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Carrots from Conception

Filed Under: Baby and Child Health at 8:46 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Baby EatingParenting is a shared job. Mothers and fathers must split the responsibilities; both must change diapers, quiet midnight wails and clean up messes. It is the only way to create a well-balanced, harmonic atmosphere. That being said, some duties can only be conquered by Mom. Dad cannot breastfeed nor can he give birth. Only Mom can do that, just as only Mom can create a love for fruits and veggies before fruits and veggies even appear on the highchair.

Studies have found that if mothers eat copious amounts of fruits and vegetables while pregnant, their children will be less likely to have an aversion to said foods. The flavors, which are bitter and naturally disliked, will be transmitted through the amniotic fluid, creating an early exposure that should offset some of the distaste.  The effect is furthered if mothers continue to consume produce during breastfeeding. Like the amniotic fluid, the milk’s taste carries hints of the fruits and vegetables. Again, the repeated exposure lessens the trauma of the first bite.

Once the baby does get to the initial spoonful, repetition is key (and this is where Dad can start paying attention again).  A child may grimace when he first samples green beans, but that does not mean they should never again be offered. The frown, furrow and look of horror are innate reactions that won’t keep an infant’s mouth from opening. If the spoon is put in front his face, he will eat from it. Eventually, he may even enjoy it. His palate will grow accustomed to the taste, and before you know it, you’ll have a fruit and veggie eater. Just remember: start early and stay strong.

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