Learning to eat: how to educate the senses
Normally, we consider that food is a matter of taste, but it is much more. It is clear that we all have preferences for some flavors, for a type of food, or for a particular style of food. Children from very young also have their tastes and they enjoy more with some foods than with others.
But if we were based on taste, probably their diet would be reduced to four foods, generally, those easier to eat with a certain sweet touch, such as yogurt or chocolate. So it is clear that not only do we have to rely on the child's taste for their food, but also we must educate the sense of taste.
Educate the senses: indispensable to learn to eat
This means showing them different flavors, textures, smells, so they can see, smell, touch and taste. This initial approach can be considered as the key for children to learn to eat everything.
We must leave time for them to discover the flavors and experience them. The initial reaction is usually rejection because it is something new that they do not know, but this does not mean that they do not like it, but that they find it strange. You have to give them time, insist again without forcing. For this moment it is good to generate play activities, in short, to give it a more playful touch.
It is interesting to organize this test of new dishes and flavors in moments that do not always have to be linked to your food. They eat what they have to do, but we can give to try new foods, which may be from our plate, which usually arouses their interest.
We must take advantage of any request that they make towards a food to give it to them and constantly have in our mouth the option of "do you want to try?", "Do you feel like it?", "Look how good". This phase is usually prolonged in time because it is not automatic to try a food and that you like. You have to try several times until we see that it They are accustomed to the flavors, textures, smells and want to eat it. That's when we can put him in his usual diet.
From here, as we continue to offer certain foods, children will develop their tastes and we will discover them. There will be things that you like more than others.
Try new foods: the sooner the better
The opportunities to try the foods have to occur at very early ages, it is not a necessary condition that they have teeth to be able to try and discover many of the foods. In many occasions the introduction of solid foods for convenience is delayed, since the mashed potatoes eat it very fast, or for fear of being rejected. This delay is not positive for the development of the child.
The sooner you are able to chew, the sooner you will not only eat solid foods, but also develop important physical and cognitive abilities for other future activities such as position of the mouth when speaking or the physical ability to produce a blow in a musical instrument. It's more than just learning to eat.
Therefore, it is important to highlight the fundamental role we have for children to achieve good eating and nutritional habits. It is advisable to give them to try all kinds of food from small, accustom them to eat everything, not refuse food and have a balanced diet that promotes their nutritional development. All this we have to achieve while we teach them to behave in an appropriate way at the table and, at the same time, they learn to enjoy food as a moment of social relationship and family contact.
María Campo Director NClic-Kimba
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