Does Breastmilk Change Flavor?
Mom's Diet and Breastfeeding
Is there a good breastfeeding diet? Good question! A study was just published to try to unpack the evidence. The study answered a few big questions about the impact of food on the taste of breastmilk, if baby cares and then if there were any implications for the kids’ future. Here we round up the highlights.
Do Foods Impact the Taste of Breastmilk and Does Your Baby Care?
Yes. The short answer is yes, your breastfeeding diet can change the flavor of your breastmilk and your baby can tell. The evidence to support this is limited to just a handful of foods. These are alcohol, anise, caraway, carrots, eucalyptus, garlic, and mint. So not only does the flavor change, but your baby notices it. Not just that, but your baby will also recognize these tastes again, and that is also pretty cool.
Why is this cool?
People are interested to understand this question: Do the foods you eat now as a breastfeeding mom influence what foods your kid will enjoy eating later in life. A recent study, called a systematic review, just looked at all the research that was done on this topic. So the general idea that your breastfeeding diet is a factor is important beyond providing food to grow.
Not too fast
But not all foods in a breastfeeding diet make a change to flavor. Other studies in the review looked at fruit flavoring, tea and fish oil, but there was no evidence that the taste changed. We also know what a child eats 10 years from now is a combination of a million different factors, including your feeding style, what they like, but also what’s available for dinner.
What should my breastfeeding diet be?
We know that there is a flavor window between 6 months and 18 months where your baby is more open to try new tastes and textures. After that they sorta lock it down to what they know. We believe this research is important because it tells us you can introduce these tastes through your breastmilk. As is life, there is no magic bullet for most things, including to prevent picky eating. But! As a start, try to eat some more anise, caraway, carrots, eucalyptus, garlic, and mint.
For a broader check list, check out our weekly food planner.
Your breastfeeding diet should include many different foods prepared in different ways! Want more help? Our Fooblie coaches are lactation consultants and registered dietitians and they are here to help you out!