Monday, February 21, 2011

Flavours in mothers milk may determine the foods children like

Mothers wanting their children to eat their greens should consume plenty of vegetables themselves while breast feeding, new research has suggested.

Scientists have discovered that babies' taste buds are primed between the 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 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.

Those who were given the milk formula for the first time at six months old rejected the drink.

Dr Gary Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, 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 therefore 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.

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