Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Broccoli flavored amniotic fluid and breastmilk?

There is a growing body of evidence that before you ever stick a bite of mashed carrots or peas in your baby's mouth, the way you have eaten during pregnancy and while breastfeeding your infant may greatly influence their eating preferences as babies and toddlers.

In a study reported in the December issue of Pediatrics, babies whose mothers regularly eat veggies and fruits while breastfeeding them, find that their babies are more likely to accept vegetables and fruits when tasting them for the first time as well as consume larger amounts. Sometimes it's obvious that a mother's consumption of various foods is passed on through her breast milk - like when she eats too much garlic, and the next morning the baby screws up his or her face and turns away from the breast. But this research shows that perhaps the baby can also taste green beans and peaches and learn to like them.

Research also shows us that babies tend to have the eating preferences that their mothers had during pregnancy as food flavors from a mother's diet are transmitted to the amniotic fluid that a baby lives in and drinks while in utero.

The 2004 Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study showed that 1 in 4 US toddlers did not consume even 1 vegetable on any given day. They were more likely to be eating fatty foods and sweetened snacks and beverages than any vegetables. And none of the top 5 vegetables consumed by the toddlers was a dark leafy vegetable. I bet their mamas preferred sweet snacks and beverages and fatty foods when they were pregnant.

So, yes, eat your veggies and avoid junk while you're pregnant and on through the breastfeeding phase of your child's life, if you want your baby to grow up happily eating squash, broccoli, and apples instead of Twinkie cakes and Mountain Dew!

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