Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eat Fruits And Veggies While Breastfeeding And Baby Will Probably Like Them

Date:
December 4, 2007
Source:
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Summary:
If you're breast feeding, you can help baby learn to like fruits and veggies by eating them yourself. And, regardless of whether you're breast feeding or using formula, offer baby opportunities to taste fruits and vegetables during the transition to solid foods by giving repeated feeding exposures to these healthy foods.

Breastfed babies whose mothers eat fruits and vegetables are more inclined to like those foods themselves, a new study has found.
Credit: iStockphoto/Amy Kimball

Moms, want your baby to learn to like fruits and vegetables?

According to new research from the Monell Center, if you're 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 you're 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 baby's 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 acceptance of their infants might be attributed to increased exposure to fruit flavors through breast milk.

However, both groups of mothers reported eating green beans and green vegetables infrequently, at levels below current recommendations. Accordingly, there was no difference in the amount of green beans eaten by breast-fed and formula-fed infants the first time the vegetables were offered.

"It's a beautiful system," says Mennella. "Flavors from the mother's diet are transmitted through amniotic fluid and mother's milk. So, a baby learns to like a food's taste when the mother eats that food on a regular basis."

In both groups, repeated opportunities to taste green beans over eight days enhanced acceptance of the vegetable, increasing intake by almost three-fold.

"Babies are born with a dislike for bitter tastes," explains Mennella. "If mothers want their babies to learn to like to eat vegetables, especially green vegetables, they need to provide them with opportunities to taste these foods."

The researchers also found that babies' facial expressions did not always match their willingness to continue feeding, noting that infants innately display facial expressions of distaste to certain flavors.

They urge caregivers to provide their infants with repeated opportunities to taste fruits and vegetables, focusing on the infant's willingness to eat the food instead of on their negative facial expressions during eating.

Funding: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Canadian Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monell Chemical Senses Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Monell Chemical Senses Center. "Eat Fruits And Veggies While Breastfeeding And Baby Will Probably Like Them." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203090135.htm>.
Monell Chemical Senses Center. (2007, December 4). Eat Fruits And Veggies While Breastfeeding And Baby Will Probably Like Them. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203090135.htm
Monell Chemical Senses Center. "Eat Fruits And Veggies While Breastfeeding And Baby Will Probably Like Them." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071203090135.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins