Babies Can Learn to Like Veggies in the Womb

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Babies, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers

Eating vegetables during pregnancy might make your child a born vegetable lover. color line, Flickr

If you want your child to eat her veggies, you can start before she is born. Drink carrot juice while you're pregnant.

Some people actually like it. Others, of course, feel it violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

Stanford University pediatrician Alan Greene, the author of "Feeding Baby Green," nonetheless insists that drinking carrot juice and consuming other healthy stuff during pregnancy can help overcome children's classic resistance to vegetables.

Babies actually have more taste buds before they're born and can get detect flavors from their mothers' amniotic fluid, he told USA Today. He added this can create a lasting imprint on the child's taste buds.

"Babies are built from food," Greene said on his Web site.

Green finds that a liberating and inspiring thought. "With a new baby, you have the opportunity to 'get in on the ground floor' when you invest in your child by making healthy food choices," he said on the Web site.

Up until they are about six months old, Greene said babies will eat just about anything. Yet few parents apparently take advantage of this window of opportunity. He added that 94 percent of parents give up offering new foods after only five tries. As a result, almost a third of children younger than the age of 4 don't get any vegetables during the course of the day. And after kids hit the age of 2, kids' food preferences start to solidify. At that point, it takes an average of 90 attempts to get a child to try something new, he said.

One way to get kids emotionally invested in vegetables is have them grow them themselves, pediatrician Laura Jana, the author of the American Academy of Pediatrics' "Food Fights," told USA Today.

She also owns the Primrose School of Legacy in Omaha, Neb., a child-care center where kids grow their own vegetables.

"They eat stewed tomatoes because they grew them," Jana said. "I didn't do that well with my own kids."

Related: Bake Sales Banned in NY Public Schools

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.