Sunday, 4 November 2012

Ella's Kitchen Big Taste Menu


A couple of weeks ago I went to an event hosted by Ella's Kitchen at Food at 52 and I was rather intrigued that we were going to dine on a menu whereby we would taste food the way that our babies taste it - I was promised that the flavours would be BIG!

On arriving I met the Ella's Kitchen Team including the Ella's Kitchen founder Paul Lindley and  Taste Psychologist, Chris Lukehurst. It was a fun evening where we tasted food that had it's flavours amplified in order to replicate how food can taste to babies. I learnt that babies have three times as many taste buds in their mouths as adults, thereby making them experience flavour in a much heightened way. It explains why they react so strongly to some flavours, and pull such funny faces when they taste things that are extremely bitter or sour! The Taste Psychologist pointed out that evolution is responsible for babies avoiding bitter flavours as this would have helped them to reject anything poisonous.

As part of the Big Taste Menu we tried the following:

The Red One Lolly
Brussels Sprout Ice Cream
Cheery Chicken Roast Dinner with Stuffing
Full of Sunshine Thai Curry With Lots of Veg
Cheese and Apples Munchy Biccies
Apples & Bananas Dessert

Well it was no surprise that the Brussels Sprout one was absolutely disgusting and if you wanted to see a whole room of adults pull faces then this was the place. The flavour filled my entire mouth, it was like an invasion and it just spread. I had to quickly wash it away with water - almost a whole glass. Quite understand now a babies reluctance to tuck into the green veg!

Brussels Sprouts and Strawberries!

On the flip side the Apples and Banana dessert was absolutely delicious - the bananas were like banoffi pie, so sweet and delicious, I wished my knackered adult taste buds would give me the same banana extravaganza as babies get.

Thai Curry - HOT HOT!

In between those two totally different taste experiences the Chicken Roast dinner had lots of flavours and the Thai Curry was HOT! So sometimes when us adults try some of these pre made meals we might think that they are a bit bland but it seems that this is not the case for babies, especially with their extra taste buds that fill their entire mouths.

At the end of the evening I couldn't wait to get my photo taken in this giant highchair - I was the only one!



I came away from the evening feeling a bit like I shouldn't put too much pressure on my kids if they don't eat certain things. Celebrate the victory if they at least try something was a great piece of advice that I took away from the Taste Psychologist. Also getting an insight into how children taste things so much more than we do will help me to reset my expectations of what they will eat.

The Big Taste Menu has been unveiled to the public this weekend at The Hackney Homemade Food Market this weekend and tasters will be offered free for a trial period. Ella's Kitchen are also running a great competition on their website at the moment where you can win a year's supply of Ella's food. All you have to do is upload a photo of your little one's big taste face! http://big-taste-face.ellaskitchen.co.uk/

Thanks to Ella's Kitchen for inviting me to such an enlightening evening.

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