10 Cool New Fruit & Veggie Trends for Feeding Baby

Judy Dutton | Jul 22, 2015 Baby

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When it comes to feeding baby a healthy diet, fruits and vegetables are top of the list. Yet let's face it -- even babies get bored eating the same old bananas or peas every day, and may be craving something new. To get your gears turning, we've got some fresh, on-trend ideas to feed your tot.

There are reasons why food trends get started -- for these, it's because they're super healthy. Some you may have barely heard of (baobab?) while others are old standbys served in fun new ways. Either way, they're bound to make dinnertime more exciting for everyone involved. Hop on the bandwagon with your baby!

#7 is so sneaky -- and easy! 

 new ideas for feeding baby fruits and veggies

Image © Halfpoint/Shutterstock

  • Baobab

    1

    Bao-what? While you may have never heard of this African fruit before, it's rising meteorically on moms' baby-food lists for very good reason. "It contains six times more vitamin C than oranges, twice as much calcium as milk, and more iron than a steak!" says Rosie Letts, a nutritional therapist and director of Bump & Beyond Nutrition, where she works on designing health diets for pregnant women and babies. "It also boasts more antioxidants than blueberries, cranberries, or pomegranates and it tastes amazing." It's sweet and tangy and has been compared to a pear. The only downside, honestly, is getting your hands on it. "It's rare to come across fresh baobab, but you can buy it powdered and sprinkle a little into any fruit purée," says Letts.

    More from CafeMom: How to Cure Picky Eating in 3 Easy Steps

  • Powdered Fruits & Veggies

    2

    "Lots of fruits and vegetables are available in powdered form, which can be purchased in single-serving tubes 
or in bulk," says Lisa Hugh, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. The logic? "It's probably hard to get a baby to eat fresh cooked or juiced 
beets, but adding some beet powder into another food they like works
 well."

  • Kale

    3

    Kale isn't just a big health craze for adults; it's all the rage for babies, too. "These amazing leaves boast high amounts of iron, vitamin C, and folate, and are rich in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which help with eyesight development," says Letts. "They also provide good amounts of calcium and vitamin K, which are superb bone builders to help give your baby a strong skeleton." But don't expect your baby to eat a kale salad or a raw kale shake. "Kale should be lightly steamed and served with healthy fats such as coconut oil or grass-fed butter," says Letts. "This will enhance absorption of vitamins."

  • Spices (Yes!)

    4

    In the past, parents thought the blander the veggie, the better for babies … but not today. "Variety is truly the spice of life: It's not just trendy but also research suggests that babies benefit from a variety of food
 experiences from an early age, including tasting spices," says Melanie Potock, author of Raising a Healthy Happy Eater. So, feel free to add a touch of 
mild spice like cumin or coriander to your baby's veggie dish -- you may be surprised how much they enjoy it!

  • Okra

    5

    Is your baby a bit, er, constipated? Then okra may be your new best friend. "Okra has a laxative effect, as it supplies the essential dietary fiber that enables smooth bowel movements," says Letts. But that's not where the benefits end. "Okra is a good source of various vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B, thiamin, niacin, folate, and vitamin E -- all of which play important roles in babies' physical and mental development. Plus, regular consumption of okra also increases a baby's red blood count," says Letts. "Only because of okra's slimy texture, it is difficult to make it into a smooth puree, so it's best to wait until the baby is big enough to chew pieces of it -- at around 9 months of age."

    More from CafeMom: 16 Bizarre Facts About Baby Foods Over the Years

  • Shitaki Mushrooms

    6

    "Technically a fungus, shitaki mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse and an excellent addition to anyone's diet, especially your baby's," says Letts. "They're a rich source of B vitamins, selenum, copper, and zinc. They are also a good source of vitamin D, which is hard to come by: Around 50 percent of us have insufficient levels of vitamin D, and it's vital for healthy bone development. It's important that all mushrooms are well cooked before serving them to your baby."

  • Purées

    7

    "I see that a lot of moms are starting to purée fresh or 
frozen vegetables and then add the purée into other 
foods baby likes," says Hugh. "For example, peas can be puréed and cooked in with stewed chicken." That way, your baby gets a mix of veggie and protein in one feeding.

  • Coconut

    8

    Whether you consider this a fruit, nut, or somewhere in between, it's definitely not just for piña coladas. "Coconuts are an incredible first fruit as they contain medium chain fatty acids, mainly lauric acid, which are similar to those found in human breast milk and scarcely found anywhere else in nature," says Letts. "Lauric acid can boost the immune system, improve digestion, and balance the blood sugar." But that's not where the nutritional benefits of coconuts ends for babies. "Fresh coconut meat is an excellent addition to any smoothie or purée, and it can be eaten as a finger food," says Letts. "Coconut flour can be used for baking and is a fantastic gluten-free flour alternative. It's high in protein and packed with fiber and essential fats. Plus, the natural sweetness means there's less need for sugar."

  • Chia Seeds

    9

    The seeds of this powerhouse plant are all the rage with adults, but babies shouldn't miss out on the action, either. "They contain a higher ratio of antioxidants than blueberries, and have more calcium than whole milk," says Letts. And you can toss them in almost anything: "I add them to porridge, soups, muffins, and smoothies," she says.

    More from CafeMom: The Truth About Trendy Chia Seeds May Shock You Into Trying Them

  • Fruit & Veggie Juice

    10

    Why just serve your baby fruits and veggies as dinner when they can also sip them as drinks? "Some fruit and veggie drinks made in home juicers or mixers
 are well liked by parents, but have too strong of a taste for kids," says Hugh. "Parents
 might consider juicing a mild vegetable, such as squash, and adding one to three ounces
 of a stronger-tasting juice such as orange juice" for a more palatable drink for baby.

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