This is what every parent asks their baby after putting a spoon of food in the child’s mouth.
“The life becomes endlessly delicious when you see your child happily eating and rightly growing”.
You need to understand the taste development of your little one in each phase of his growth.
Moreover, other factors such as ‘inborn likings’ and ‘sensory sensitivity’ also contribute a lot towards what your child eats.
Interestingly, food exposure to a baby in the uterus via amniotic fluid has a lot of influence on the eating habits of your child when he/she grows up.
So, a lot of food liking for your baby will also depend on what you ate while expecting.
In this post, you would see some amazing taste developments that your little baby goes through ever since he/she is born.
This will be a handy guide for you to understand what to feed, what not to feed and most importantly when to feed.
Development of Taste Buds in Babies – Stage Wise
0 to 4 Months
Do you know that your baby could recognize a few of the tastes in the very early months of infancy itself?
Your baby can recognize garlic smell and aniseed smell soon after birth, provided you have had it while expecting.
Recent studies in 2001, have shown that babies accept food containing carrot easily if the mother has had carrot juice during pregnancy.
So, if you have eaten healthy while expecting then there are surely more chances of healthy eating habits in your baby.
Now, talking about the taste preference till 4 months, Sweet is supposedly the most prominent taste in the new born. This is why mother’s milk is naturally sweet.
All other tastes would be neutral for him or he could be little aversive towards them as well.
So, you see this little tiny tot knows a few of the tastes already when he is born.
4 to 6 Months
At his age, your little baby has a liking for new offerings.
Slightly sour taste like that of an apple or avocado can be exposed so that your baby will accept sour food easily in later stages.
6 months to 1 year
It is a very critical stage in terms of food exposure and taste buds development.
During this age, your baby recognizes the taste, texture and appearance of the food.
Fruits, dal, rice, biscuits, porridge, custard, biscuits and vegetables are introduced in between six months to one year.
All taste buds get developed by and large over here but the food preference is for sweet and salty food.
An inbuilt strong aversion is seen towards the bitter food by your baby.
1 year to 2 years
Your baby is entering into a new phase of eating which is often termed as ‘Neophobic response.’
It is very important to be aware of this phase of eating in order to be able to handle it well.
Your child will prefer eating food which looks right.
You will be amazed to know that your baby already has set preferences or likings towards the food now.
Please don’t bother if he stops eating what he used to earlier.
It is very normal for this phase and goes by pretty quickly.
He will prefer food already tasted over a new food though.
There will always be reluctance towards eating new foods.
But slowly, he will learn to accept it and that’s absolutely okay and in fact comes naturally.
A little encouragement might be needed here and there and it’s all going to be absolutely smooth when it comes to eating.
2 years and above
These responses decrease with age.
For example, a 3 year old kid happily accepts new foods over a two year old.
The only taste that your baby will accept after a long time is ‘bitter’.
Though, some kids may accept bitter foods as early as 6 years or so.
For mothers like you, developing a healthy eating habit in your child is always a major concern.
I hope this article will help you to understand the food preferences of your little one based on taste buds development.
One last tip which could be really helpful is that as parents you need to eat healthy.
Remember, your little one is watching you very closely and is learning and growing quickly with what he is getting to see.
So, a healthy eating parent will always be able to easily inculcate healthy eating habits in her child.