Breastfeeding Can Help Children Enjoy Their Veggies

By Marc Gomez, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.

Babies are much more likely to enjoy eating foods their mothers ate while breastfeeding. Babies actually begin developing a taste for certain foods while feeding on breast milk. Flavors from a motherís diet can be found in her breast milk and babies are actually able to detect these flavors while breastfeeding.

Everyone wants their children to eat their greens and plenty of colorful veggies to help them grow, stay healthy and strong. New moms can start this process early by eating a wide variety of foods, plenty of bitter greens and other veggies while breastfeeding to help their babies develop a taste for these foods and even learn to love their veggies.

Especially important foods include broccoli, kale, collard greens, tomatoes, watercress, bok choy, spinach, black beans, sesame seeds, almonds, and peas, all of which are nutrient-dense and very healthy. Eating these foods while breastfeeding can help to improve the quality of breast milk and help to ensure children develop an appetite for some of the healthiest foods on the planet. If you are a mother who does not like veggies, try eating small amounts of a wide variety of vegetables and slowly work your way up to bigger portions. It can take seven to twelve days to develop a taste for certain foods. One highly effective way of developing a taste for new foods is by trying one food at a time. Simply have one to two tablespoons of the new food once or twice a day for a week to twelve days until your taste buds get accustomed to the flavor. Then you can slowly work your way up to eating bigger portions.

Also, try cooking veggies in many different ways until you find which cooking method you really like best. For new mothers who are not yet veggie lovers, a great way to start is to puree the veggies you don't like so much and then add them to soup; or just bake them and serve them with a little of your favorite vegetable oil and sea salt. Include vegetables like onions, mushrooms, tomatoes or tomato sauce to your baked veggies for a little more flavor. Eat well, eat smart and your children will too.

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