Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites


Cut your broccoli up to make 'trees', but not too small. It's best, I have found, to leave as much of the stalk as possible to be used as a handle, but if you think that it makes the 'tree' part too big then slice up through the stalk to half or even quarter it lengthways.

Steam your broccoli over some boiling water for 6-7 minutes then leave to cool (or run under cold water if you are in a hurry, but remember that if you feel it's too hard still that this will stop the cooking process).

Give it to your child and if they are good and clever they will hold it by the 'handle' and eat the 'tree'. My child resolutely refuses to do anything but dig her fingers into the branches of the tree part and chew on the stalk, which causes the top part to disintegrate in the most alarming fashion and to fly across the room. It goes EVERYWHERE. You know those chubby little folds of fat that you love to tickle? In there. And that beautiful, expensive high chair* you bought? In every seam of the the fabric seat, every hinge, every corner. Broccoli, my friends, is very much a pre-bathtime vegetable. But delicious and healthy and oh-so enjoyable for the babies.

*Please see Top Tips on buying a highchair.

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9 Responses to “Broccoli”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just interested to know…..
    The Pickle is now 13 months and still will not entertain the idea of broccoli. Although we have now got to the stage that she will pick it up and touch it to her lips before shuddering and flinging it as far as possible. I've tried the sweet long stem variety, I've tried dipping it in Philly (she actually manages to lick the Philly off withough getting any broccoli), and also lovely buttery broccoli – but no. I just keep trying. Has anybody else experienced this?
    She goes through phases of loving and hating lots of other foods but broccoli, so far, has been the only food item that is an absolute no.
    I can't remember if I read this somewhere or someone told me, but there is a theory that if a baby has adequate iron intake in their diet anyway, then broccoli being high in iron can taste very bitter to them, hence them not eating it. Sounds credible and can also account for why it takes some people until almost adult hood to start eating broccoli – maybe?

  2. Anonymous says:

    wow, that is interesting. i Could Not Touch broccoli when i was pregnant, do you think that was because i was also taking iron supplements for the first time in my life?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had heard somewhere (no idea where or whether a reputable source) that anything from the brassica family (cabbage, brussel sprouts etc..) can have a reaction with saliva that makes them taste bitter. Its something that we grow out of, hence kids who say brussel sprouts taste nasty may have a valid point rather than just being fussy. Don't know whether broccoli fits into that category?

  4. Anonymous says:

    If the theory is correct I should think that is exactly the reason why you couldn't touch broccoli. I suppose some people would be more sensitive to tastes than others. Any nutritionists or scientist type people out there who can veryify?
    Lin – with regards to brussel sprouts, I still hate them with a passion now so I have never grown out of that one – they taste like mini farts in my opinion…….and why would you want to put that in your mouth!!!!?????

  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure I heard/read somewhere that liking or disliking sprouts was genetic – they taste more bitter to some people than others. Aha – found a very sciency ref on PubMed:
    “Sensitivity to the bitter taste of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) is an inherited trait. Although some people find PROP to be extremely bitter, others cannot distinguish PROP solutions from plain water. In a series of studies, greater PROP sensitivity was linked with lower acceptability of other bitter compounds and with lower reported liking for some bitter foods. Women, identified as “super-tasters” of PROP, had lower acceptance scores for grapefruit juice, green tea, Brussels sprouts, and some soy products. Many of these foods contain bitter phytochemicals with reputed cancer-protective activity. These include flavonoids in citrus fruit, polyphenols in green tea and red wine, glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables, and isoflavones in soy products. Consumer acceptance of these plant-based foods may depend critically on inherited taste factors.”

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sorry – wasn't changing the subject, but thought the whole cruciferous veg thing was interesting. Actually, I still hate sprouts, and can't stand cooked cabbage or cauliflower, nor overcooked broccoli. I used to stand at the kitchen sink when my mum was washing the veg before dinner, and just eat raw chunks. That way I got my veg, didn't have to struggle with the cooked stuff, and mum was also happy. Is raw broccoli an option?

  7. Anonymous says:

    That really is fascinating. I will have to tell Tink's Daddy about that, might explain a lot about his eating habits!
    I notice something similar with coke, if I am having a nose bleed (often I have post nasal bleeds) coke tastes like metal because the blood reacts with the iron in the coke.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Finally the Pickle has eaten her first broccoli tree, with such gusto that the poor child has had to endure it now every night for a week just so I can actually prove she is now eating it…..

  9. Anonymous says:


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