It’s important to get your child used to a wide range of flavours.
Towards the 13th week of pregnancy, an unborn child is able to recognize certain tastes through the amniotic fluid and perceive all the variety in his mother’s diet. He quickly discovers flavours (sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami) and has a clear preference for sweet. From birth, he can show signs of liking or not liking a taste. If breast milk tastes a little different than what he’s used to, for example, he may grimace or even spit it out.
How to help
Eat lots of different foods during pregnancy. This way, you’ll increase the odds that your child will like a wide variety of foods. The fact is, babies adapt to their mother’s diet. This explains why, for example, Mexican or Indian babies are able to eat spicy foods at a very young age. (From pregnancy)
Give him toys he can bite. His mouth is the most sensitive part of his body, and it’s through his mouth that he’ll discover all the objects around him. (From 4 to 6 months old)
It’s important to get your child used to a wide range of flavours from the 6th month. The food preferences they have around two or three years old will mostly remain until they are 20.
To make vegetables taste better without distorting their natural taste, you can let your child discover mild herbs and spices (e.g.: oregano, coriander, thyme, cumin, etc.). Take advantage of the first 18 months or so, when a child accepts tasting new foods without too much of a fuss! (From 9 months old)
Have your older children taste foods with their eyes closed and ask them to guess what it is! Ask them questions such as why they prefer the banana to the apple, raw vegetables to cooked, and so on. (From 2 or 3 years old)
He doesn’t even want to taste it!
Towards age 2, when toddlers enter their “no” phase, some begin to refuse to taste new foods. This resistance peaks towards the age of 3 or 4. Studies have shown that if a part of an object changes, it appears completely new to the child. So, for example, if you sprinkle parsley over his potatoes, he’ll think you’re serving him something completely different. He’ll then become suspicious or destabilized. It’s best not to force him to eat, but rather to get him used to seeing new foods on a regular basis. It can take a child up to 15 exposures to a new food before he actually enjoys it.
It’s also common for children to eat certain foods at daycare and then refuse to eat them at home. This can in part be explained by the group impact, a meal eaten as a group, but also by the fact that the child at daycare isn’t resisting his parents.