A question that’s come up repeatedly on Instagram, and more recently amongst my closer group of mama friends, is how I get Poe to consistently eat his vegetables – providing him a balanced and dynamic diet, while also making sure he’s eating what I put in front of him. Proclivities aside1, at fourteen months old Poe is a good, enthusiastic, and ferocious eater, sporting Andrew’s ceaseless appetite and his mama’s brisk metabolism. But even at his very best and most zealous, his meals require necessary touches of deception. Below you’ll find three of my tried and true tips for how to get your baby to eat vegetables. You can read more about Poe’s day-to-day diet, here.
Veggie Loaded Omelettes
A nearly lifelong staple, Andrew and I introduced egg shortly after Poe’s six month birthday – as a soft and safe protein source, but also as a crucial vehicle for seasonal produce. At fourteen months, Poe will typically have two eggs with his meal, blended with about a quarter cup of a complex carbohydrate (white beans, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, or roasted sweet potato), a handful of raw greens (usually spinach or kale), and whatever vegetable we have handy. We’ll place all ingredients in our high-speed blender and whiz until completely smooth, pouring the mixture directly onto a ghee or olive oil coated hot skillet to scramble up with ease. Poe thinks he’s having ‘eggys’ and we know he’s having a nutritionally complete meal. To make your life that much easier, this recipe can be bulk prepared in advance, with your unique take on Poe’s Green Egg Donuts.
Pulse Noodles with Stew Sauce
Our healthful take on macaroni and cheese, pulse based noodles with stew ‘sauce’ have become one of Poe’s diet fundamentals. Utilizing pulse based noodles as a base, made with beans or lentils (read: plant based protein), I’ll puree Andrew and my leftover stews to stir them in as a sauce. Making the most of what we already have handy in our refrigerator, and rotating as often as Andrew and I cook for ourselves, again Poe thinks he’s having noodles and we know he’s having a nutritionally complete meal. Because Andrew and I always have a stew handy, this works particularly well in our home – some of Poe’s very favorites have been: my Six Ingredient Carrot Soup, weeknight Shakshuka, and Tomato and Farro Minestrone.
Poe’s daily breakfast, we’ve found pancakes to be particularly successful because we can prepare a weeks worth at a time (keeping them stored in an airtight bag in our freezer to lightly toast each morning), and because Poe loves the independence of being able to feed them to himself. We use a box of store bought almond flour based pancake mix and make it as nutrient dense and filling as possible by adding 2 cups of whole fat Greek yogurt, 4 farmers market eggs, and some combination of mashed banana, mixed berries, or pumpkin puree for that extra fruit/veggie boost.
1 Poe has recently developed a unwavering fondness for bananas (‘babas’) – if he sees one, which happens more often than you’d think, as we keep them on our kitchen countertop, either complete devastation ensues until he eats one, or we’ll have to feed him his meal with slices topping each bite.