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Infant and parent nutrition intertwine

From left, Mitrious Woodlyn, 3, Lilyana Hilliard, 4, and Caleb Grottenhaler, 5, talk during snack time at Slippery Rock University Preschool and Child Care Center on Monday. Seb Foltz/Butler Eagle

Babies go through some of the most exponential growth of their lives within the first few months of their birth.

Pediatricians at local hospitals say physical growth should be matched with a growth in babies’ palates and diets to ensure little ones develop healthy eating habits that can be carried on throughout their lives.

Pamela Schoemer, director of quality, safety and improvement for UPMC Children's Pediatrics, said she encourages parents to be mindful of how they are feeding their babies and how the child reacts to different tastes and textures as they grow into toddlers.

“That first four months of life, everything tastes the same, the same texture, you are just eating to grow,” Schoemer said. “Now when we start solids, we're actually starting to explore what taste buds are. So, we don't necessarily want to just develop their sweet tooths, but we want to start with something that has different tastes.”

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