Kids and Vegetables

Baby Wellness: Kids Don't Like Veggies That Bite


As a child I could never get enough crowns — not the kind other lasses loved, but artichokes. I hope my tot has a taste for them too. Though I may need to be patient as the majority of children have a distaste for bitter vegetables. A new study from Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia found:

A gene called TAS2R38 may be responsible for children's aversion to bitter tastes. . . The study included 143 children and their mothers, and over 79 percent of the children had one or two copies of the bitter-sensitive gene present. Interestingly, the presence of the bitter-sensitive gene made a bigger impact on the children's food preferences than their mothers. The mothers tastes seemed to be influenced more by race and ethnicity than the children.

If your youngster shies away from bitter greens, dress them up with butter and cheese or offer them sweeter veggies until the phase passes.
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