French mothers often add vegetable cooking water to their infants’ milk to help introduce them to eating vegetables at the weaning stage and a similar strategy may work for your kids too, a new research suggests.
Adding a small amount of vegetable puree to milk and then rice at the time of weaning can make your children eat more vegetables, the findings showed.
“We took inspiration from French mothers… for years, French mums have shown that getting their children to eat vegetables early is child’s play,” said Marion Hetherington from the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds in Britain.
For the study, 36 mothers with babies aged from six months were split into two groups.
One group was given plain milk for 12 consecutive days followed by plain rice for 12 consecutive days.
The second group was given milk with added vegetable puree for 12 days followed by rice with vegetable puree for 12 more days.
Then, both groups were given vegetable puree for 11 consecutive days, and this is where the difference in intake was observed.
“What this study shows is that by doing a relatively simple thing, like adding vegetable puree to milk and then baby rice, children eat vegetables more readily,” Hetherington added.
“Vegetables tend to be bitter, so a gradual introduction is an easy way to let children get used to them,” Hetherington said.
The research was published in the journal Appetite.