Many parents don’t think about spicing up their children’s food, have fears about how their children will react, or believe without trying that their child will not like the spices. This need not be! Introducing children to a variety of spices and flavors at a young age may help them to develop a broader palate and avoid overuse of sugar and salt. Doctors usually recommend waiting until babies are at least eight months old to begin experimenting with spices and to watch for any adverse reactions or digestive upsets for four days after introducing a new spice.
Let Kids Pick and Try Spices
Spices are colorful and eye-catching, so kids may actually enjoy being allowed to help spice up foods. Young babies can even help by being allowed to smell fresh spices. Watching the baby’s reaction to the fragrance will tell you whether he or she likes the scent. Adding the spices that they have picked will help kids to get excited about trying different things and may open them up to be more adventurous with their foods.
Make Spices Part of a Bigger Lesson
Kids often learn about different cultures and countries in school, so parents can help to incorporate food into the lessons that they are already learning by preparing foods that are native to the areas that the children are learning about. Showing them how the spices or seasonings taste in the foods while going through books or photos of people eating those foods as they do in other countries can be an exciting cultural experience. Kids may even want to try to recreate other cultural dishes that they hear about.
Try Twists on Familiar Foods
Kids will often shy away from dishes that are too far from what they’re used to, so try doing slight variations on things that they are used to. Making sweet potato fries dusted with cinnamon or pizza with basil and tomatoes will help incorporate new seasonings into foods that they are already used to.