Weaning - What's Your Baby's Facial Expression Saying?

Weaning - What's Your Baby's Facial Expression Saying?
Whether weaning your first, second or third child, you’ll know how challenging it can be to get your baby to try new foods during weaning, and to keep them interested in food.

And evidently the face your baby pulls might be a barrier too, as it can be interpreted by parents as disgust or dislike at what they are trying!

According to a new survey from Organix, more than half of mums say their baby’s facial expression puts them off trying to encourage their baby to like a new food or taste. Weaning is the beginning of a taste adventure, the first opportunity for your baby to explore and experience taste sensations, and it can take between 10 and 15 times to introduce a new food. So by understanding more about your babies’ facial expression, you’re likely to feel more confident about introducing new foods.

Understanding Baby's Facial Expression

Organix asked Vivien Sabel, Clinical Psychotherapist and body language expert, to help parents interpret and understand their little one’s facial expressions.

Vivien Sabel, says, “Just as we learn to interpret our baby’s signals when they’re sleepy, hungry, happy or windy, we can also read what those eye, brow, mouth, lip and tongue movements say about a new taste too. For example, what mums and dads might interpret as a look of shock or disgust, doesn’t necessarily translate as not liking the taste, what’s more likely is that baby is puzzled by the intensity of a new flavour. A surprised expression could be curiosity about the depth of flavour, the chances are they think the flavour is good but it’s very different to what they’ve eaten before – it’s all part of them experiencing and learning new tastes on their weaning journey.”
baby enjoying food

Happy - Yum, yum, yummy!
“Your baby loves the flavour, texture and everything about this food. Their happiness can be seen in every part of their body - their eyes, smile and posture. Mirror their happiness back to them, it’s encouraging and a useful form of communication between you and your baby.”

interested baby's face
Surprised - Mmm this is interesting
“Your baby is curious and surprised by this new taste sensation. They may devour it in an instant or it may take a little while to adjust to this new flavour.”

disinterested baby
Disinterested - I’m not sure mum? What do you think?
“Your baby may appear disinterested but it doesn’t mean they don’t like what they’re eating. Your baby is seeking your encouragement and affirmation. They want to know that you are interested in their experience. You can give them positive affirmations through non-verbal mirroring, it will help encourage them to develop an interest.”

shocked baby
Shocked – Whoa! This is something different
“You may see this expression when your baby tries a new flavour which has a spicy or sour element. It doesn’t mean they don’t like it, it simply means it’s a new experience and it’s creating a mind-boggling taste sensation in their sensitive mouths.”

curious baby

Curious – Mmm this is new to me! I think I like this
“Your baby is born with an innate curiosity and a need to explore. Use encouraging verbal expressions to enhance their interest.”

baby snubbing mum
The snub! - Not now mummy
“Your baby may be tired, teething or feeling unwell. Don’t give up on trying new foods simply because you experience the snub! Give your little one a cuddle and try again later.”

Tempting little ones with new taste sensations – ideas for weaning fun
Those first tastes during weaning are really important as they help define your child’s future relationship with food. To help inspire parents Organix’ children’s food expert Lucy Thomas has lots of simple, fun activities to help introduce new taste sensations to babies. See how vlogger Charlie O’Brien put some of them to the test with her son Noah https://www.youtube.com/user/Organixfood

Bullet  Finger popping purée: have some fun with Organix fruit pots and explore new tastes and textures at the same time. Dip your fingertips into the pot so they’re covered in the brightly coloured purée (Organix Apple & Blueberry is lovely and bright), then suck the purée off your fingers with a loud popping sound followed by a big smile. Then help your baby do the same - if easier pop a spoonful of purée on their highchair tray for them to dip their fingers in.
Bullet  Matching pairs: match a finger food with a purée, such as Organix carrot sticks as a dipper with carrot purée, you could try a soft cooked carrot baton too. It’s a great way to offer the same vegetable in lots of different ways for baby to try without masking the real flavour.
Bullet  Tiny taste explorer: offer your baby small taste experiences throughout the day, to introduce them to new tastes. Try a lick of the lemon slice from your water, a sprinkle of cinnamon on their apple purée, a hint of curry powder in their parsnip mash or a pinch of nutmeg in some Organix banana porridge.
Bullet  Mirror image: babies are fascinated by their reflection, even though they can’t recognise themselves! Hold a mirror in front of them whilst they’re eating or holding a finger food, it’s a great activity when you’re introducing something new, watch how their expression changes.

Take your baby on a journey from simple first tastes to more adventurous foods and flavours The food developers at Organix have created weaning foods with a variety of tastes, shapes and textures to encourage baby’s curiosity about food. So, as baby moves from the simple taste of a plain Organix baby rice onto a more adventurous strawberry and banana flavoured porridge, or tries an Organix apple rice cake with a sprinkling of cinnamon - perhaps their first finger food - is that widening of the eyes, scrunching of the nose and movement of the lips a look of surprise, or simply an expression of curiosity at experiencing a new taste for the first time?

Weaning is an exciting time for everyone so for lots more weaning advice, weaning recipes - from purées to finger foods - and to download your free copy of the Organix Little Book of Weaning please visit www.organix.com or follow #realfoodface

More..... Baby | Weaning

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