Danish researchers advise how to make breast milk taste like banana milkshake.
Nursing mothers were today shown how to produce the human equivalent of a banana milk shake from their breasts. It seems all they have to do is munch a banana an hour or less before feeding time. They can give their milk other flavours the same way.
In tests carried out, women were able to make their milk taste of menthol, caraway seed and liquorice, as well as banana. The researchers believe the rich variety of flavours in breast milk may prime a child to try new foods later in life , as previous studies suggested that what a mother ate could affect the taste preferences of her baby. This is not a bad idea, it will turn the babies into more adventurous adults in food tastes later in life.
Infants of mothers who drank carrot juice during pregnancy or breastfeeding seemed to particularly enjoy carrot-flavoured cereal.
The University of Copenhagen researchers investigated how flavours could be transferred from food to breast milk. This is how the research was conducted – a total of 18 milk-producing mothers were asked to swallow capsules containing the same flavour compounds found in caraway seeds, menthol, banana and liquorice. Tests were then conducted at regular intervals they showed that it took varying amounts of time for the flavours to appear in their breast milk.
While concentrations of caraway and liquorice compounds peaked after two hours, banana could only be detected in breast milk for the first hour after consumption.
Menthol remained in breast milk at relatively stable levels for between two and eight hours.
After eight hours, all four flavours had disappeared from the mothers’ breast milk.
Study leader Helene Hausner told New Scientist magazine: “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.
“Breastfeeding may prepare the infant for flavour changes and new experiences when they start to eat solid foods.”
Gill Rapley, a UK nurse with more than 20 years experience specialising in post-natal care, said the findings could have practical implications for mothers worried about why their babies are refusing to feed.
“Mothers often talk about whether something in their milk may have upset their baby, but within eight hours most flavours will be gone,” she said.
This certainly is an interesting study. It should give the babies more varieties in taste and will make life more interesting for them, at least, as far as, food is concerned. There is only one way to test the validity of this finding, nursing mothers, please verify for new mothers.
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