My mum loved ice cream and cakes and bread and butter…so do I. White food (sadly) is generally my children’s favourite too despite my best intentions with green. Why is this? Nature? Nurture? Apparently it is down to nurture. I gave my kids loads of toast to fatten them up (they were weeny) when they were weaning and they are now BREAD carzy.
Exposure to a wide range of tastes during weaning shapes food preferences and predicts food acceptance in later life, says TASTE, a new booklet by Organix. Free downloads are available at: It’s a fab weaning booklet packed with ytips and well worth downloading.
The weaning window
It takes time for babies to learn to appreciate lots of different food tastes and textures. Around the 6-month mark, babies naturally enter a phase that makes this process possible. Organix calls it ‘the weaning window’ – it’s the strongest time for learning about new tastes and helping to shape your child’s healthy diet. Early experiences of food also contribute to eating habits in adulthood.
Developed with Consultant Paediatric Psychologist Dr Gillian Harris, Paediatric Dietician Judy More, and based on independent research, TASTE unveils this exciting new insight into weaning and reveals how babies develop and learn about food and taste preferences. Babies naturally prefer sweet flavours, such as breast milk. All other taste preferences are learned and adapted by exposure throughout infancy. The type of food offered in infancy seems to predict foods that will still be in a little one’s diet later in childhood. (I honestly offered pepper a billion times! Still no one will eat it!)
Research also highlights a sensitive period for the introduction of textured foods. TASTE shows mums how their baby learns to accept and love food, and demonstrates how tastes introduced during weaning are more easily and quickly accepted – helping mum set her child off on a lifetime adventure with food.
5 Top Tips from TASTE
- “Offer your baby a wide variety of flavours early on. In early infancy it takes very few exposures to learn to like new tastes, whereas in toddlers it may take up to 14 exposures to learn to like a food”.
- Make life easier on yourself and start your baby on the tricky foods early. “Bitter tasting foods, like broccoli and sprouts are more difficult for your baby to learn to accept. However, even difficult tastes like this can eventually be well accepted if introduced early.”
- Keep offering your baby tastes and textures previously rejected. , “Give your baby plenty of chances to learn to like a food.’
- Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutritional Advisor to Organix, advises, “Let carrots taste of carrots. It’s best to avoid masking or disguising the taste – you’ll want your baby to recognize the real food being offered, so choose real-tasting foods for your baby”.
- “Keep offering soft finger foods at each meal too, as this will also help your baby learn to deal with lumps. If your baby bites a larger lump than they can mange to swallow, they will gag it back. This is different to choking and is part of the learning process”.
Download a free copy of TASTE at www.organix.com/taste
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