The taste, pleasure of the 5 senses to discover at a very young age


At school, we learn about the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. But taste is too often summed up to the mouth. Taste is actually a sensory adventure that appeals to all five senses.

Cooking is the perfect playground to discover taste and flavours. Through this sensory education, it is in fact the learning of healthy eating habits that we offer our children, through experimentation and pleasure.

Before tasting with the mouth, we taste with the eyes, the nose and the fingers

When we taste food, sight and smell come first. Both will give us valuable impressions that will allow us to anticipate the pleasure that we will feel: when we see a strawberry, our brain that has previously memorized its flavour, prepares us for the sensations that we will experience when putting it in our mouth... just the same as when you enter a room that smells apple pie. That is why we start salivating when we find ourselves in the presence of food or a meal that we particularly enjoy... 

please of the 5 senses

Then, the touch intervenes: when we take food with our fingers, we evaluate its texture, its density, its temperature: the apple is firm to the touch, it will therefore be crunchy, the biscuit is soft under the fingers, it is expected to be soft in the mouth... When we use utensils, it is through them that our brain makes these deductions: I know, even before putting it in my mouth, that stringy meat, difficult to cut, will not be as tender as if I had managed to cut it effortlessly with my knife.

The hearing also brings other clues that will complement the picture that the sight and the touch began to draw: the crunchiness or the softness of the biscuit when I break it in two, the sound produced by my teeth crunching the apple...

Once in the mouth, the smell and the touch reinforce the taste buds 

Once in the mouth, the touch remains part of the game. The contact of the food against the teeth and the inside of the cheeks continues to give us indications on the texture and temperature of the food: crunchy, soft, grainy..., cold, warm or hot.

The taste comes only at the end. Thanks to our taste buds, we identify the basic flavours: sweet, salty, sour, bitter. But they do not work alone: smell is their faithful partner, because the odours perceived by the nose are essential. 80% of taste perception is actually based on odours. You understand why you have so much trouble feeling the taste when you have a stuffy nose... 

Our sensations are also crossed with other information

Beyond the five senses, we must not neglect the influence of the context (the relaxed, convivial or on the contrary, tense atmosphere), our memory (the pleasant or unpleasant memory that has been preserved from a very first tasting), our mood of the moment...

In short, to ensure that the meal is a moment of pleasure shared by all, in addition to focusing on what we put on the plate, avoid talking about bad grades or behaviour problems at school...

If scientific studies have shown that infants are able to identify the four basic flavours at birth, it goes without saying that exploration continues throughout our lives. But the earlier the flavours are discovered, the more we have a chance to offer our children a wonderful gift: a sufficiently large taste repertoire that will promote diversity and the search for a healthy diet.

By Karine Pezé - 1, 2, 3 ... Je cuisine!

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