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Mothers' diet flavours breastmilk

The food a new mother eats can change the flavour of her breastmilk and potentially influence her child's eating habits later in life.
What a mother eats can affect the taste of her breastmilk - and could make her child more receptive to different foods when older, scientists have discovered.

Various flavours were tried in the experiment, with the taste of bananas being noticeable in the milk within an hour, while foods like liquorice take longer, New Scientist reported.

Test results from the research at the University of Copenhagen showed that breastfed children were more likely to try new foods because they had already been exposed to a lot of different flavours.

"It's not like if the mother eats apple pie the baby thinks 'mmmm, apple pie', but it may make them more accepting of the flavour of other foods," said study leader Helene Hausner.

"Breastfeeding may prepare the infant for flavour changes and new experiences when they start to eat solid foods."

The research was carried out on 18 breastfeeding mothers who were given capsules which contained the various flavours.

After eight hours the taste had left the milk.

New mothers may be happy with the news that they can influence their children's future eating habits, with poor diets linked to childhood obesity.

And with the head of the World Trade Organisation recently talking up the good effects of bananas, the news that the fruit is one of the quickest to flavour breastmilk will excite any mothers who have big ambitions for their children.

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