Mother’s milk define kid’s taste

February 20th, 2011 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 20 (IANS) Mothers wanting their children to eat greens should consume plenty of vegetables themselves while breast feeding, new research says.

Scientists have discovered that babies’ taste buds are primed between two and five months after birth by the flavours they are exposed to and this can influence their preferences in later life.

Researchers found that children fed on a bitter and sour tasting milk formula during these early months of their life continued to like its taste as they grew older and even into adolescence, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports.

Those who were given the milk formula for the first time at six months rejected the drink, according to the Telegraph, which quoted the report.

Gary Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia, who led the research, said it appeared that children’s exposure to flavours during these key first few months of their life shaped their taste preferences and food choices in later life.

Babies are typically exposed to low levels of flavour compounds from the food their mothers are eating through their breast milk.

Beauchamp believes breastfeeding mothers can “prime” their children’s taste buds to be familiar with fruit and vegetables by eating them themselves. In contrast formula milk is “bland and constant tasting”, he said.

Beauchamp presented his findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.

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