then puree them. A blender purees a smoother consistency for high-fiber vegetables. A blender, food mill, or a grinding bowl works well for starchy vegetables that are easy to mash into a more lumpy consistency as your baby gets older and needs a transitional texture.
At around seven to nine months, offer cruciferous vegetables that are well-cooked, such as broccoli, bok choy, and others. At around nine months old, once he has learned to gum his food and pick up pieces of food, water sauté or steam the vegetables until soft, and then cut them into pea-sized pieces for finger foods.
Cooking vegetables offers pre-digestion for your baby so that his digestive system does not have to work as hard to assimilate the nutrients. Raw vegetables should be avoided until your child can chew very well, at around 18 months old, because small pieces can become a choking hazard. At that time, nightshade vegetables can offer variety occasionally. If your baby does not eat a lot of vegetables at first, just keep re-introducing them over time, and be patient as his palate adapts to the new flavors.
To check for allergies and observe his reaction to different foods, try the same vegetable for three days in a row before introducing another. His tastes can change rapidly, so a vegetable that he spits out today could be what he wants next week. Children tend to like a smooth consistency, so pureed soups, sauces, and dips are creative options to get toddlers to enjoy vegetables.