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My husband is a total foodie. He lives and breathes everything related to food. If it was up to him, our grocery budget would be twice the amount it is now. He loves experimenting with different foods and making unlikely food pairings a marriage made in heaven, so naturally he wants our children to share in his passion for food and become just as adventuresome as him.
Most children are not born natural foodies, but with much persistence and experimentation, your child will soon learn to love some of the same delicious, exotic flavors you have come to love and appreciate.
Why is Your Baby Picky?
Truth be told, babies are born with more taste buds than adults which may cause them to be particularly sensitive to sweet and bitter flavors. With age, adults may lose some of their taste buds or their taste preferences may change due to hormonal changes (remember those preggo food aversions?).
The Baby Books Are Wrong
Forget about all that nonsense talk on how you should start your baby on solids like bland rice, then certain fruits and veggies in a meticulous order to avoid particular allergens and the risk of your baby getting hooked on the sugary sweetness of fruit. The New American Academy of Pediatrics says that it does not matter which foods baby is introduced to first, and foods that are known allergen triggers should not be avoided and may actually decrease your child’s risk for food allergies if introduced early.
Spice it Up
Don’t be afraid to add some flavor to baby’s fruits and veggies to get them to like them better and eat more of them. Some things you may add to your baby’s food are:
- Salt (in moderation)
- Curry powder
Want Know How to Get Your Child to Eat Like a Foodie?
You can start as early as 6 months of age by starting with single fruit or veggie purees and adding a pinch of one of the above listed flavorings to help develop your baby’s palate to certain flavors.
When you notice your baby handling those single-ingredient fruits and veggies, feel free to move on to foods with a bit more texture, such as mashed banana or avocado. Take those single-ingredient purees and mix them with other fruits and veggies for a different blend of flavors. Want to give it a go at making your own baby food at home? Try this must-have baby food blender from Magic Bullet.
Mix it Up
Also, don’t be afraid to mix fruits and veggies together. If your baby despises carrots alone, he or she may be OK with carrots mixed with a certain fruit or veggie that he or she likes. Give it a try!
Make Them Chunky
By the time baby is eight months old to one year, it may be time to introduce meats, such as chicken and allow them to practice self-feeding. Your baby may be more likely to try new things if he or she is allowed to self-feed. Heartier combos that include both meat and veggies or fruit and yogurt with some added flavor should go over well if baby is ready.
Play to Your Strengths
By your child’s first birthday, he or she should be enjoying the same foods on your plate. Most children are more apt to trying new foods when they are the most hungry, which is usually at breakfast. Try some scrambled eggs, oatmeal with cinnamon, smoked salmon, blueberry pancakes, sausage and quinoa. They may just surprise you!
What are some of your child’s favorite foods? What are your favorite ways to introduce new foods to your baby or toddler? Leave suggestions in the comments.