PHILADELPHIA Moms, want your baby to learn to like fruits and vegetables?
According to new research from the Monell Center, if youre breast feeding, you can provide baby with a good start by eating them yourself.
And, offer your baby plenty of opportunities to taste fruits and vegetables as s/he makes the transition to solid foods by giving repeated feeding exposures to these healthy foods regardless of whether youre breast feeding or using formula.
Vegetable and fruit consumption is linked to lower risks of obesity and certain cancers, says senior author Julie A. Mennella, PhD. The best predictor of how much fruits and vegetables children eat is whether they like the tastes of these foods. If we can get babies to learn to like these tastes, we can get them off to an early start of healthy eating.
The study, designed to test the influence of early sensory experiences on the development of healthy eating patterns, is published in the December 2007 issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Mennella and co-author Catherine A. Forestell, PhD, studied 45 infants, 20 of whom were breastfed. The infants, who were between the ages of four and eight months and unaccustomed to eating solids other than cereal, were randomly assigned to one of two groups.
One group was fed green beans for eight consecutive days; the other was given green beans and then peaches over the same period. Acceptance of both foods was assessed before and after the repeated exposure period.
The results revealed that breast-feeding confers an advantage for babys acceptance of foods during weaning but only if the mother regularly eats those foods.
During their first exposure to peaches, breast-fed infants ate more and for a longer period of time, compared to formula-fed infants. Questionnaires revealed that mothers of breast-fed infants ate more fruits than did formula-feeding mothers, suggesting that the enhanced peach acceptanc
|Contact: Leslie Stein|
Monell Chemical Senses Center