What is Palate Priming?
If you’ve ever met one of us Peas at the farmer’s market, a grocery store, a school, a health fair, or other community event, you’ve likely heard us talk about vegetable palate priming. And if we haven’t yet had the chance to meet you, you may be wondering… What is this “palate priming”?? The phrase, palate priming, is one that we — at EasyPeasie — use to describe the goal of our Blends.
Our goal is to slowly prepare and warm (prime) kids’ senses of smell and taste (derived from the palate) to the acceptance of flavors by early, repeated, and frequent exposures of the palate to those flavors.
In particular, at EasyPeasie, we’re focused on vegetable palate priming. We know from pediatric research studies that early acquisition of a taste for vegetables leads to more vegetable intake over time and better health (as evidenced by lower BMIs and adiposity).
Pediatricians, parents, nutritionists, speech therapists, and feeding specialists all agree that repeated exposure is needed before most kids will accept new flavors and foods (especially vegetables).
We created EasyPeasie to give our family (and now your family) another way to get those repeated exposures in. We know that exposure to the flavors alone is not equal to exposure to the whole vegetable. This is why we consider EasyPeasie Veggie Blends to be “primers.” The Blends are one way to get the palate ready for acceptance of full vegetables and vegetable flavors.
Acceptance of vegetables and other new foods is a multi-sensory experience for kids.
In addition to priming their palates by exposure to smells and tastes, kids need the experiences of seeing, touching, and even hearing the veggie (the crunch of chewing a raw carrot, for example)! So, “Sorry parents!” EasyPeasie won’t get you off the hook for putting veggies on the table regularly. That’s still a must!
In addition to the multi-sensory experience, anyone who has ever eaten with a toddler knows that there’s also a large behavioral component to what, why, how, and when they eat! And remember that toddlers are constantly observing and taking cues from the grown-ups eating with them. So make sure you’re putting on your bravest, “yummiest” face while eating your veggies too!
Give your toddlers space and time to warm up to new foods. Remember that behavior change takes time.
Let’s never miss another opportunity to Palate Prime. We can do it – it’s EasyPeasie!