Flavour imprinting - prevent fussy eaters
Want to reduce your chances of having a fussy eater? Make sure that your own diet is healthy and varied! It brings a whole new meaning to "you are what you eat".
Did you know that...
- Babies from as young as 12 weeks in utero have mature taste buds?
- Babies practice swallowing amniotic fluids from as young as 12 weeks gestation?
- The flavour of breast milk changes every day depending on what you are eating?
- No two Mums have the same flavour of breast milk?
- Alcohol peaks in breast milk 30 mins to 1 hour after consumption?
- Scientists believe that breastfed babies may have a head start over their formula fed cousins when it comes to starting solids?
Scientists have proved that food flavours (eg. garlic, curries and spices to name a few) that Mum eats while pregnant are found in the amniotic fluid just a few hours later. So if you want your child to eat your favourite Thai Chicken Salad or Veal Parmigiana when they're older, make sure you enjoy these dishes while you're pregnant.
Don't stop having a healthy diet just because bub has arrived!
Plenty of water (~ 2 litres/day) and a balanced and healthy diet provide breast milk that is rich in nutrients and flavour. Scientists have found that the flavours of the different foods Mums eat make their way to breast milk anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours after eating.
The benefits don't stop there. Scientists have also found that Mums who regularly ate carrots during pregnancy or whilst breastfeeding had babies who were happy to eat carrot-flavoured cereal when starting solids.
Whilst formula provides all the nutrients needed for growth and development, it has not been designed to vary in taste. In fact, the sweet taste of breastmilk is quite different to that of formula. Perhaps there is some merit in changing formula brand from time to time (as appropriate), to allow baby a wider flavour experience.
Whilst breastfeeding is best for baby, all Mums can help give their children a great start by ensuring they have a healthy and balanced diet right from the beginning during pregnancy.
Looks like two fruit and five veggies a day for pregnant and breastfeeding Mums is a great way to have children who also adore their fruit and veggies!
Remember, a good variety of healthy foods is the key.