Author(s): Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK
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Abstract Anyone who has observed infants for any period of time can testify to the intense activity occurring in and around their mouths--the primary site for learning in the first few months of life. Before they are even able to crawl, infants have learned much about their new sensory world. Though recent research we have begun to explore the impact of these early experiences on infants' acceptance of solid foods and how they explore objects in their environment. We have also begun to focus on the sensory experiences of the formula-fed infant, in particular, how their responses to particular formulas, which are extremely unpalatable to older children and adults, change during infancy. This is a relatively new and exciting area of study, with much research yet to be done. It is clear, however, that infants are not passive receptacles for flavored foods. Parents who offer a variety of foods will provide both a nutritious, well-balanced diet, as well as an opportunity for their children's own personal preferences to develop.
This article was published in Nutr Rev
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems