Womb to WEAN

Weaning and Exploring Acceptance of New tastes

Are you interested in learning about how the foods you eat during pregnancy might affect the foods your baby prefers during infancy?

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is important for health, however consumption is low amongst both adults and children in Scotland.  Studies have shown that our food preferences follow us from childhood through to adulthood, so it is important to form good habits from the beginning.  Infant taste preferences develop early in life and may be influenced by exposure to flavours from the mother’s diet, which are experienced by the baby through her amniotic fluid and breastmilk.  We want to investigate whether increasing the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed in late pregnancy will increase babies’ liking of different flavours and make them more likely to accept a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in childhood.  We are also interested in how your baby’s gut microbiota is influenced by the foods you eat during pregnancy, as well as their diet during the first few months of infancy, as this is now being recognised as a major influence on long-term health and development. 

This study will involve you eating soups and snacks containing a variety of fruits and vegetables, provided by the Rowett, once per day for 24 days; and then filming your baby while you feed them fruit and vegetable purees when they begin weaning.  You will also be asked to record details of your baby’s diet (milk and weaning foods) each month until they are 9 months old; and we would like to collect stool samples (nappies) so we can look at the gut microbiota.

This study is a continuation of the Flavour and INFANT studies.  The foods which will be provided to Womb to WEAN volunteers were developed using feedback from the participants of the Flavour study; and the mothers and babies who took part in the INFANT study have helped us to test the best way to measure the babies’ reactions to new flavours at weaning.  We would like to thank all of the women and babies who took part in both these studies.  We could not have designed the Womb to WEAN study without your help and are excited about the next phase of the project.

We are looking for:

  • Pregnant women age 20+

Further information

Download further information pdf

Study Team