30 January, 2012
Green vs. Orange Vegetables for Babies
Many parents can't wait until their baby starts eating "real food." The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting until your baby is between 4 and 6 months before starting any type of solid food. When it comes to choosing vegetables, both the green and yellow varieties have their benefits. Wait at least two to three days between introducing a new food to make it easier to pinpoint the offender if your baby develops an allergic reaction. Talk to your pediatrician before starting any type of vegetables or other solid foods.
Most orange vegetables -- which include carrots, squash and sweet potatoes -- have a sweeter taste than green vegetables. Many babies, like many adults, prefer sweeter tasting foods and may be more willing to eat green vegetables at first. If you'd rather avoid introducing the sweeter-tasting foods first, start with green vegetables.
Starting with milder-flavored vegetables can also make solid foods more acceptable for your baby. If you want to work green vegetables into your baby's foods, start with mild-flavored green vegetables such as green beans or peas. Your baby may have a harder time accepting cruciferous green vegetables such as broccoli or brussels sprouts, which have a stronger flavor. But don't write off these vegetables forever; many babies enjoy stronger flavors and prefer them to milder flavors as long as they're pureed or mashed to a consistency they can handle.
Both green and orange vegetables can stain your baby's bibs and clothing, but orange vegetables can also stain your baby's skin. If you baby consumes orange vegetables for several days in a row, the beta-carotene in the vegetables may give his skin an orange tinge. Some dark-green vegetables contain large amounts of beta-carotene and could also cause this reaction, pediatrician Dr. Robert Steele of Springfield, Missouri, explains on the website iVillage. This orange color causes no harm, but call your child's doctor if the whites of his eyes also look yellow or if he's acting sick. A baby with yellowish skin and eyes could have a liver problem that causes jaundice.
Babies need a variety of foods. Both green and orange vegetables provide healthy nutrition. Alternating green and orange vegetables gets your baby used to different flavors and textures and helps him develop a more adventurous palate. You can expect your baby to develop preferences of his own over time. You can also expect to see bits of both green and orange vegetables appear in the stool; this is perfectly normal.
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