The age-old question of how to raise kids that love a variety of foods continues. For any parent of a picky eater or fussy eater, they know all too well the challenges of feeding time at the zoo!
However, according to paediatric nutritionist Mandy Sacher, there are three points where parents can influence their children’s diets. As any parent will know, getting your little one to clean their children's plate can be a challenge.
Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Mandy Sacher shared the three important stages where children’s diets can be influenced, which is helpful to anyone with a picky eater:
1. Foods Mums eat during their third trimester in pregnancy
According to Mandy, babies can ‘taste what you taste’ in the womb, by flavours making their way into the amniotic fluid, swallowed by the foetus.
Therefore, exposing a variety of tastes, from mint to garlic, may help your baby accept these flavours when introducing solids.
If you’re still doubtful, then check out this research from a few years ago which showed that garlic ingestion in pregnancy alters the odor of amniotic fluid.
Breastfeeding can influence tastebuds, and according to Mandy. If a lactating mother’s diet includes a diverse range of flavours, it can too impact their child’s taste preferences. In turn, this may help them accept certain flavours.
Mandy said: “Babies through to adults have a natural affinity for sweet and salty foods. We need to expose them to sour food, which is why the leafy veg can be helpful.”
3. Introducing solids to your baby for the first time
The final point, which many parents will relate to is weaning. This is an opportunity to expose your child to a variety of ingredients and tastes from meats to wholegrains and fruits.
A pro tip from Mandy is to avoid ‘sweetening’ food that your child rejects, even if it is with fruit, since it may reinforce their preference for sweet foods.
Mandy also recommends that parents offer food at least 16 times to a baby to help them adjust to a particular flavour. This is something we’ve read time and again, and shows that persistane may just pay off!
Mandy Sacher is the author of The Wholesome Child.
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