Plum Organics, a revolutionary baby food company that completely changed the baby food shelf at the grocery store by its first-to-market spouted pouch, is very vocal about the importance of conscious AND delicious food for babies. Babies are critically (often irreversibly) developing their taste buds. They offer quality baby foods “to inspire a lifetime of healthy eating from the very first bite” with “culinary-inspired ingredients.” (source: Plum Organics website)
They believe that the first 1,000 days (270 days in pregnancy + 2 years in life) are critical for child’s overall development. Believe or not , babies’ taste development starts in utero. They are already “tasting” food through what their mother eats. Once born, they start recognizing what they are eating after about four months. Then when it’s time for solid food, they’ve already developed some (or strong) likes/dislikes towards foods.
Interesting thing is, even though parents usually understand that they would need to choose nutritious foods for babies, “deliciousness” hasn’t been drawing much attention. This is counter intuitive if we remember how keen we are when we look for food for ourselves.
There are possibly two reasons for that. First, we somehow decoupled “deliciousness” from nutrition. We tend to assume that delicious (such as sweet or salty) foods are not nutritious, and try to avoid giving them to babies. Second, we don’t really realize that babies are “tasting” (or appreciating) food. We feel our job is done once we give enough nutrition to babies.
Both assumptions are wrong.
First, deliciousness should be tied to nutrition because that’s how humans have been surviving for hundreds of thousand of years. Since sugar wasn’t part of our diet for 99.99% of our 100,000 year history, we must have been finding deliciousness elsewhere. Deliciousness has much larger potential than just sweetness or saltiness. But since extreme foods such as refined sugar have been confusing our body, we feel like as if delicious foods have little nutrition, and nutritious foods are not delicious. Second, babies are developing their taste buds very very quickly. Even if they often reject “new” foods (most foods are new to them anyway), it’s normal and is just part of the whole learning process.
The ability to find deliciousness in naturally occurring foods is the ability to find nutrition, if our taste buds are tuned properly. For example, the pouch in the picture (zucchini banana & amaranth organic baby food) is 99g per pouch, with 70 Calories. It includes 16 grams of carbohydrate in total for which 10 grams come from sugar. Most of the sugar in Plum Organics products is naturally occurring from the fruit. If trained properly, our taste buds can feel sweetness naturally occurring in vegetables, fruit and other “healthy” ingredients. Plum Organics shows us that babies are capable of doing so.
For Plum Organics, consciousness and deliciousness are interconnected. (We are programmed to find deliciousness in healthy, body-conscious food, right?) And that happens if our taste buds are trained to maintain their optimal level when ingesting healthy food – which is supposed to increase our odds or survival.
Subtraction awakens and activates our internal abilities to achieve peak performance. When we achieve peak performance, we feel satisfied.