Majority of parents do not consider really introducing different foods except milk or similar products until babies are 6 ish months old.
However, is it possible to reduce future “eating” problems by doing this? Some argue that this is the way forward if we want to avoid all sorts of problems including “beige food syndrome” etc.
When I talk about introducing different flavours into your baby`s menu I mean a little drop of different juices here and there, that will give them this initial exposure to some other tastes than milk. For example, you can consider giving a few drops of freshly squeezed raspberry juice. If possible, try and use organic, ripe fruit and vegetables. Please do not try this with products like coca-cola. With time you can start introducing bigger quantities and other products.
By doing this early and small introduction you will reduce the first “shock” to the new taste and texture when you start introducing solid food into your baby`s diet. The transition will be easier and less stressful for you.
Try introducing less sweet products first, you will reduce the possibility of the baby getting used to only very sweet produce. While fruit is healthy, we have to remember it still contains lots of sugar.
Use local produce when possible. There are two reasons for it. The first one because local produce most likely will be ripe and fresh, as it will not be imported from overseas countries. The second reason is that very often food tolerance is regional. What I mean by this, is that digestive systems of people who lived in the certain areas over the centuries adjusted to digesting certain products easier than others, A good example of this is that majority of the Asian population is in fact lactose intolerant with 70%-100% of people affected in certain communities, compared to 65% REDUCED tolerance in the overall human population. Reduction in lactose tolerance usually decreases around the age of five.
By introducing different flavours earlier, you are “coding” these experiences in your baby’s memory, which again may be a lifesaver when you start introducing them to the variety of different solid foods.
What`s really interesting according to some research published in Neuron vol. 48 “Age was the main predictor of taste sensitivity and recognition. The older subjects were more likely to perceive the taste samples milder and to correctly recognize fewer samples than the younger subjects. This phenomenon was observed for the taste sensitivity score, the taste recognition score, and all taste modalities except for the sweet taste” This basically means that as adults we shouldn`t be judging what our baby tastes based on what we taste, ( it`s always worth keeping it in mind when your baby is being a bit fussy and you don`t know why)
As the last point for your thought as a wise parent, I would like to remind you that long exposure to a stimulus will cause fatigue. Do not try and test multiple different products with different tastes at the same time because such long testing may cause chemical brain fatigue and have a completely different effect than what you want, Instead it`s better to try one different product each day or week. Sometimes less is more.
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Till next time.