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First tastes of solid food for babies

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
moving onto solids, solid food, purees, weaning, finger foods, baby led weaning
I was watching a video today on how babies and children react to their first taste of a new food.

You might remember a recent photo from Miss Freya (my niece) and her first experience of strawberries and it doesn't look positive!!!!

It can take 15-20 occasions before a baby/child likes a new food so don't give in at the first screwed up face!

However, have a look at this video and I'm with this little girl as she reacts to her first taste of Vegemite. Yoghurt went down so much better!!!

Funny that.

baby highchair

It may help to use finger foods/baby led weaning to help them explore the food before they eat it. Start finger foods at 6 months plus. Purees can be given at 4-6 months plus.

The taste buds on a baby’s tongue begin to develop 13 to 15 weeks into pregnancy, enabling him or her to detect simple tastes such as sweet, sour and salty in the womb.

Smells and flavours from a mother’s food get into the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby during the third trimester, and as a foetus breathes and swallows around a litre of this a day, which then passes over smell and taste receptors in the nose and mouth, unborn babies do get a taste of what their mum is eating.

breast feeding
Babies are fed milk for the first 4-6 months until we start introducing solids at 4-6 months plus as per ASCIA guidelines.

Their taste buds are very developed and newborns seem to have more taste buds than adults do. Sensitivity to sweet and bitter tastes are present at birth, but reactions to salty foods don't come until about 5 months.

And if your toddler is fussy with new foods don't worry it's only normal. Try and get them to try one new food each week and praise their effort at eating it. Ignore refusal to try the food as this only gets their heels dug in.

Taste buds really change once children reach their teenage years. But they also get more receptors to pick up on sweet tastes which may explain their liking for sugar laden fizzy drinks and cordial.

It's also important once you start your baby on solids that you try and introduce veggies early on in the piece as as soon as you give fruit and things like custard it may be harder to give those veggies. You may have to mix sweet and savoury together or dilute strong flavours like broccoli and cauliflower with potato and pear or apple puree.

So have fun, give different tastes a try from 6-12 months. It may well help you get a less fussier eater as a toddler!

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