Can you imagine what it would be like if we couldn't smell? Smelling is an extremely important sense! For one it can alert you to danger, like the smoke from a fire or, in our case as moms, the need to change a nappy! It also has the power to bring back happy memories, like the smell of banana bread can take you right back to Granny's kitchen.
The sense of smell is as important as taste - if not more so! Without the ability to smell it would be impossible to taste. Scientists have found that little ones can detect about 20,000 different odours in about 10 different intensities.
Eighty percent of what we perceive of the flavour of food is due to smell, 20% is down to just taste.
Odours are detected through the nostrils (or through the mouth) when chewing a food (known as the retro-nasal route). When you can't smell or perceive odours via the retro-nasal route, your ability to taste food is diminished.
With out smell, there is no taste!
A baby’s sense of smell develops throughout pregnancy, which means they have already experienced this sense. However it is important to keep developing their sense of smell.
Along with our Little Sense activity sheets, here are some Make SuperFoods SuperFun ways in which you can get your little one sniffing!
In the kitchen
- Bring your baby into the kitchen with you while you cook, all the smells will get their noses twitching.
- Talk to your baby and teach them all about the different smells that foods have.
- Encourage them to smell the different plants and leaves that you show them.
- Help them to discover things they would like to smell for themselves.
- They will soon start to point at certain flowers or plants as they begin to take charge of their own exploration.
Grow a herb garden
Herbs just smell great, they are so easy to grow and are a great way of introducing your little ones to new food smells. You don't even need a garden, try growing these soft smellies for your little ones on your window sill:
Having explored their sense of smell, continue the adventure and encourage engagement when they interact with food.
- Allow them to smell the different types of fruits, soon they will be able to recognise the fruit just by it's smell.
- Share a range of ripe fruit with your Bumbles baby and encourage them to have a good sniff of the skin.
- Make lots of positive noises so as to encourage them to follow your lead.
- Make time to allow your baby to smell their food before eating it, it will get their taste buds tingling!
- When it’s time to eat, encourage them to smell their food and make a sound to show what they think of it.
To celebrate Spring we have created activity sheets to help explore your little one's senses in the big outdoors. Activities like these will help your baby or toddler become accustomed and accepting to new materials and objects that change their senses.
The practice of discovery will help them when they are faced with new and exciting foods.
Click here to download the Little Senses printable and check out our Pinterest Sensory Board, we have pinned lots of fun for you to try!