Variety is the Spice of Breast Milk


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Many of the benefits of breast feeding are well known. These days, you would have to search far and wide to find anyone who doesn’t already know that breast milk is the healthiest thing you can feed your baby. Most of us are well aware of the benefits to baby’s immune system, as well as the fact that human breast milk contains nutrients which cannot be found or replicated anywhere else. Additionally, most of us are aware of the many health benefits for women who breast feed their children.

One benefit of breast feeding which many of us may not be aware of however, is that it sets the stage for baby to enjoy a variety of foods later in life. The reason, quite simply, is that the flavor of breast milk is affected by what the breastfeeding mother eats.

We would hope that all breastfeeding mothers understand that it’s important for them to eat a healthy diet while they are breastfeeding and to avoid or limit intake of substances like alcohol, tobacco, and certain drugs. The quality of your diet directly affects the quality of your baby’s diet when you are breastfeeding.

What many may not know, however, is that eating a variety of foods both while you are pregnant and while you are breastfeeding can introduce your baby to the various flavors of the foods you are eating. The more healthy flavors you can introduce your child to, the better.

Relatively few studies have been done linking diet during breastfeeding with a child’s diet after she has been weaned, and the studies are not conclusive. However, most evidence seems to support the idea that eating a variety of foods while you are breastfeeding can prove helpful when you are introducing your baby to solid foods and beginning the weaning process.

Of course, no one is suggesting that your baby won’t try (or even enjoy) different foods just because you don’t vary your diet up. Ultimately, babies have their own sense of taste, much as older children and adults do. However, it does suggest that you are likely to have an easier time getting baby to try different solid foods if she is already accustomed to tasting different flavors in your breast milk.



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