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3 Veggie Recipes For Your Toddler

Those who know us well know that my husband is the cook extraordinaire of the family.  But now he’s gone to boot camp, and I’m left holding the fort at home.  My husband’s last note to me implores me, among many things, to make sure that Mina eats well.

He had cause to write that.  See, I come from a culture that eats very little veggies, and thinks a complete meal constitutes rice and meat.  I have pledged to make sure the same food approach doesn’t pass down to my 17-month old toddler.  After reading a book on nutrition for babies, I became even more convinced to instill a love for veggies and fruits to my daughter.

For parents who wish to do the same, there are three guidelines to follow:

  1. Introduce veggies in all colors of the rainbow one a time.  This will ensure they aren’t allergic to anything (not likely but possible), and that they get enough nutrients from a variety of veggies.
  2. If your baby rejects the veggies, try again.  Experts say to try to feed the food at least 8 more times, and a maximum of 16 times, before concluding they really don’t like it.  Children are just like adults; sometimes it takes a while for them to get used to something new.
  3. Introduce vegetables before 18 mos. old.  They’re more amenable to new foods at this age.  The later you wait, the harder it will be for them to  be veggie-lovers.

You can puree any food in a food processor and feed them to your babies.  Peas, Carrots, Green Beans, are good to try.

For older babies, you will want to give it to them in its natural state.  Here are some tried and true recipes for my toddler in our home.

Crook Neck Squash – Cut up bite sized pieces of crook-neck squash.  Lay on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil.  Brush squash with olive oil, oregano, and a pinch of sea salt.  Pre-heat oven to 325 F, and bake for 30-45 min., depending on how crisp you want it to be.  Cool and serve.

Broccoli – Believe or not, lots of kids love broccoli.  They can be served raw with a yogurt dip.

Recipe for yogurt dip: 2 8-oz containers of plain, non-fat yogurt dip, mixed with finely chopped cucumbers (about 1 lb., seeded and peeled).  Add 2 tsp. of finely chopped dill, lemon juice to taste, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and pepper to taste.

Carrot – The same yogurt above can be used for raw carrots.  Or you can cut up your carrot into bite-sized pieces, steam until soft, add cinnamon to taste and serve.

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