Blog: Positive Tasting Experiences
Our experiences in early life mould who we are and this is no different with our relationship with food. Learning to enjoy food from a young age helps develop healthy habits into adulthood. Children’s experiences with food and the adventure they go through are similar to learning to ride a bike or playing a musical instrument. Very often, at first it can be a challenge and present barriers, but with support they can persevere and progress. With this in mind, we’ve worked with parents and professionals to produce new guidelines to help children build healthy relationships with food.
Little people are genetically wired to be cautious about trying new foods. When living in the wild, this would keep them safe from being too curious and protect them from eating poisonous berries or rotten meat. In today’s world, children and toddlers need reassurance and encouragement from a trusted adult to make them feel safe when trying new foods and to help them overcome any barriers.
It is frustrating when your child refuses food you have prepared. This can cause tension that can result in more refusal and challenging behaviours. Children often feel worried about the food itself and about the adult’s response, causing more anxiety and turning what might be a happy and enjoyable experience into a negative one.
With the help of parents and experts on the island, including the dietetics team, health visitors, paediatricians and psychologists, we have developed a resource for parents and carers to use with their children when trying new foods. Our 4-step guide offers ideas and support to overcome barriers faced during mealtimes and hopefully turn a frustrating situation into an enjoyable food adventure. This resource can be used by parents and carers but also professionals working with children and families who are looking to support positive eating habits.
Your Health Visitor can provide further help and support if you need it.
Please contact your Health Visitor at Lukis House on 707638. Alternatively, you can contact Katie Hill, Specialist Nurse Health Improvement on 725241 ext 5243 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find our resources for the 4 step Guide to Positive Tasting Experiences and the Coping with Food Refusal resource in the Building Healthy Relationships with Food initiative.
We would like to thank the Health Visitor team, Liz Ruddy (Paediatric Dietitian), James Murray (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) & local families for their help in developing these guides.