Babies weaned on home-cooked food are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables by the age of seven than those given food from packets and jars, claim researchers.

Experts at De Montford University, Leicester and the universities of Birmingham and Bristol looked at data from nearly 8,000 mothers and children born in 1991 and 1992.

They found that children who were often given home cooked fruit and vegetables at six months were more likely to be eating an increased amount of fruit and vegetables at the age of seven, compared to those who were given home cooked meals less often.

The researchers claim that the findings show that exposure to fruit and vegetables is "important in the early weaning period".

Writing in the journal Public Health Nutrition, Dr Helen Coulthard, from De Montford University, said: "The range and type of foods that young children eat is becoming an increasing cause for concern.

"In particular, children do not seem to be eating the amounts of fruit and vegetables recommended for health."

Posted by Robert Mair on 20.7.11 Please send your comments on this article to: 

Baby spoonfed small