Have you ever considered how food can be a passport to exploring different cultures and flavors? At Kekoa Foods, we are firm believers in exposing little ones to the world's tastes from the earliest bites. This global approach to nutrition not only helps develop a diverse palate but also instills a sense of curiosity and appreciation for international cuisines.
When introducing solids with this approach, your baby is exposed to a variety of flavors early on. If flavors from a variety of cultures are commonplace at home, then they’re not intimidating as your child grows older.
Adventure Begins at Home
Creating globally inspired meals for your baby can start with a simple mash of avocado - a staple in Mexican cuisine, or a comforting Japanese rice porridge known as 'okayu'. By taking inspiration from different food cultures, we can introduce a world of flavors to our children. The textures and flavors from different types of foods will expand your baby’s palate early on.
Season it Up
Contrary to popular belief, babies can handle more than bland food. Many cultures around the world have been incorporating spices into baby food for centuries. A hint of cinnamon in sweet potato puree or a dash of turmeric in lentils can open a whole new world of flavors for your baby. If mashing avocado, don’t shy away from turning it into guacamole by adding some fresh cilantro and lime.
Different cuisines offer a variety of textures that can be exciting for babies. For instance, a soft and creamy Greek tzatziki sauce, a silky Italian polenta, or the graininess of an African millet porridge can all be interesting experiences for your baby's developing palate. Texture is a large component of baby food that will determine whether your child wants to keep eating it. By exposing them to many different textures consistently, they are more likely to want to keep trying new foods.
Vegetables around the World
Each culture has its unique way of cooking vegetables. Take a leaf out of Korean cuisine with a mild vegetable 'japchae’ or opt for a Moroccan style carrot and sweet potato mash. These dishes provide an exciting opportunity to introduce babies to global flavors while ensuring they get their veggies. Cook these meals for the whole family so that your baby can watch their parents enjoy it too.
Savor the Grains
Grains are a staple in almost every cuisine. They can be a great vehicle for flavor and an excellent source of nutrition. Consider a mildly seasoned Indian 'khichdi' made with rice and lentils, or a Middle Eastern couscous dish for your baby's adventurous meal.
Fruits are universally loved by babies. But instead of the usual apple or banana, consider fruits that are popular in different cuisines. Papaya, commonly used in Thai dishes, mango, a favorite in Indian cuisine, or kiwi, a fruit native to China, can be wonderful new flavors for your baby. Use the Kekoa Foods’ Fruit Forward Variety Pack to introduce your baby to a variety of different fruits, in adventurous flavor combinations like Apple & Ginger.
Raising a globally minded eater is a journey, one that involves exploring a diverse range of tastes and textures. And who knows, your little worldly eater might just develop a fondness for the same international cuisines you enjoy.
Nicklaus, S. (2011). Children’s acceptance of new foods at weaning. Role of practices of weaning and of food sensory properties. Appetite, 57(3), 812-815. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21889592 ↩
Cashdan, E. (1994). A sensitive period for learning about food. Human Nature, 5(3), 279-291. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02692155 ↩