Exposing infants, toddlers, and even young children, to a variety of flavors and textures can have long-term benefits for their health and well-being. Early and repeated exposure to different types of healthy foods can help children develop a diverse and healthy diet and reduce the risk of selective eating and food neophobia (the fear of new foods).

A study from 2009 published in the journal “Appetite” found that children who were exposed to a greater variety of fruits and vegetables during infancy and early childhood were more likely to eat a wider variety of foods and have a healthier diet later in life. The study also found that repeated exposure to new foods increased children's acceptance of those foods over time.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that early exposure to a variety of textures and flavors increased children's willingness to try new foods and accept them into their diets. The study also found that exposure to a variety of flavors and textures in infancy and early childhood was associated with a lower risk of overweight and obesity in later childhood.

In addition to improving dietary habits and encouraging healthy eating for selective eaters, exposing children to a variety of flavors and textures can also have developmental benefits. Research has shown that the sense of taste plays an important role in cognitive development, and exposure to a variety of flavors and textures can help stimulate brain development in young children.

Furthermore, exposing children to a variety of healthy foods and flavors can also promote cultural diversity and socialization. By exposing children to different cuisines and cultural traditions, parents can help instill an appreciation for diversity and encourage socialization through food.

Diving into so much of this research informed the choices we made at Kekoa about the ingredients, and which combinations of fruits, vegetables, and spices, would result in the palate expanding goal we set out to achieve. We spent a lot of time producing numerous baby food pouch recipes, because we knew that exposing children to a variety of flavors and textures early in life can have significant long-term benefits for their health, well-being, and development.


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