We all know the importance of prenatal nutrition to ensure your growing baby gets all the vitamins and minerals it needs for healthy development, but did you realise that what you eat during pregnancy not only nourishes your baby but can also influence their tastes and food preferences for years to come?
Pregnancy websites and books all tell us how essential it is to get enough omega 3s, protein, iron and folate when you’re expecting. But scientists have also discovered that during this time it’s possible to start shaping your child’s healthy eating habits – and in turn lower their risk of obesity and diabetes – by introducing them to certain flavours in utero.
As a paediatric nutritionist, I have parents begging me to help them with their fussy eaters – and I find it really exciting that it’s possible to get a head start on a lifetime of healthy eating before your baby is even born. In my workshops, I always explain that there are three key stages of influence when it comes to encouraging a balanced and varied diet:
1) What mum eats during the third trimester
2) What mum eats while breastfeeding
3) What the whole family eats when introducing solids
If you want your child to have a really healthy start in life, it comes from you – and there’s no better time to make changes to your diet than during pregnancy. While sensitivity to some tastes is genetic, most of our food preferences are learned – and there is a growing body of research that shows this learning begins before birth.
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During pregnancy your baby really does taste what you taste, with the flavours of your food making their way into the amniotic fluid, which is then repeatedly swallowed by the foetus. And studies have shown that babies seem to recognise and prefer these tastes once they are out in the world.
I'm a big advocate for getting little ones involved in the kitchen as much as possible. Growing up, I spent many magical hours helping my Mum in her kitchen, so this is something that I was keen to recreate with my son and daughter. It's a fantastic way to teach them about healthy ingredients, food prep and to spend quality time together. Once a week, my son and daughter take turns in choosing what we will make together. ???? . . My daughter loves to make my Gluten-free Yoghurt Bread (gluten-free, nut-free and vegetarian friendly) - which doubles up a snack and lunchbox option for the week, too! Featuring zucchini and a simple yoghurt dough, this is incredibly simple and the prep time is just 10 minutes. A fantastic nutritious option to make with the little ones these school holidays! . . Full recipe is on page 55 of my book "The Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook" - https://www.wholesomechild.com.au/mandys-book/ . . ???? To celebrate Mother's Day, we have a 20% OFF voucher: MUM20 ➡️ Simply enter the code at checkout. *Offer valid for purchases made via the Wholesome Child website only, limited to one use per person and for a short time only. . . #kidstagram #getkidscooking #familyfirst #kidsinthekitchen #bread #glutenfree #nutfree#vegetarian #recipe ???? @stanleyimages @bondilicious_nutritious