At the beginning of your baby’s big food adventure, weaning is all about tastes. Big, new incredible flavours! Your baby has 30 000 taste buds, three times as many taste buds as you, spread throughout their mouth. Imagine the strawberry you have just eaten tasting three times as sweet, the lasagne you had for lunch three times as intense and the ice cream three times as delicious. As we get older the number of taste buds we have reduces and they tend to concentrate solely on the tongue. This is thought to be the reason why babies reject very strong tastes and as adults we are more able to tolerate them, since quite simply we have less taste buds.
But back to our babies, imagine every banana or every apple tasting three times as flavoursome! With this in mind what are the best tastes to give you baby?
Fruit and vegetables are ideal first foods. Many parents opt for baby rice but it’s perfectly acceptable to go for fruits and vegetables, they are much more nutritious and also taste better too. Virtually all fruit and veg are packed with vitamins and minerals which help support your baby’s immune system, as well as fibre which helps to keep little digestive tracks moving.
Some of our favourite first foods include:
- Carrot– a lovely sweet flavour, carrots are a great source of vitamin A (beta carotene) which is vital for a healthy immune system but will also provide your baby with essential nutrients for healthy eyes.
- Sweet Potato– comes in two varieties: orange-fleshed and creamy-fleshed. Both have red skins and both are good sources of potassium, vitamin C, and fibre.
- Banana- an ideal first fruit, it’s lovely and sweet and once mashed is very easy to swallow- great for the start of the weaning journey. Bananas are a great energy food, full of slow release sugars which provide sustained energy.
- Pear– babies love the sweet taste of pears and being one of the least allergenic foods, they are a great one to start with. Pears are also good for babies with reflux as they are one of the least acidic fruits.
- Broccoli- this green vegetable of goodness contains beta-carotene, folic acid, iron and potassium. It can be simply steamed and then pureed or alternative chopped into little “trees” making an ideal first finger food.
And don’t worry it’s natural for babies to reject new flavours the first time they try them, the key is to just keep trying!