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Children can be very particular about what they put into their bodies, but not for the same reasons we adults do.
For them it is all about taste and texture. Which is why getting them to chow down on broccoli and kale is not an easy feat.
Except, that is, if you start to develop their tastes before they even see the light of day.
Trying to trick your kids into eating vegetables is not going to go over well. They are smarter than you think and no amount of blending or baking can fool them.
But what if they actually enjoy the taste of veggies right from the get go?
One study from the Monell Chemical Senses Center has placed the blame on the diet of the adults having children. Babies born to mothers who eat a diverse diet full of all kinds of fresh food will be more open to a wide range of flavors.
According to the same study, changing taste preferences beyond toddlerhood is next to impossible.
We pass along more than just our crooked teeth and hair color. Children will adopt the same eating habits and taste preferences as their parents.
The foods a mother eats while pregnant will dictate the types of foods her child will crave and develop a taste for.
The logic is simple enough, but what practical advice can I offer to help ensure that your little ones finish their salads?
Here is a list of 5 powerful foods to eat both while pregnant and in the first year of child rearing that can influence the tastes of your baby:
1. Dried Beans and Lentils:
All women need 10 grams of protein a day and that’s not when they have another life growing inside them. Meats can be packed with harmful growth hormones and nitrates, so a great alternative are organic (not canned) lentils and beans.
Want to avoid the battle to feed broccoli to your toddler? Start by eating broccoli while pregnant and while breast feeding. Rich with calcium and folate, this leafy green will help your body absorb the iron it needs to support a healthy baby.
3. White Meat:
Hunger may be your biggest fan in those 9 months. Feeding it with lean cuts of organic chicken or turkey can keep blood sugar levels stable and reduce your urge to binge on a candy bar – one taste you don’t want your baby to crave.
Some women develop a deep distaste for meat while pregnant, so eggs work as an excellent source of protein. They also make great carriers for all kinds of vegetables. Mix up an omelet with tomatoes and spinach and your baby will thank you.
5. Nuts and Nut Butter:
Almond butter makes a great snack to satisfy those sweet cravings. Staying away from sugar will be a great way to keep your baby on track to eat good foods. Nuts are also full of the good fats and help to keep you fuller for longer.