Taste – the development of the senses in Montessori pedagogy

21 May 2019

It has been shown that the baby recognizes tastes at birth and that all that is associated with the intrauterine life is marked positively.
The fetus learns about tastes and flavors in the maternal womb. This is how he appropriates the tastes of cooking that his mother has eaten and so his tastes are already marked by the culture in which his mother lived.

At birth, the baby is already competent for taste and smells. He continues to become familiar with the flavors of his mother’s nutrition through breast milk. Moreover, breastfed babies have a wider taste of foods than those bottle-fed.

It is important to familiarize the child with a variety of tastes from about the 6th month. Often at the age of two, the child manifests what is called “food neophobia”. This is a feeling of fear about new foods. A new or unusual texture or color can provoke a refusal in the young child to taste it. He does not want his food to change.

It is important to offer a new food several times so the baby likes it, the idea is to just ask him to taste it. You must also respect his tastes. Do not force him to finish his dish. If he says he has eaten enough, pick up his plate and continue with the rest of the meal. Dessert, provided it is good for his health, is part of the meal and the child shouldn`t be deprived of it. Similarly, a food shouldn`t become a reward. For example, don`t promise a candy if he finishes his green beans because that would show him that the beans are not good.

As soon as possible, cook with your child so that he knows the shape, and the name of different food. We have seen through practical life how we could involve the young child in the preparation of dishes. We must also give importance to the appearance of meals because as for us, the visual side of the dishes is essential to make him want to taste them. We can vary the colors but also the containers.

It is important to have family meals as often as possible and to insist that the meal is synonymous with a pleasant and convivial moment. It is by seeing the adults around him to eat various foods with pleasure, that he would like to taste them.

Remember to develop the vocabulary of your child by putting words on the tastes: it is soft, it stings, etc.