London: Mothers who want their children to like vegetables should eat them during pregnancy, according to a new research.
Researchers from Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, found babies can build up a taste for healthy foods in the womb.
In a study, they found flavours were passed from mother to baby via the amniotic fluid.
“Things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise, mint — these are some of the flavors that have been shown to be transmitted to amniotic fluid or mother``s milk,” the Daily Mail quoted study leader Julie Mennella as telling NPR News.
A group of pregnant women were divided into three. One group was asked to drink carrot juice every day during their pregnancy, another during breastfeeding and a third to avoid carrots completely.
When the children began to eat solid food, researchers fed them cereal made with water or carrot juice.
They found babies who had experienced carrot in their amniotic fluid or mother``s milk ate more of the carrot-flavored cereal.
The scientists said that because mothers tend to feed their children what they eat themselves, it is nature``s way of introducing babies to foods and flavors they are likely to encounter over their lifetimes.
University of Florida taste researcher Linda Bartoshuk said Dr Mennella``s research could have far-reaching implications for children``s health.
“To what extent can we make a baby eat a healthier diet by exposing it to all the right flavors - broccoli, carrots, lima beans, et cetera? Could we do that or not? My guess is we could,” she added.
The study has been published in the journal Pediatrics.