Two books suggest introducing fruit and vegetables early

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Sep 15, 2010

Two books suggest introducing fruit and vegetables early
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Waste no time starting to serve fruit and vegetables to young children,
because tastes form early and last a lifetime, according to two pairs of
Montreal mothers who have published guidebooks on healthy eating.

Even before a baby is a year old, television reporters Andrea Howick and
Lianne Castelino – the authors of Yummy in My Tummy in Montreal –
recommend serving pureed vegetables or fruit smoothies. “They like the
work taken out of it,” Howick said in an interview.

A favourite mixture with Howick and Castelino’s children is an avocado
dip that blends ripe avocado with cooked carrots and broccoli. Even a
fussy eater will consume a banana blended with smooth, silken tofu or
plain yogourt and a little vanilla extract, they say.

Pureed carrots or broccoli make a convenience food if you freeze the
mixture in ice-cube trays, they explain in their combination book and
DVD, which they produced through their own company (
online) and sell for $29.95 in Montreal book and toy stores.

Dietitians Marie Breton and Isabelle Emond offer dozens of ways for
parents to raise good eaters who love their fruit and vegetables in
their latest book, A table en famille (Flammarion Quebec, $29.95, in
French only). Don’t worry if you can’t always provide the best fresh
foods, they say, because frozen and canned produce are good buys and
convenient to serve.

If you get opposition to some vegetables, try roasting a baking pan of
cut-up carrots, potatoes, parsnips and white turnips, they suggest.
Drizzle the mixture with a little oil, salt and chopped chives, then
bake it, covered with parchment paper or aluminum foil, for a half-hour
at 450 degrees F (230C).

Pesto and salsa are flavourful additions that can persuade youngsters to eat their vegetables, say Breton and Emond.

When it comes to purees, Howick and Castelino recommend starting with
applesauce at 8 months and working up to a puree of peaches, apples and
raspberries at 12 months, straining out the raspberry seeds. Apples or
melon cut into shapes with cookie cutters work well with year-old
children, Howick said.

Soon (at 12 to 18 months old) children will enjoy minestrone, the
authors said. They make it with carrots, onions, broccoli, tomatoes,
small pasta and canned kidney beans in chicken stock.

All four mothers urge parents to serve family dinners. “If children see
the rest of the family eating healthy foods, or foods new to them,
they’ll eat them too,” Howick said. “The dinner table can help encourage
a love of healthy food.”

The dietitians call the family meal “essential.” A healthy family dinner
teaches children to eat properly for life, they believe.

© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007


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