Saturday, August 6, 2016

Early Experiences with Food

My niece is the pickiest eater I have ever seen, hands down. I had thought I had been a nuisance never trying new foods and always making my mom cut the crusts off but this little girl takes the cake. Her diet consists of Carnation instant breakfast, cream of wheat, cookies, chips, and candy. The most baffling aspect of her diet is that the doctors say that it's fine as long as she's drinking the carnation shakes but she's going into kindergarten soon and I worry. The teacher and students are going to think we don't take care of her but how do you force feed a four year old in a humane way? Now how is this relevant to this motivation course? Well we have learned that early experience with food interact with innate preferences. Whatever mom eats while she's pregnant with the baby works to shape the baby's palate. The studies have shown that women who eat a healthy diet while pregnant have an easier time introducing healthy foods into the child's diet later on in development. Taste is 90 percent smell and the smell of foods are passed to the baby through the amniotic fluid, scientists were able to discover this by smelling the amniotic fluid of mothers who consumed garlic. I can recall plenty of instances when my brother's girlfriend was pregnant where she was eating junk food. There was one instance that I can recall that of all the things she could have chosen to have she chose powdered donuts. She also didn't introduce solid foods until way later instead of offering peas and cereals to play with, chew on, and just explore to understand. My experiences with my niece and the knowledge I have gained has taught me how important those early years are in shaping who that person is going to be. At 5 years old my niece is not open minded enough to try even french fries and it's such a shame knowing had her mom just been more open minded herself we could have a child that enjoys fruits and veggies. Too bad this class isn't on reconstructing bad habits.

1 comment:

  1. Kayla, the second book I'm reading for this course is dedicated to habits. There is a section in the book that talks about ways to reconstruct bad habits. In order for the habit to be “reconstructed”, one must keep the cue and reward the same and change the routine. For instance, if a person is trying to stop biting their nails, they must first decide what triggers their fingers to go near their mouth. Once they figure out that trigger, they should do something else during that “cue” to switch the routine up to get the same reward. I think for pregnant women, they must figure out a way to incorporate healthier foods into their habit loop instead of reaching for the donuts. It seems like it would be a little more difficult to tell a pregnant woman who is craving donuts or salty foods to stop eating unhealthy. If they were able to stop themselves more than usual, I think that their babies would be able to have better early experiences with food interaction with innate preferences. It would be nice to have a “Mom 101” course on healthy eating during pregnancy so your baby can continue staying healthy once outside the womb. Most mothers know that smoking, doing drugs, or drinking alcohol harms the baby, but junk food gets easily overlooked as long as the baby is healthy inside. It makes me think, though, is there a way to change the child’s bad habit of eating after the mother ate unhealthy while pregnant? I ask this question because my boyfriend’s stepbrother has such bad eating habits. For example, he will not eat dinner, but they allow him to eat ice cream. When I was younger if I didn’t eat everything on my plate I was not allowed cookies, candy, or ice cream. It could also be bad habits of the parents when the child is younger too. Children are not given cookies, ice cream and candy when they first start on foods. Most of the time they are given smashed veggies and fruits.