We are bringing in this article the perspective from Amara experts in organic baby food and toddler snacks. They go over all the benefits about repeated exposure in teaching healthy eating habits. We hope you’ll find the motivation you need to keep trying new foods with your kids.
What is Repeated Exposure?
If you are anywhere in the vicinity of starting solids with your little one, we want to let you in on a little-known secret that can help tee your child up to love eating healthy foods: repeated exposure. You see, babies are born with some innate taste preferences (hello, sugar!), but they also have learned likes and dislikes when it comes to what they eat. We can’t really do anything about the former (evolution and all…), but we can have some influence on the latter through merely exposing them to (read: feeding them) healthy, fresh, diverse foods.
The basic premise of repeated exposure is this: the more we taste something, the more we like it. This is true for all age groups, but the effects are more pronounced in infancy and toddlerhood.
Indeed, the first two years of life present something of a window of opportunity for shaping children’s taste buds – and in fact, the process starts in utero! Babies can “taste” certain flavors through a mother’s amniotic fluid, and breast milk also transmits flavors from the maternal diet. Once they begin eating solids, babies start to gain their own experience, and this is where you can really help encourage them to develop a palate for healthy, wholesome, real foods.
Simply by offering your little a wide variety of foods – that are rich in flavor, nutrients, and texture – repeatedly, you are “teaching” them what tastes good. (We love Amara’s organic baby food, by the way, which is packed with flavor and also actually has real textural variety, plus being convenient/easy to prep.) The trick is this: if your baby doesn’t seem to like something, that’s totally fine just try again another day! And keep trying, and trying, and trying. It’s not exactly “easy” per se, but it’s a relatively painless and simple way to help raise a healthy eater right from the get-go before the later toddler years when picky eating tends to pick up…
Even in the top studies exploring repeated exposure, the interventions are very doable (once or twice per week! You can replicate that. Repeated exposure doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to be that involved.
You don’t need to have a big chart on your wall if you don’t want to. Just pick one food and decide on a number of times per week and a duration to offer it, and see what happens.
Watch, observe, and let us know how it goes!