Injury is a major cause of death and disability. According to the World Health Organization 5.8 million people died worldwide from injury in 2000 and this figure is expected to rise to 8.4 million in the year 2020. In contrast to the significant progress made in controlling infectious diseases over the past decades, injuries have been less well contained as an epidemic and are even on the increase. For children between 1 and 14 years of age, injury is the leading cause of death and occurs at twice the rate of a death from cancer or eight times that of a respiratory related death (ECOSA, 2001).
Human breast milk is considered the ideal food, and thus a complete meal for the neonate and the infant during the first months of life. Breast milk can be the sole source of nutrients, even up until one year of age. In this regard, it has to be a complete meal, i.e. contain all of the essential components necessary for harmonious growth in addition to the requirements for maintaining vital bodily functions.
The most important factors influencing child food choice and food intake are familiarity and good taste, i e flavour preferences. Therefore, in order to make it easier to influence child food choice, it is important to understand the development of flavour preferences. The infants' first food is usually breast milk and they, of course, like the sweet and fatty taste of breast milk. There are other likes and dislikes that are found in all newborns. These are called innate flavour preferences. By studying for example facial expressions of newborns after giving them strong sweet or bitter tasting liquid, it has been concluded that all newborns like sweet and dislike bitter taste.