Children and food: smell matters

21st September 2020

There is more to eating than the sense of taste. Smell plays a very important role and the aroma of a food can make a child refuse a certain dish. Find out what you can do to encourage your child to eat everything.

Smell and taste work as a team. The taste buds identify tastes while the olfactory nerve identifies smells. By combining this information, the brain is able to recognise and appreciate flavours. That's why smell plays an essential role in helping a child decide whether a food is nice or unpleasant.

From the time they are little, children display a preference for sweet, soft, natural aromas, such as rolls, vanilla and fruit, because they remember the flavour of the amniotic fluid and milk.

That's why they love cereal purées so much, like our Blevit plus . Little by little they acquire a taste for new flavours, but they are likely to reject bitter, salty and sour foods to begin with.

By the time they are eating everything, they usually like the smell of fish and some vegetables least. If this happens with your child, look for ways to get him to like them, because if you force him to eat them as is, your child will develop a dislike of these types of foods. A trick that works well is to prepare sauces and side dishes with products that add a touch of sweetness to the dish, or soften its flavour.

  • Try preparing a simple sauce of pumpkin, carrot and leek to accompany white fish.
  • For vegetables, a milk- or cream-based sauce with courgette mellows stronger flavours.
  •  Potatoes are also a great accompaniment. Baked with a little oil and crushed, they go well with fish and meat, adding juiciness to the dish.
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