You can teach babies to like certain foods with baby-led weaning, says British nutritionist Vanessa Clarkson.
Everybody has a food they don't like and quite often, it tends to be the foods that are good for us. I mean, how many people do you know that would turn down a packet of sweets from the corner shop? Or a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps? And of course there are those notorious fussy-eaters. The ones that seemingly won't eat anything and who you avoid at all costs when it comes to inviting them to a dinner party.
British-nutritionist Vanessa Clarkson in her book Real Food for Babies and Toddlers, explains that the foods we like and dislike are not predetermined before birth. In fact, disliking a food nearly always comes down to a bad experience when we are young, so if we are to have a wide-ranging diet in adulthood, it all comes down to being familiarised with real, whole foods as soon as possible.
Babies are weaned from the age of six-months and the traditional method parents tend to use when it comes to introducing us to foods is with puree. However, Vanessa, who has worked for the NHS, Asda and Innocent advising them on nutrition, argues that it is pureed foods which lead us to reject the same food when we have it in it's whole form later on. This is because we come to like foods based on familiarity. If we recognise a food by its taste and texture and it doesn't make us ill, we classify it as safe. However, if you start babies off on pureed foods and then change to whole foods later on, children are likely to start saying no. No, this doesn't taste right. I don't like it. Take it away.
The key to nipping fussy-eating in the bud is baby-led weaning, which means giving babies real, whole food from the get-go. This means no pureed mush and no feeding straight out of a glass jar or packet! So if you want your offspring to eat everything that's put on their plate, then hop on board the baby-led weaning.