The Impact of Infant Feeding on the Health and Diet Preferences of Older Children
A friend send me this wonderful article from the New York Times. It is based on several research studies that demonstrate the importance of exposing children under the age of one to a wide range of fruits and vegetables. They were able to show that children whose diet was rich in these natural foods and where they were not given high sugar laden foods and beverages, willingly ate these same foods when they were 6 years and older. One point that was mentioned that was new to me was that the flavour of breast milk changes with the diet of the mother. The more healthy fruits and vegetables eaten by the mom, the more varied the taste of her milk and the more accustomed her baby is to a wide range of tastes. Their research showed that babies that were formula fed with the same formula for several months were then more reluctant to eat a wide variety of other foods. Interesting concept.
The author of the article concludes that there needs to be a much great emphasis on educating parents about what constitutes a healthy diet for infants and young children. Fruit beverage drinks containing large amounts of sugar are not healthy, even if they contain a small portion of real juice. It also discusses the importance of offering infants some of the stronger and bitter tasting vegetables several times before decided that they won’t eat them. As parents persisted, most of the infants began to willingly eat the food after a few tries.
This article again underscores the importance that infant nutrition plays in the future health and diet choices of our children.
The link to the article is here.