So, we now know that the foods mums eat when breast feeding flavours the milk that is produced.  These ‘flavour exposures’ then modify the infants’ acceptance and likeability of similarly flavoured foods. Now, new research takes this a stage further and looks at the timing and duration of flavour exposures…

The Research…

Research carried out at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia randomly allocated 97 mums and their infants to drink vegetable, beet, celery and carrot juices. They started to drink these for 1 month at 2 weeks, 6 weeks or 10 weeks after delivery, or for 3 months for 2 weeks after birth. A control group was asked to drink just water and avoid vegetable juices. Later on, when infants were 7.9 months old and foods were being introduced their likability of certain flavours was assessed.

…and what they found.

The study showed that a brief ‘1 month’ experience of vegetable flavours from mums milk led to children taking to a carrot-flavour cereal better than others.

So, even before solids foods are introduced flavour exposures via breast milk can play a key role in infants’ likability of similar flavours. New mums should be aware that eating veg. when breast feeding may also help their children to do so down the line too…

For further information, see:
Mennella JA et al. (2017) American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol. 106, no. 1; pg: 67-76.