The Mediterranean Diet for Babies

The Mediterranean Diet for Babies
The Mediterranean Diet for Babies

The concept for the mediterranean diet for babies is simple; introduce a variety of foods from an early age mainly consisting of heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, yogurt and cheese, seasonal fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, and homemade vegetable broth.

When I began introducing solids to my son about 4 years ago I adamantly followed every recommendation in the book, adhering to all the strict rules of the North American approach. It took a family visit to Italy to make me realize that there were, in fact, other methods to introducing solids, such as the Mediterranean one. At the 6-month mark I visited a paediatrician who gave me a detailed daily meal plan for my son. (For a detailed menu plan click HERE). This approach worked so well that I followed the same approach when the time came to introduce solids to my daughter two years later.

Here are 5 ways to introduce the Mediterranean diet to baby;

Classic Vegetable Broth
Simple vegetable or chicken broth is the quintessential food to introduce to baby. It can be eaten on its own or served with rice cereal or small pasta. Boiled veggies are healthy and also aid in digestion which make them ideal for babies who suffer from constipation. Top with a drizzle of good quality of extra virgin olive and grated Parmesan cheese.

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1) Full-fat cheeses
Offering soft cheeses, such as Laughing Cow and ricotta is a tasty way to add more calcium into baby’s diet. Aged cheeses, such as grated Parmesan add flavour to baby’s meals without the additional sodium.

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2) Full-fat plain yogurt
Plain yogurt doesn’t contain the added sugar that fruit-based yogurts contain. Add flavour by mixing yogurt with fresh fruit or crumbled baby-friendly cookies for added texture.

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3) Incorporate olive oil

Add about 1/2 tsp. per cup of cooked veggies. It is imperative that you use a good quality oil-look for a dark green hue and always choose extra virgin. Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats and aids in digestion, especially if served raw, drizzled over veggies, meats, pastas or soups.

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4) Herbs and spices
Pack more flavour into baby’s meals and offer variety by using fresh or dried herbs and spices rather than additional salt for flavour. Start with dried herbs (which tend to be less potent) then move on to fresh ones once baby has acquired a taste for them.

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5) Seasonal fruits and vegetables
Seasonal fruits and veggies are fresher, more flavourful and contain less pesticides than non-seasonal fruit. Serve pureed or grated (apples, peaches, etc.) and mix with different spices to enhance flavour.

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51 thoughts on “The Mediterranean Diet for Babies”

  • Love this. I used a similar approach with my little guy. He ate everything from very early on and still does. He loves his food and I’m sure this is the reason.

    • I’d like to think so too! Mine have gone through picky phases but at the same time they would still eat unconventional foods. I’m sure when they get older they will appreciate all foods as much as I do!

  • Thanks for the tips! I will be using the Mediterranean diet on my next baby.

  • Rebecca Swenor 5 years ago

    This is an awesome diet for babies indeed and I will have to share it with my sister who has a little one. My kids started out with the rice cereal in the formula than moved to fruits and veggies. Thanks for sharing.

  • melchef 5 years ago

    Love all of this. Smart nutritional advice for all. Starting babies off with good nutritional habits is a gift for a lifetime.

  • I agree with a comment down below that adults should follow these tips too. It all seems so healthy.

  • All this sound so healthy and delicious for babies. My son loves everything you have listed.

  • Chrystal M. 5 years ago

    That is really neat information. I never really put ‘diet’ in the same sentence with babies. I love all of these foods myself and we fed them to kiddo when she was younger. Good stuff.

  • chubskulit 5 years ago

    I used to make my kids pureed squash and sweet potato when they were little. They loved it. I miss having babies!

  • I don’t have children at the moment but it’s very interesting to read your recommendations for when i do in the future! I would eat some of this myself!

  • Lynn Dee 5 years ago

    Didn’t know that there is such thing as Mediterranean diet for babies. Totally love it because it is definitely so healthy for babies.

  • Thanks for sharing. I’ve never tried a mediterranean diet for the kids but can see how it would help with food introduction.

  • Beth 5 years ago

    Interesting. I haven’t heard of this, but it sounds really healthy. I could see this being good for anyone– not just babies 🙂

  • michele d 5 years ago

    It’s definitely the way to go when feeding your babies the best foods. I never heard of this diet before but I would recommend it to my niece who has a little one.

  • mail4rosey 5 years ago

    Ah family in Italy. That’s nice in and of itself (a built-in excuse to go!). 🙂 The tips here are good. My granddaughter will reach for broccoli over cookies every time, and I’m sure that is in no small part because her parents have fed her healthy choices from the get-go.

  • April Mims 5 years ago

    Providing your child wiith a healthy, balanced diet from the beginning is so essential. Real, healthy, unprocessed food is the ideal way to feed your child.

    • I agree completely! My kids are so used to healthy foods that sometimes they don’t even care for the processed stuff…I’m sure that might change once they get older, lol!

  • I always thought cheese wasn’t good to introduce to babies first?! One of the first things I gave my baby was fruits and yoghurt. She still loves it.

    • I thought the same thing but that’s what they give them in Italy! I think the North American approach is actually starting to change a little bit…the last time I heard yogurt was recommended earlier on than before…

  • onceuponamaritime 5 years ago

    I have never heard of a Mediterranean diet for babies before, but a proper diet is very important!

  • Sarh Snarski 5 years ago

    Never know the name or specifics of the Mediterranean “diet” for babies, but we did do something rather similar. All of my babies have loved good wholesome food.

  • My spice box looks just like the one you have featured here 😉 I completely agree with all your points here. These are all very healthy and wholesome meal ideas.

    • I actually think that the North American culture is the only one that doesn’t include spices and herbs into baby’s meals from an early age…and I have no idea why!

  • Wow! I am absolutely educated by your post because I did not even think about the right way of introducing specific types of food to a baby’s diet. How very interesting! Thank you for sharing your very thoughtful post!

  • Elizabeth O. 5 years ago

    This sounds interesting! I didn’t know there’s Mediterranean diet for babies! I’ll check it out!

  • Terri Lynn Grothe 5 years ago

    I had no idea this existed… Looks great though

  • I had no idea there was a diet like this for babies. Soft cheeses sound like a great way to add calcium to their diets.

  • Nina Say 5 years ago

    I have never heard of baby nutrition mentioned this way. It is definitely a very interesting topic.

  • Robin (Masshole Mommy) 5 years ago

    I think starting babies out at eating healthy is important! I will have to try this out!

  • I would have never thought to try this kind of diet with babies! Thanks for all the great advice on how to do it 🙂

  • Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle 5 years ago

    I’ve heard about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet, but I would have never thought to try it with babies. It makes total sense, though. Everything you talked about is incredibly good for their little growing bodies.

    • It does, doesn’t? It’s such a healthy way to introduce solids to baby and I love the variety.I find the traditional North American method so boring and flavourless!

  • Alli Smith 5 years ago

    I really like the heart-healthy Mediterranean way of introducing solids to babies. I pretty much follow the Mediterranean eating plan.

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