This article from Australia.
BREASTFEEDING exposes babies to a variety of flavours, making them more accepting of different foods as they grow
CSIRO research psychologist Dr Nadia Corsini said studies showed breastfeeding provided infants with a greater variety of tastes compared with formula, which was beneficial when weaning them on to solid foods.
“Exposure to flavours takes place in utero and via breastfeeding, where the baby is exposed to flavours in mother’s diet,” she said.
“A lot of people might not realise this is one of benefits of breastfeeding, the exposure to different flavours.
“Research suggests children with exposure to different flavours are more accepting of different foods as they grow older to those who didn’t have exposure.”
According to a European study of 147 mothers and their infants, both breastfeeding and daily changes in vegetables offered early in weaning increased the child’s acceptance of new foods for at least up to two months.
Dr Corsini said breastfeeding versus formula was a sensitive issue, but mothers shouldn’t feel they are disadvantaging their child if they do not breastfeed.
“Even though these processes exist it doesn’t mean you can’t change or influence your children’s acceptance of different foods after that stage,” she said.
“That’s why it’s important to offer children a wide variety of healthy foods early in life. It is such an important influence on the variety in their diet later.”
Gordana Hopping, 33, is breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter Filipa and mindful of eating well.
“I’m staying away from soft drinks and sugary foods,” she said. “I have a healthy diet so Filipa is too.”
The Advertiser and Sunday Mail Healthy Eating project continues this week, encouraging children to learn more about balanced diets and cooking nutritious meals.
Students can collect daily panels featuring the different food groups as well as recipes courtesy of the CSIRO.