Healthy Eating, Part V – Good news for vegetable haters everywhere!

Healthy Eating, Part V - Good news for vegetable haters everywhere!

Given the opportunity, starting your baby off with good eating habits is a great way to go. Even if it’s too late for that now, an important lesson from the first feedings still applies: New tastes can be acquired! This is good news for vegetable-haters everywhere.

If you drink coffee, you probably remember the first time you took a taste. It was horrible! How could anyone like that disgusting stuff! Many baby foods that we consider very bland have the same impact on children. Children have extremely sensitive taste buds. Their vision may have slightly soft focus, but their senses of taste and smell are much sharper than ours. When it comes to introducing new foods, breast-fed babies have an advantage because the taste of mom’s milk varies depending on what she has eaten. Formula-fed babies get the exact same taste every time they drink a bottle, and the introduction of new foods can be more difficult for them. Whichever milk they are fed, new tastes can be acquired.

“My baby hates peas!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard it.

In an exciting study of babies with a demonstrated dislike for peas (perhaps you can picture the expressive faces of the babies enrolled in the study), each was fed peas as the first bite of solid food for the day. If the baby made a disgusted face or spewed the peas, the peas were not continued that day, in favor of other foods the baby liked. The peas were not force-fed. By the end of only 10 days, 85% of the pea-haters had become pea-lovers! They literally giggled at the sight of peas! Take the time early on to give your bundle of joy a delight in peas, green beans, carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes.

The best way to get your infant to eat any new food is to desensitize him or her to the taste. You can accomplish this by using the new food for the first bite of solids each day for 10 days straight.

Never force a child to eat more of a new food than she or he is ready for, but always be ready to scoop up more if the child is still interested! Some new tastes take longer to acquire than others, but continuing to expose your child to small amounts of healthy foods (that the adults in your family eat) will pave the way for good eating habits in the years to come.

More Information on Healthy Eating:
Healthy Eating, Part I – How important is good nutrition?
Healthy Eating, Part II – What foods do children need? What foods should be avoided?
Healthy Eating, Part III – The five greatest motivators for preschool children to eat healthy foods.
Healthy Eating, Part IV – Motivators for school age children and adolescents.
Healthy Eating, Part V – Good news for vegetable haters everywhere!


Dr. Alan Greene

As a father of four himself, Dr. Greene has devoted himself to freely giving real answers to parents' real questions -- from questions about those all too common childhood conditions to those that address the most recent and rare pediatric illnesses. His answers combine cutting edge science, practical wisdom, warm empathy, and a deep respect for parents, children, and the environment. He is also an electrifying public speaker, and has personally touched many during his talks in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Dr. Greene is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California at San Francisco. Upon completion of his pediatric residency program at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Northern California he served as Chief Resident. He entered primary care pediatrics in January 1993.

Dr. Greene is the Past President of The Organic Center and on the Board of Directors of Healthy Child Healthy World. He is a founding partner of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. He also consults for the Environmental Working Group.

In 1995, he launched, cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site” on the Internet. His award-winning site has received over 80 million Unique Users from parents, concerned family members, students, and healthcare professionals. In addition to being the founder of, he is the Medical Director for HealthTap.

In 2010 Dr. Greene founded the WhiteOut Movement to change how babies in the United States are fed. In 2012 he founded TICC TOCC - Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is also the founder of KidGlyphs, a free iPhone app that provides a tool for young children to express themselves beyond their verbal skills while teaching them important language skills.

Dr. Greene is the Founding President of the Society for Participatory Medicine and has served as both President and Board Chair of Hi-Ethics (Health Internet Ethics. He is on the Board of Directors for Healthy Child Healthy World, The Lunchbox Project, and The Society for Participatory Medicine. He has also served as an advisor to URAC for both their inaugural and their updated health web site accreditation program. He is a founding member of the e-Patient Scholars Working Group, and a founding board member of the Center for Information Therapy.

Dr. Greene is a regular columnist for Parenting Magazine. He is also the Pediatric Expert for The People’s Pharmacy (as heard on NPR) and Healing Quest (seen on PBS stations). He was the original Pediatric Expert for both Yahoo! and iVillage.

Dr. Greene is the author of Feeding Baby Green (Wiley, 2009), Raising Baby Green (Wiley, 2007), From First Kicks to First Steps (McGraw-Hill, 2004), The Parent's Complete Guide to Ear Infections (People's Medical Society, 1997), and a co-author of The A.D.A.M. Illustrated Family Health Guide (A.D.A.M., Inc., 2004). He is the medical expert for three additional books, The Parent's Soup A-to-Z Guide to Your New Baby, (Contemporary Books, 1998) The Parent's Soup A-to-Z Guide to Your Toddler, (Contemporary Books, 1999), and The Mother of All Baby Books, (Hungry Minds, Inc., 2002).

Dr. Greene is a frequent keynote speaker at important events such as Health 2.0 2011 held in San Diego, CA, IFOAM 2008 (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), held in Modena Italy, the first European Internet health conference, held in Maastricht, the first International eHealth Association Conference, held in Jeddah, and the largest e-Healthcare World Conference, held in Las Vegas, and the first Green Power Baby Shower, held in Hollywood. Dr. Greene also appears frequently on TV, radio, websites, and in newspapers and magazines around the world, including such venues as the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC network news, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Magazine, Parade, Parenting, Child, Baby Talk, Working Mother, Better Home's & Gardens, and the Reader's Digest.

Dr. Greene loves to think about challenging ideas, he enjoys being where nothing manmade can be seen, and he wears green socks.

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