You might be able to identify food by taste, smell or sight easily, but could you identify food or drink from the sound it makes? Some make no sound at all, but for others the sound of their preparation may give it away.
There are some foods for which sound is as important to their enjoyment as taste is - take popcorn for instance. The popping sound is partly related to auditory sensations - as all crispy foods are noisy when eaten. Some researchers think sound can influence flavour. The sounds of food being prepared, cooked, served and eaten all help to influence our preferences.
The sense of sound is really important in helping them to learn to talk too.
Your baby’s hearing started to develop before they were even born and they continue to develop their sense of hearing quickly in the months after birth. Sounds can also be used to create excitement and anticipation when trying new foods, to help your baby engage why not try these Make SuperFoods SuperFun activities.
- Making sounds using musical instruments and rattles is a great way of engaging babies and toddler with their sense of hearing. Instruments such rattles or bells are great to use on their own.
- Grab a wooden spoon and a turn a pot or two upside down and let your little one "hit the drums" these are great fun and can keep baby busy while you finish up their dinner.
- Fill an empty water bottle with rice, or small pasta shapes to make your own sound shakers, it is fun and so easy to do.
- Use these shakers any time you are singing together. Seeing food items in the shakers is a good way of getting your baby or toddler used to these different foods.
- Mix it up a little by choosing various types of foods so those little ears can hear different kinds of sounds that foods make when you give them a shake.
- Introduce larger food pieces like pasta shapes, encourage them to practice the "pincer action" and put them into the bottles.
If your little one is able to take finger-foods, large pasta shapes are great additions to meal times. Having seen and interacted with them before, they may be happier to try them. For babies on mashed foods, seeing little pieces of rice will engage them with its texture and allow them to recognise it at mealtimes.
Select a range of foods with different textures and connect with your baby through the sounds they make. Encourage them to make different noises for different foods.
- Try carrot sticks and show them how to snap them in half to make a cracking sound.
- Toast fingers make a crunchy sound when bitten into – watch out for crumbs. Let your baby or toddler catch these crumbs in their hands; allow them to have a scrunch and a munch!
- We love soup and you will be suprised how much your little one loves it too. Slurping some tasty soups is a fun way to associate sound with food and you can teach them how to suck the soup off their spoon and drink from the cup.
Having explored their sense of hearing, continue the adventure and engage this sense each time they interact with food. Your baby will mimic what you do, so making lots of appreciative sounds while eating is a great way of encouraging acceptance of something new.
To celebrate Spring we have created printable 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 to and accept 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 Sense of Sound printable.