How to safely serve broccoli to babies

Getting more veggies into your baby’s diet is a challenge almost every parent encounters on the weaning journey. One of the best greens to start with is broccoli. Its nutritious stem offers a nifty little handle for little hands to grab, while the soft head of the broccoli is squishy and easy to eat. Unlike sweeter veggies, broccoli offers a different kind of flavour and texture for your baby to explore.

Why feed broccoli to your baby?

This easy little vegetable is bursting with nutritious goodness. It’s packed full of vitamins C and K, as well as calcium and iron. Vital for your baby’s growth and development, iron is an essential part of their diet, so sneaking it in through a few pieces of broccoli is incredibly beneficial!

 

How to serve broccoli to your child in an age-appropriate way

While broccoli is a great veggie for any age, how you should serve it to your little one changes as they progress through their weaning journey. To make sure your baby is eating broccoli safely, here’s a handy little guide…
 
 
broccoli serving

6-9 months

When first learning about the world of food, your baby will probably be eager to explore. Particularly if you’re practicing baby-led weaning, broccoli is a great choice for your little one to grab, move and investigate in this early stage.

To ensure your baby can get a grip of the broccoli, cut larger florets as close to the stem as you can. This will act as the perfect little handle while they eat. You’ll want to make sure the broccoli is nice and soft, so steam cook it until you can squish it easily between your thumb and forefinger.

 

9-12 months

At this point in your little one’s weaning journey, they’ll likely be starting to develop their pincher-like grasp. This will allow them to pick up smaller pieces of food, instead of relying on the larger ‘handles’ of the florets.

Once again, steam your broccoli until it’s soft and squashable, but you can try serving smaller florets. If you notice they’re struggling and getting frustrated with the broccoli, you may need to introduce it more gradually and mix it with larger florets at first, until they get used to this new skill.

 

12-18 months

By this age, your little one will likely be using, or learning to use cutlery. Moving away from graspable florets, you can try finely chopping steamed broccoli into little chunks. These shouldn’t prove too difficult for baby to scoop up themselves, while still encouraging them to have a go with a spoon or fork instead of their fingers.

Of course, if cutlery is too difficult, chopped broccoli is still easy for babies to pick up with their hands if needed!

 

18-24 months

Further encouraging and developing your baby’s cutlery skills, by 18 months you can try to chop your broccoli even finer. Scooping up fine broccoli is a great way to improve that hand-eye coordination and cutlery abilities.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle this super fine serving of broccoli onto a meal for an added boost of nutrition – maybe on top of mashed potatoes or in a soup.

 

24 months +

Now that your little one is quickly becoming a pro at eating solids, you can serve up whole pieces of broccoli instead! As a side, a snack, or part of a meal, broccoli can be easily added to your child’s diet at this stage. W

If whole broccoli is too much for your little one, you can cut it into more bite-sized pieces to make things easier. Once they’re ready for it, you can try whole pieces once again.

 

Broccoli recipes you might like

 

Please note…

You should always supervise your child when they’re eating.

The age ranges provided are a loose indication of the different stages your baby will go through when weaning, but every child is different. Your baby will show signs that they’re ready to take the next step. For example, if they’re struggling to eat the broccoli, they may not be ready for that style yet.

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