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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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You Are What Mom Eats

Since I am still nursing Basil, I read every study on breastfeeding I can find. It is well documented that breastfeeding has benefits of stronger immune systems, reduced risk of obesity, protects against diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory problems, protects against SIDS, and may even make your child smarter!

And if that is not enough....a new study reports that a mother's likes and dislikes are passed on to her infant during breastfeeding. If there was any incentive to eat your fruits and vegetables, it is while you are nursing! You may just get your child to eat more vegetables later in life, passing on a love for vegetables for generations! Ok, maybe I am taking it a little bit far now, but it is still pretty exciting.

This new study looked at infants who were breastfed and compared them with who formula fed. They found that infants who were fed certain fruits or vegetables accepted them better if their mothers ate those foods while breastfeeding them. What a beautiful system. When a mother eats a food, some of the flavors are transmitted through amniotic fluid and mother's milk. So a baby learns to like foods a mother eats and is more accepting of tastes that are familiar to them.

Vegetables are especially bitter by nature. If a child is exposed to those flavors repeatedly, they will be more likely to accept them when introduced. We have known for a long time that it takes at least 10 times to introduce a new food for it to be accepted by a child. If some of this introduction is done in utero or while nursing, it makes the job of the mother that much easier later on when trying to get her children to accept new foods.

Keep exposing your kids to new foods, whether you are pregnant, lactating, or at the dinner table with your children.

Is this photo of Basil not the cutest? Did I mention that nursing helps your child's intelligence?
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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