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I was a pescatarian, meaning I did not eat meat, but I ate fish as a teenager. I introduced meat back into my diet (4 years later), with a variety of vegetables. Now, as an adult, I eat a range of food choices that I would never have before.
My brother is a picky eater, and my dad doesn’t eat poultry or cheese; so, I was used to growing up in a household where my mum had to cook separate meals. Fast forward to my son, well he has a more varied diet compared to both my dad and brother.
My son has his food preferences, influenced by factors such as culture, sensory experience to taste, and education.
Culturally he has been exposed to Mediterranean cuisine (from his Italian background), Caribbean home cooking and British foods from a young age. He also eats plenty of fruit and vegetables.
The Sensory Experience.
There is a sensory experience we get from eating, from the aroma, visually from the colours and orally with the food textures. We also explore food choices through taste to identify if it is palatable. Our basic tastes include sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness and umami.
I previously worked with children who had sensory sensitivity to food. (Including not liking certain foods touching each other). A lot of the sensitivity came from the texture and taste of foods. (being overstimulated).
For my son, he has gone from having to use non-flavoured toothpaste as a young child, to now expanding his palate, food tolerances and exploring spicier foods.
Food and Education.
Firstly, my son has been enjoying experimenting with food flavour combinations and learning from this experience. Furthermore, he has been fusing flavours, especially mixing his sweet with his savoury. Additionally, he tells me that at school, he dips his broccoli into his custard and his sponge pudding into his gravy.
Secondly, he has expressed that he would like to try a meat shake and pizza burger. He has also been asking a lot of questions about food. I see this as a part of learning about food development and being able to create ideas. So, who am I to get in the way of his creativity?
I am going to help my son put a few of his concepts into practice and create recipes. I want to teach him how to pair flavours together.