The People's Perspective on Medicine

To Get Kids to Eat Vegetables, Start Them Young!

Children develop taste preferences very early in life. To give them the foundations for lifelong healthy eating, start them on veggies early.

Mothers who want their youngsters to eat their vegetables should start them early. New studies have found that babies are developing their taste preferences at a young age–sometimes even before they are born–and that has an impact on what 6 year olds like to eat.

The research shows that babies exposed to a variety of vegetables and fruits when they start to eat solid food are much more likely to be willing to eat them in school.

In addition, the studies show that babies given sugar-sweetened beverages grow up to be children who like to drink soda pop. Alarmingly, infants 10 to 12 months old who were given sugar-sweetened beverages more than three times a week were twice as likely to be obese at age six as those who never drank them.

[Pediatrics, Sept 2, 2014]

These findings will not be a surprise to people who have listened to our hour-long interview with Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric neuroendocrinologist and author of Fat Chance and The Fat Chance Cookbook.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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