More Than Genetics: Can you pass down taste preferences?
|July 19, 2011||Posted by Sarah under Healthy Eating, Kids, Nutrition|
Almost any new mom can tell you how nerve-racking, exciting, confusing and long pregnancy feels with their first child. You try to read all the books on what to expect, you Google every symptom that you haven’t read about, and you could talk for hours on end about your upcoming arrival. With only a few months left to go, I feel like a walking, talking pregnancy dictionary. Got a question? I’ve probably researched it! I want to be 100% ready for my baby and that means learning as much as I can.
Surprisingly, though, I learned something yesterday that I didn’t already know. It’s so surprisingly because it’s totally applicable to what I do at work! I learned that babies can taste before they are born. Crazy, huh?! As soon as I got to work today, I looked up a few articles on whether this has been proven to shape taste preferences for babies once they are born, and wouldn’t you know it… it does! There have been several studies that have shown what mom eats while pregnant or breastfeeding can later be what baby likes. I hope that means she will like my cooking!
This article really explained it well:
“As babies grow in the womb in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, they begin gulp amniotic fluid — up to a liter per day. At the same time, taste receptors on their tongues and nasal openings are developing quickly, providing a way to sense the fluid’s taste and smell.”
And you guessed it, the taste and smell are determined by what mom is eating. The article goes on to cite a study about drinking carrot juice – and how babies whose mothers drank it during pregnancy or while breast feeding came to accept carrot-flavored cereal at 5 months old more than those whose mothers avoided carrot juice.
Now I have even more reason and determination to eat healthy during pregnancy – what I eat can be shaping my child’s own future. And wow, now I’m having a strange craving for carrot juice!