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Updated: Aug 29, 2023

The best sensory toy on the market
A baby's sense of taste

Our sense of taste helps us to understand if something is good or bad to eat, originally helping us to stay alive by helping us to decipher if a plant was poisonous or food was rotting. Bitter tastes may send messages that the food may not be good to eat. We receive information through these tiny bumps on our tongue called papillae, and they tell us which one of the five taste elements we are tasting whether it be, sweet, sour, bitter, savoury, or salty.

Interestingly our sense of taste develops in the utero. It is in the womb that a baby swallows the amniotic fluid with is flavoured by the food the mother has eaten or drunk at that time. Biology and genetics do play a role in this situation; however, we can help to shape a baby’s taste from utero to childhood by the food the mother chooses to eat during her pregnancy and while breast feeding.

When a mother breast feeds, the taste of the foods she has eaten during this time pass into the breast milk exposing baby to all different flavours. If formula fed, you can expose the baby’s palate to a range of tastes through the foods that you choose to feed them.

From birth a baby can taste four of the five elements, sweet, sour, bitter and savoury and salt develops at four to five months old.

At six months babies can use their taste buds along with their sense of smell to touch, understand and learn about flavours, textures, consistencies, and temperatures of the foods we offer them.

As parents we often get frustrated when our baby / toddler is being fussy with food, but studies have shown that it may take up to fifteen times of just one bite of a new food before a child finally accepts it. So, the key with solids is to offer a variety and not give up when there is initial rejection.

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