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Here are some quick, easy, and approachable ideas and recipes to add vegetables for babies six months and up!

A six image collage showing different ways to serve vegetables to babies
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Best Vegetables for Babies

What are the best vegetables for babies?

All vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and you should aim to introduce a variety early and often.

But if I had to provide a list, here are the top vegetables:
Bell peppers
Green peas
Sweet potatoes
Winter squash (e.g. butternut squash, acorn squash)

What are the top iron rich vegetables for babies?

While they don’t contain a whole lot compared to meat or plant-based iron-rich foods, these vegetables contain the highest amount:

Leafy greens (e.g. spinach, kale, collard greens)
Brussels sprouts
Green peas
Potatoes (mostly concentrated in the skins)

Here are the TOP Iron Rich Foods for Babies

Are frozen vegetables OK for babies?

Absolutely! They are budget-friendly and convenient bc you don’t have to wash, peel, chop, etc., and won’t go bad before you can eat them.

They are also flash frozen within hours of being picked and thus can retain higher levels of some nutrients than fresh ones.

Should I introduce fruits or vegetables first?

Some recommend introducing babies to vegetables first since babies are innately drawn to sweet flavors. Otherwise, they will reject vegetables. Others say that offering well accepted foods, like fruits, first will help in the adjustment to solids better.

There isn’t evidence to show that your baby will not like vegetables if you start with fruits. Both are nutritious and provide nutrients that our babies need to grow.

So to answer this question, you don’t have to introduce foods in any particular order.

Here’s a deep dive on this topic of fruits vs. vegetables for babies.

Don’t Feel Overwhelmed!

Introducing babies to a wide variety of flavors and textured foods is important in helping shape their food preferences and eating habits.

For this post, I’m focusing on vegetables because it’s one of, if not, the main food groups that parents struggle with getting their child to eat.

Exposing them to variety from early on can really help increase acceptance and likeability for them as they continue to grow.

This doesn’t mean that you have to introduce a different vegetable every single day or at every meal! I’m sharing my approach in hopes that it will help make this important task less daunting and absolutely achievable!

How to Cook Vegetables for Babies

4 wooden plates with finger shaped foods served during first week of baby led weaning

When we first started our baby led weaning journey, I simply offered soft-cooked, finger-shaped vegetables seasoned with various herbs/spices.

I remember seeing all these pictures of babies being served mini veggie-loaded frittata, muffins, pancakes, and all kinds of “fancy” concoctions, and I just didn’t have the time or the mental energy to do that at the time.

But steaming, roasting, or steam roasting vegetables so that they’re easily smooshable with my fingers and finger-shaped (about 1.5 times as long as baby’s fist)….Now THAT I could do. 

Check out my “How To Series” for guidance on how to cook a specific vegetable.

If you’re anything like me, take baby steps! And as you become more comfortable and efficient, you will gradually build the foundational habits necessary. After all, we’re going to be feeding our kids for a VERY long time. 

If you need more specific guidance,

Meal Prep Suggestions

Once I started to find my footing, slowly got over the fear of choking, learned to trust my baby’s innate ability to work through foods, among many other things, I began to incorporate the vegetables in different ways.

Here’s my workflow that continues to serve me well:

  • Meal Plan for the week. I don’t plan every single meal and snack. Instead, I come up with 2 main meals and 2 baked goods that I commit to making. For the rest of the meals, I utilize leftovers and whatever pantry meals I can whip up easily (think quesadillas, fried rice, stir-fry, etc.).
  • Go grocery shopping.
  • Cook a large batch of vegetables to enjoy throughout the week. I normally do this once every 3-4 days or so. 
  • Use those same vegetables in various ways to invite variety. I walk you through how to do this in my “Subtract, Multiply, Diversity” FREE 5-day series mentioned above. Since they’re already cooked, it doesn’t take much additional time and effort to throw them into snacks/meals.

Vegetable Recipes for Babies

Here are some examples from the actual meals I served to my baby C. I say recipes but a lot of them are ideas and inspirations that you can easily incorporate into your baby (and toddler’s) diet.

Not only will you be exposing your baby to more variety but will also be helping improve fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Mashed vegetables

mashed sweet potato and avocado with meatballs on a sectioned plate and baby eating

Cook the vegetables and simply mash with a fork. You can serve alone or mixed in with other foods, like avocado, minced meat, oatmeal, yogurt, ground nuts or seeds, beans, lentils, fruits, or other vegetables!

Let them go at it with their hands. Getting messy is an important part of self-feeding. But bless your heart. Things will be hairy for a while. You have been warned ;).

Minced/Chopped vegetables

four plates showing chopped vegetables added to oatmeal, rice fingers, scrambled eggs, and toast roll-ups

Finely chop the cooked vegetables and add to:

four oatmeals shaped into balls and plated on a white plate
5 from 28 votes

Homemade Baby Oatmeal

Learn how to cook the perfect oatmeal for baby. It's easy, fast, and customizable! Serve as is or as a finger food, baby led weaning style.
View Recipe
cooked scrambled eggs with large curds in a nonstick pan.
5 from 18 votes

Soft Scrambled Eggs for Baby

Here's how to make soft and fluffy scrambled eggs every time as well as fun variations to incorporate more variety into your child's diet!
View Recipe
A toddler's hand dipping one of the nuggets in beet hummus.
5 from 11 votes

Baked Veggie Nuggets

These homemade Veggie Nuggets are a simple and fun way to get more veggies into your child's diet! Made with four vegetables, they're the perfect snack or lunchbox addition that babies and kids will love.
View Recipe
a lunchbox with omelette strips, freeze dried strawberries, roasted orange and purple sweet potatoes.
5 from 28 votes

Vegetable Omelette

Nutritious and easy to make, this baby-friendly omelette made with whatever veggies you have on hand is the perfect breakfast/snack for babies and toddlers!
View Recipe
A close up shot of baby French toast strips as well as bite-sized pieces on a parchment paper
4.90 from 19 votes

Savory French toast

This savory vegetable French toast or eggy bread is an EASY and fun way to use up leftovers. Suitable for babies 6 months and up!
View Recipe
4 unique combinations of lentils for babies
5 from 18 votes

Lentils for babies

Get all your burning questions about serving lentils to your baby answered. Here are tips and EASY recipes to boost your baby's iron levels.
View Recipe
four variations to the basic quinoa cereal served on separate four pink bowls.
5 from 2 votes

Easy Quinoa Baby Cereal (4 Ways)

Making homemade baby cereal or porridge is SO easy and inexpensive! If you've only been serving rice or oat-based cereals, give this iron-rich quinoa version a try!
View Recipe
collage of six puddings
5 from 17 votes

Single Serve Chia Puddings for Babies and Kids

Single serve chia seed pudding for babies 6 months and up is the perfect make ahead breakfast or snack that you can whip up in under 5 minutes!
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three stacked peanut butter waffles topped with banana and raspberries
5 from 26 votes

Vegetable Waffles with Peanut Butter

EASY to make, healthy peanut butter vegetable waffles for babies and kids! A great way to enjoy more protein, fat, and veggies for breakfast.
View Recipe

Vegetable dips and sauces

6 images of baby friendly sauces with vegetables

Serve as is and have your baby scoop with their hands or preload onto a spoon and hand it to them (really love these). You can also pour over pasta, grains, bread, or cooked vegetables!

Here are some recipes to try:

A close up shot of pesto in a white bowl.
5 from 8 votes

Zucchini Pesto with Almonds

Upgrade pasta with this simple and healthy zucchini pesto. It is light and creamy and can be ready in 15 minutes!
View Recipe
close up shot of broccoli hummus in a white bowl with drizzle of oil.
5 from 5 votes

Broccoli Hummus Dip

If your child won't eat broccoli or you've been looking for different ways to serve it, give this hummus a try! It's also a great way to pack in a lot of nutrition for babies and kids.
View Recipe
a close up shot of pesto with a spoon
5 from 9 votes

Beetroot Pesto Pasta Sauce

Made with simple, wholesome ingredients, this beetroot pesto comes together in minutes and makes for the perfect pasta sauce for babies, kids, and adults!
View Recipe
yogurt black bean dip in a large red bowl with a toddler hand dunking a sliced sweet potato
5 from 11 votes

Creamy Greek Yogurt Black Bean Dip

This healthy, creamy Greek yogurt black bean dip is super easy to make involving zero prep time. It's a great way to encourage your picky eater to eat vegetables.
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a close up shot of cauliflower dip with fresh cilantro and a small pita triangle
5 from 5 votes

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Dip

This creamy roasted cauliflower dip made with an ENTIRE head of cauliflower, tahini, and milk is super simple to make, delicious, and versatile. It will be an AWESOME way to make veggies exciting for kids!
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A close up shot of pasta with broccoli and carrots.
5 from 14 votes

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Thirty minutes or less is all it takes to make this creamy broccoli pesto pasta. You can also save this bright, flavorful green pesto to enjoy with sandwiches, vegetables, salads, and so much more!
View Recipe
beet hummus in a white bowl with hemp seeds and cilantro sprinkled on the left side
5 from 13 votes

Beet Hummus for Babies

Made with just 5 ingredients, this nut-free beet hummus is great for spoon feeding or baby led weaning.
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a close up shot of sweet potato sauce tossed with pasta and spinach
5 from 17 votes

Creamy Sweet Potato Sauce

This baby and kid-friendly sweet potato sauce is EASY to whip up and can be enjoyed with pasta, grains, or as a dip for crackers and vegetables. It's great alternative to tomato-based sauces.
View Recipe
a close up shot of the hummus in a white bowl with a spoon
4.75 from 4 votes

Pumpkin Seed Spinach Hummus

this spinach hummus with pumpkin seeds instead of tahini is a healthy snack or meal for babies and toddlers. It is so versatile and here are some ways to serve it to your family.
View Recipe
beetroot dip in a large white bowl with a toddler's hand dipping broccoli
5 from 4 votes

Beetroot Dip with chickpeas

4 nutritious ingredients, a food processor/blender, and dippers are all you need for this smooth, creamy, and vibrant beetroot dip for babies and toddlers!
View Recipe

Veggie-loaded baked goods

five plates with different baby led weaning baked goods

Muffins, frittatas, meatballs, quiche, breads, cookies…I definitely did a TON of baking. I have a feeling you will too.

Here are some readers’ favorites:

four carrot oatmeal cookies stacked
5 from 161 votes

3 Ingredient Baby Cookies

3 ingredients are all you need to make these soft and delicious vegan banana oatmeal cookies. They are the perfect breakfast or snack for babies!
View Recipe
Stacked spinach pancakes on a white plate.
4.99 from 110 votes

Spinach Pancakes

These spinach pancakes are super easy to make with just a handful of wholesome ingredients. These dye free green pancakes are the perfect finger food for babies and toddlers, especially!
View Recipe
A slice of breakfast bake with yogurt, banana, and raspberry.
4.95 from 18 votes

Baked Breakfast Quinoa with Zucchini

This vegan quinoa bake with zucchini is a delicious way to serve quinoa to babies and kids. It's also an easy opportunity to add variety to their breakfast or snack!
View Recipe
A close up shot of sliced muffin stacked on top of another.
5 from 43 votes

Carrot Zucchini Muffins (with avocado)

Made with healthy fats, vegetables, and no added sugar, these carrot zucchini muffins they will keep you and your child happy and nourished. 
View Recipe
Spinach muffin with a bite taken out.
4.97 from 160 votes

Moist Spinach Muffins

These healthy spinach muffins with banana are fluffy and moist in texture and packed with nutrition. They are perfect for babies and kids.
View Recipe
five cooked muffins on a white plate
5 from 27 votes

Vegan vegetable quinoa muffins

Made with healthy ingredients like broccoli, carrots, and quinoa, these egg and dairy-free vegetable muffins with quinoa are perfect for baby led weaning and school lunchboxes.
View Recipe
Three carrot muffins stacked.
4.98 from 37 votes

Healthy Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

These incredibly moist, carrot oatmeal muffins are packed with nutrition and sweetened with fruit only. They are a delicious and healthy way to get more fruits and vegetables into your baby or toddler!
View Recipe
Three stacked cookies.
4.77 from 89 votes

Healthy Zucchini Oatmeal Cookies

These zucchini oatmeal cookies are so easy to make with wholesome, minimal ingredients and no added sugar!
View Recipe
cooked salmon quiche in a white oval plate with a toddler hand
4.99 from 85 votes

Mini crustless quiche

Packed with protein and vegetables, this mini crustless quiche is so easy to make! Enjoy as a make-ahead breakfast, snack, or pack for lunch boxes.
View Recipe
overhead shot of cooked turkey meatballs on a blue plate with a side of tahini and lemon slice
5 from 16 votes

Kid-friendly Turkey Beet Meatballs

These oven-baked turkey beet meatballs are quick and easy to prepare, healthy, and most importantly baby and toddler approved!
View Recipe
Baked turkey meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
5 from 110 votes

Turkey Meatballs with rice

These oven baked kid-friendly turkey and rice meatballs are the perfect iron-rich finger food for your baby, children of all ages, and adults!
View Recipe
5 from 28 votes

Baked Quinoa and Mushroom Beef Meatballs

baked meatballs made with ground beef, mushroom, and quinoa. It's the ultimate comfort food that can be enjoyed as is or with pasta, vegetables, salads
View Recipe
baked salmon patties on parchment paper with mango yogurt sauce in a white bowl.
4.97 from 28 votes

Mini Baked Canned Salmon Patties

These mini baked salmon patties with canned salmon are packed with vegetables and full of flavor! Perfect for baby led weaning!
View Recipe

Baby Led Weaning Family Meals

curry at the top and butternut squash sauce pizza with vegetables on the left and deconstructed chicken fajitas on the right

One meal for the whole family! That’s the goal! Depending on your baby’s age and developmental skills, you’ll need to make some adjustments.

First, instead of cooking with salt, flavor with herbs/spices. Look for low- or no-salt-added products, like canned tomatoes, beans, stock, etc. Limit packaged foods. Also limit sugar.

Slow cooker or pressure cooker meals are so great! Everything comes out soft and moist and super flavorful with minimal effort.

Deconstructed tacos/sandwiches. Serve all the components, including vegetables, separately.

Casseroles. They’re sticky and easy for babies to scoop with their hands and also a great way to pack in so many vegetables.

One Pot Meals. My e-cookbook One Pot Meals is filled with baby-friendly family meals with no added salt and sugar but plenty flavorful for the entire family to enjoy.

Here are 30+ Easy Dinner Recipes for babies and toddlers

Formula-Based Cooking

Now there are so many wonderful recipes out there that you can try. But what if I told you that you could easily whip up any veggie-loaded baby-friendly foods with the ingredients you have on hand without relying so heavily on recipes?

Enter formula-based cooking.

What does this approach to cooking accomplish? 

  • Saves you time 
  • Helps you learn to use up everything in your fridge and pantry in yummy and creative ways
  • Reduces food waste
  • Less reliance on pre-packaged items
  • Teaches you to easily build flavor with spices, oils, vinegars, etc. I promise this skill will come the more you experiment with these flavoring agents.
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Boosts confidence
  • Makes offering variety fun and totally doable! 

In my e-cookbook, “Veggie-Centered Delights,” you’ll find basic formulas for whipping up veggie-loaded:

  • Bean Dips
  • Yogurt Dips
  • Smoothies
  • Tots/nuggets
  • One Pot Pasta

I provide you with specific serving sizes/quantities for all the individual components as well as recipes for each category to help get you started! But you don’t need to follow it to a T. Once you get comfortable, you can add a little more of this or a little less of that depending on your preference. These formulas are very flexible and forgiving.

cover page for veggie centered delights ecookbook

What do you have in your fridge or pantry? Using my basic formulas, you will be able to whip up something amazing out of ingredients you may have never thought to combine!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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