The window of opportunity for developing taste preferences

Learn about: The window of opportunity for developing taste preferences from Alan Greene, MD,...
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The window of opportunity for developing taste preferences

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We now understand that taste preferences develop much like a language. On the day the baby's born, they could learn to like pretty much any human food from any culture around the world. But it's the foods they get exposed to the most that they're likely to form a lasting preference for. Between the time they sit up and the time they walk is a window when if they get something on average 6-10 times, up to 15 times, they're likely to form a lasting preference. But it doesn't start then. Even before that if you're nursing, if you're breastfeeding, flavors come through the breast milk. And kids can learn flavors that way. There was a study where moms who didn't like carrots were given carrot juice and others weren't. And the moments the babies first had carrots, the ones who got it through breast milk already recognized it and liked it. They didn't even have to try it several times. And it starts even before that. Before babies are born, they have more taste buds than at any time in life. Why would they go through the trouble to build these taste buds that are just going to go away when they're born? It's because they're tasting what mom eats during pregnancy. You can learn to love your food culture early on. So what you do as a parent is introduce your baby automatically, naturally to the foods you love. It starts when you're pregnant. It continues when you're nursing. Do it as soon as they start solids. And the window starts to close when they start to walk.

Learn about: The window of opportunity for developing taste preferences from Alan Greene, MD,...

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Alan Greene, MD

Founder, DrGreene.com

Dr. Alan Greene founded his website, DrGreene.com, in 1995, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer physician web site." In 2010 he founded the WhiteOut Now movement to change how babies are fed from their very first bite of solid food, and in 2012 he founded TICC TOCC – Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is an author of several books including Feeding Baby Green and appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the Dr. Oz Show, and is a regular columnist for Parenting magazine. He is a practicing pediatrician and the father of four.

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