Results of a recent study add to a body of evidence that suggests what you eat when you are pregnant can influence your child's food preferences. According to researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, exposure to flavors either through amniotic fluid or in breast milk can influence a child's food preferences. In the study groups of pregnant women drank water or carrot juice during pregnancy and lactation. One group drank 300 ml of carrot juice four days a week for three consecutive weeks during their last trimester and again during the first two months of breast-feeding. Another group drank water during pregnancy and carrot juice during lactation and a third group drank water during both pregnancy and lactation.
Researchers videotaped infants as they ate about four weeks after mothers had introduced cereal into their child's diet. In two separate sessions, the infants were fed cereal prepared with either water or carrot juice until they refused at least three times. After each feeding session, mothers rated how much their infants had enjoyed the food on a 9-point scale. Infants who had been exposed to the flavor of carrots through amniotic fluid or breast milk ate more of the carrot-flavored cereal than infants who were not exposed to the flavor of carrots. These infants also appeared to enjoy the carrot-flavored cereal more. It seems that if you want your child to love vegetables, you'd better make sure to eat plenty of them during your pregnancy!
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