From Carrots to Chickpeas: The Power of 30 Plant-Based Foods for Your Baby

February 17, 2023
5 min read

Living inside every person are trillions of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi and other life forms) that are collectively known as the microbiome. Various organs have distinct microbial inhabitants, but the group that has attracted the most attention in biomedical research is the one in the gut (3). The human microbiome plays a fundamental role in human health and disease but the link to diet has been difficult to establish up until now. The American gut project has found that eating over 30 plant-based foods a week results in greater diversity of gut bacteria compared to eating <10 plant-based foods a week (1). A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices provides a range of dietary fibres and resistant starches which feed the good gut bacteria and leads to a more diverse microbial community, hence conferring a range of health benefits. Incorporating plant foods into your diet not only supports a healthy microbiome but also provides important nutrients for growth and development. What is a plant point? Every variety of fruit, vegetable, grain, nut, seed and legume provides a single plant point; with herbs and spices providing ¼ of a point each. There is no set serving size per plant point as the emphasis is on diversity rather than quantity. Where this challenge differs from the 5 a day recommendation is that each item only counts once in the week. As soon as you eat that pear on a Monday, you can’t count it again till the 7 days are up (1). So, what does eating 30 plant points a week look like? Eating 30 plant-based points a week might seem daunting however with some careful planning it is easy to achieve. Our Portobello mushroom, parsley risotto cakes, roasted parsley root & roasted pepper salad contains nearly 13 plant points! All dishes are designed with nutrition and variety in mind. Is this recommendation for everyone? If you are keen to include more plant-based foods within your diet please remember these are all rich in fibre so if you are not used to eating lots of these foods then build up slowly to allow the gut to adjust. This is especially true for small children whose tummies can fill up quickly with high fibre diets; remember portion sizes for children are a lot smaller than for adults so please adjust accordingly and remember to give both white and wholemeal starchy foods. We aim to have a wholemeal carbohydrate once a week. Try V&Me!

Incorporating more plant-based foods into your baby's diet is a great way to support a healthy microbiome and provide important nutrients for growth and development. However, it can be challenging to prepare and provide fresh, healthy meals for your little one every day.That's where V&Me comes in. Our premium baby food delivery service provides healthy, chef-crafted meals made from fresh, whole ingredients that are delivered daily. With V&Me, you can be sure your baby is getting the best possible start in life, with a diverse and nutritious diet that supports their microbiome and overall health. Try V&Me today and see the difference it can make for your baby! 

References:

  1. Could you eat 30 plant-based foods a week? - World Cancer Research Fund (wcrf-uk.org)
  1. American Gut: an Open Platform for Citizen Science Microbiome Research | mSystems (asm.org)
  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00194-2

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February 17, 2023
Contributors
Phoenix Baker
Product Manager

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