“Forming Tastebuds from the Start”
Blog One: Monday, 1 April 2019
Written by Mandy Sacher, CEO of Wholesome Child
Let me introduce myself. I’m Mandy Sacher, a paediatric nutritionist, author of Wholesome Child Nutrition Guide and Cookbook and busy mum of two! Over the next 12 weeks, I’m going to be walking you through all stages of a child’s food journey, offering tips and tasty recipes to help you during this time. Ready? Let’s get into it.
Did you know in the early weeks and months, the flavours you expose your infant to will shape their taste buds for the rest of their life? While this may sound daunting, once you know the impact of the foods you feed your child early on, it can be a great opportunity to expose your little one to healthy foods right from the get-go.
Feeding your young one a variety of healthy foods can not only begin to develop healthy eating habits but can instil a love for food and the eating process. Here are some ways to begin to shape those taste buds right from the start…
1. Try not to hide those veggies!
Even if your kids like to dress up at the dinner table, try keep those veggies au naturel! Dressing up and disguising foods won’t allow your child to experience the true flavour of foods and it will create a false sense of what veggies taste like.
2. Avoid commercial products and sugars
From the first taste of food on your babies tongue, their food preferences are being influenced. So, it’s no wonder I’m going to say watch out for overly sweet or artificially sweetened products, because this will become the standard all foods are compared to! Many store-bought baby food products can be overly sweet in comparison to making a similar meal yourself, so I’d encourage you to get in the kitchen to whip up food for your baby.
My Apple and Cinnamon Compote is naturally sweet and easy to cook or try my Eggy Sweet Potato and Coconut Custard which is full of protein and veggies to create a balanced meal that’s easy on the sweetness.
3. Let your child be the leader
Allow your baby to feel that he or she is leading the way and making their own foodie choices. Force feeding little ones when they don’t like a flavour or aren’t hungry can become overwhelming and even instil fussy eating behaviours in the future. Instead, allow them to regulate their own appetite and portion sizes by offering nourishing foods.
On the other hand, if your little one is showing no real interest in food, then the first thing to look at is their milk intake. Are they drinking too much? If milk is not the problem and you are still concerned about undereating, then I’d recommend you consult an expert.
Next week, we will investigate tactics on how to introduce solids to your little one to make this a smooth process for mum and baby!
Have a great week and talk soon!