Flavor Intelligence refers to our individual ability to recognize and prefer the flavors of a healthy diet.
When it comes to food, there are two things that virtually all kids have in common: they love sweets and they hate green vegetables. These flavor preferences are so prevalent in fact that you might think that their brains were hardwired that way – which is actually quite true.
Like most mammals, humans have certain ingrained flavor instincts, which have evolved over time. Our preference for sweet flavors encourages us to eat high calorie (i.e. high energy) foods during our early days and months while our bodies are in rapid growth. Bitter flavors are often associated with poisonous plants, so our dislike for these flavors is thought to have once helped us avoid things that could be harmful. These innate flavor preferences are built into our DNA, there’s no way around that, but individual human flavor preferences can be shaped and reshaped through flavor learning. We can be taught to like and even prefer certain flavors especially if they are introduced soon after conception (in utero), during breastfeeding, and through early childhood. The trick lies in increasing our childrens’ Flavor Intelligence, continuing to smartly evolve their flavor preferences so the foods they grow to love are the one’s that will keep them healthy for life.