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Do baby meals need to be bland?

gisèle gual — mar 20, 2019

Moroccan couscous with cumin, coriander et cinnamon, spaghetti with Italian tomato sauce spiced up with garlic and oregano, Indian chicken tandoori with a beautiful orange colour from curcuma or from paprika… all these meals evoke a flavour of spicy notes which are mouth-watering, right? Yet, when it is time for your baby to have his first solid meals, very few parents “dare” to use herbs and spices. If it is true that adding salt must be avoided as long as possible, however little ones like to enjoy" spiced up" meals  with aromatic herbs or mild spices like coriander, parsley, basil, oregano, mild curry, dill…

When he’s born, a child’s taste buds are pure and his palate is like a big book who is about to be filled with beautiful pages of multiple and varied savours & flavours! The more his food will be seasoned with different herbs and spices, the more he will enjoy them and be open to new food discoveries.

However, the palate of a child fed with bland or same taste meals will not develop and this child might grow up without liking much or even developing major food phobias. By restricting the supply in terms of variety of food, textures and tastes, we might cause dietary deficiencies to a child…

Yet, there is no reason to deprive our children from a diversified cuisine who makes his taste buds travel!

Because, if the “baby” food we find in store is bland and smooth, it is only for technical and commercial convenience and not because it is what our little ones need…

Therefore, it is definitely possible to serve your kids the same meals you would prepare for yourself, even if you need to pay attention to their specific needs: no added salt or sugar, no chemical additives, adapted in taste and coming (mostly) from organic farming. Prepare them dishes with varied textures, rich in spices, aromatics and herbs which will help forget the need to add anything else as flavour enhancer! In a nutshell, a healthy and diversified diet with savours and smells to tickle their senses and that can be adapted to your whole family.

Article by Gisèle Gual, Pediatric dietitian.