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Salmon baby food? Babies need omega-3s and a taste for fish, scientist says
Date:8/24/2010

) to her entrees. The first ingredient (made by grinding the bones in the salmon into a powder) provides calcium in a form that is readily available for bone building in children. The second provides high-quality protein and contains significant quantities of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docohexaenoic acid (DHA).

"A newborn infant's brain is 50 percent DHA," she noted. "However, babies and toddlers have immature livers and can't synthesize enough DHA to ensure an adequate supply to their developing nerve tissues. If small children are going to get DNA, they must ingest it in their food."

According to Brewer, the results of her experiments have been encouraging. "Salmon is very mild, and the toddler dinners, which are 27 percent meat or fish, don't taste or smell fishy at all. They remind me of that salmon and cream cheese dip you have during the holidays."

Besides, could 107 parents of preschoolers be wrong? In a recent sensory panel conducted in the scientist's lab, parents found little difference in taste between formulations that contained roe or bone meal and those that didn't. Eighty-one percent of the parent panelistseven those who don't eat salmon themselvessaid they would offer it to their children after taste testing the product.

"It's not enough for mothers to know that toddlers need fish in their diets. They won't buy a product unless it also appeals to the eye and the taste buds," she said.

"Our goal is to deliver maximum nutrition in an entre that's aesthetically pleasing, and these studies show that we can do just that," she added.


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Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@illinois.edu
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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