Adding tiny amounts of vegetable puree to milk and then rice at the time of weaning can make children eat vegetables, claims a new study.
According to University of Leeds' study, infants who consumed either milk (breast milk or formula) followed by rice mixed with vegetable puree ate nearly half as many vegetables again as infants who ate just milk followed by baby rice.
Professor Marion Hetherington, of the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds, who led the study said that they took inspiration from French mothers, as previous studies in this area have shown that they often add vegetable cooking water to their infants' milk to help introduce them to eating vegetables at weaning.
She said that for years, French mums have shown that getting their children to eat vegetables early is child's play.
Professor Hetherington added that adding vegetable puree to milk and then baby rice, children eat vegetables more readily. Vegetables tend to be bitter, so a gradual introduction is an easy way to let children get used to them.
Breast milk contains flavours carried from the maternal diet to the infants, so it is important for mums to eat a variety of vegetables and to maintain a healthy diet, too.
The study was published in the journal Appetite.