AZ Pediatría
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Vol. 8 - Num. 5

Child nutrition

Development of infant and toddler’s feeding habits. Sense and sensibility

José Manuel Moreno Villaresa, MJ Galiano Segoviab

aGastroenterólogo pediátrico. Departamento de Pediatría. Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre. Madrid. España. Coordinador del Comité de Nutrición de la Asociación Española de Pediatría.
bCS Montessori. Leganés. Madrid. España.

Reference of this article: Moreno Villares JM, Galiano Segovia MJ. Development of infant and toddler’s feeding habits. Sense and sensibility. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2006;8 Supl 1:S11-25.

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Early influences on feeding practices in infants and toddlers have a relevant role on later food preferences. There is a natural preference for sweet tastes and dislike for strong bitter tastes, and this characteristic is an adaptative advantage. Infants present a preference for food flavours experienced in their mother?s milk. These flavours reflect her food choices and the food choices of her culture. As the infant grows up, other influences on food preference will come into play, so these early effects cannot be expected to lead to exclusive preferences. In the first few months of life, infants do accept unusual flavours more easily than when they are offered later on life. Following these early influences it seems advisable to suggest some practical recommendations for the introduction of complementary foods in the infant diet. Educational strategies involving attempts to impart basic nutritional information have not been successful in decreasing obesity or in achieving healthy eating habits. An alternative strategy would be to teach parents more about child development that may help both to promote start healthy feeding guidelines for infants and toddlers and to decrease parental anxiety related to infant feeding.


Breastmilk Obesity Recommendations Supplementary feeding Taste

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