Getting your kids to explore wide range of healthy foods at a young age can help instill good eating habits. Even if you face tantrums and tears from the little ones, don’t give up!


A recent investigation looked at 40 studies on how infants and young children develop a taste for healthy foods, especially vegetables and fruits.

The review found repeatedly exposing your children to an array of healthy foods during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood is extremely important.

During pregnancy, the flavors of a mother’s diet “reach the child in utero, so if she’s eating a healthy diet, the fetus does get exposed to those flavors, getting the child used to them,” said study author Stephanie Anzman-Frasca. She’s an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at the University at Buffalo in New York.

Breast-feeding is another way to provide exposure of healthy flavors to infants.

As a child continues to grow, repeated exposure to healthy foods, even ones they have previously rejected, can help them develop a liking for those foods.


“This method of simply repeating the child’s exposure to healthy foods has a robust evidence base behind it,” Anzman-Frasca said in a university news release.

“There are many studies with preschoolers who start out not liking red peppers or squash, for example, but after five to six sessions where these foods are repeatedly offered, they end up liking them,” she said.

“Overall, based on all the studies we reviewed, our strongest recommendation to parents and caregivers is, ‘don’t give up!'” Anzman-Frasca concluded.

The findings were published Dec. 20 in the journal Obesity Reviews.