Every mom out there wants to know -- Can the baby taste what mom is eating in utero? The answer, in short, is yes! Once the 13-week mark has passed, chances are that the baby's tastebuds have or are already developing. By the 15-week mark, the child can taste most of the things that mom is ingesting. It sounds strange but it makes perfect sense when thinking of it in terms of how pregnancy works. The child is floating in fluid and during that time, they're swallowing what can sometimes equate to a litre of the fluid per day. In a way, this prepares them for breastfeeding while also giving them a feel for that connection to mom through food.
So what can the baby taste, exactly? When mom eats fried veggie dumplings from her favorite Chinese take-out restaurant, the baby obviously can't tell that she's eating delicious fried dough, crunchy sauteed veggies, and a yummy dumpling sauce. What they can taste is salt from the sauce, possibly some sweetness from the veggies and dough, and maybe even some tart tanginess. The unborn child is picking up on specific flavor profiles, not so much the entire thing...Which is what makes eating while pregnant so interesting. Babies are notorious for loving sweet flavors, so mom might notice that when she eats something sweet, her baby responds wholeheartedly. Similarly, if she eats something spicy, the baby might respond with a (maybe well-deserved?) swift kick.
20 Orange Juice Makes The Baby Put On A Show
Are you trying to get your little soccer player to kick? Try drinking some orange juice. OJ is well-known for the number of natural sugars it contains, but it also has tons of vitamin C which will keep your body, as well as your baby's developing body, strong and healthy. As long as you're getting all-natural orange juice with limited or no added sugar, you're in for a healthy treat as well as a kick or two. Babies respond to the rise in blood sugar in your body, which means they'll have more energy and be more likely to put on a show for you.
19 Don't Be Afraid Of Spice
Yes, you can eat spicy foods while you're pregnant. Just like anything else though, you shouldn't overdo it -- If only for your digestive health and the sake of your baby's taste buds. Trying a spicy dish every once in a while throughout pregnancy can be interesting to see how your baby reacts to it. You might even discover further down the line that your child loves spicy food simply because they had a taste for it while in utero. The amazing thing about pregnancy is that whatever you eat, your baby will also experience in their own way. We're not suggesting ghost chiles or anything, but a nice medium tomatillo salsa over some tacos or fiesta salad bowls might be a nice way to switch things up.
18 Try Some Dried Fruits For Kicks
Dried fruits are known for being high in sugar which is why they make a great on-the-go snack for those times you might be feeling low on energy. While you're getting a boost from them, your baby is, too. There might just be enough sugar in dried fruit to have them moving around or even kicking if they're really feeling active, especially if it's early in the morning or midday. If your baby tends to be more active at night, try eating some dried prunes or mangos to encourage the kicks-per-hour. It's a fun experiment, but maybe not so much when you're trying to get some much-needed shut-eye.
17 Light A Fire With Mexican Food
Ah, back to the land of spice! Your baby will definitely be able to pick up on the spicy foods you're ingesting, and while most of it is hitting the back of your tongue, they'll be able to catch a milder version further on down. The receptors on your tongue are more developed and advanced enough to pick up on just about any type of spice there is, not to mention your sense of smell will only enhance what you're eating. Without being able to smell anything yet, your baby is getting a toned-down version of whatever your meal is, but they're still getting to experience the spice of life, so to speak. It's rumored that spicy foods might even make them hiccup, which is too adorable for words. It's great to expand their palettes this way because it'll give them a familiarization with different foods in preparation for when they're older, but also test their palette quite a bit.
16 Carrots In Any Form
It's rumored that what you eat is a solid preparation for the foods and flavors your child will love when they get older. Carrots, for example, can be a great test-run for this theory. If you're a fan of healthy foods and enjoy carrots, whether you eat them in salads, steamed, sauteed, or just raw with some ranch, try eating them a couple times a week throughout your pregnancy. You'll be interested to find that your baby might take a liking to carrots in the form of baby food or even carrot juice, as some moms suggest. Carrots add a nice sweetness to any diet, but also offer nutrients you'll need throughout pregnancy. Plus, your baby will love a veggie that's also super sweet.
15 Dark Chocolate Gets The Baby Kicking
The one indulgence that's perfectly okay to eat weekly is dark chocolate. It provides powerful antioxidants that will help both you and your baby, and while it might taste slightly bitter, it still contains sugar. Your baby will probably pick up on this bitterness which will be an intriguing taste on their palette, but they'll also pick up on the sugar that chocolate naturally contains. It's a nice treat for both of you especially if you're looking to get your baby a little more active, not to mention it's definitely good eats. Try shredding it with a box grater or zester over some yogurt or oatmeal in the morning, or even into a cup of tea at night.
14 Occasional Ice Cream Is Okay
We know we know, telling you that eating an entire pint of ice cream is not the best thing to say to a woman who's about to have a baby. Instead, we'll say that occasionally, ice cream can be a nice sweet treat for both you and your baby. Your child will love all flavors that are sweet since the amniotic fluid they're ingesting is quite the opposite -- Somewhat salty, strong, and potently flavored. By eating sweets every now and then (in moderation!), you'll be helping to add a natural sweetness that will make them happy, active, and satisfied.
13 Healthy Sweets Give The Baby Energy
There are definitely ways you can give your baby a taste of something sweet without actually indulging in a candy bar every single day. Your cravings will most likely be crazy insane throughout pregnancy, and something many women experience is a rise in sweet tooths. Pinterest is home to many a sweet dish that's also somewhat healthy (or just lower in sugar) and a good way to tell if your baby is into it is by gauging their movement after you eat. A rise in blood sugar will let them know that energy is coming their way, so as long as it's a healthy sweet, your baby will probably enjoy it just as much as you do!
12 Chinese Food: Salty, Sweet, And Sour
It's an interesting thing to consider while you're pregnant, but not only can Chinese food (check for MSG) be a hard-out craving while you're pregnant, it can also give your baby some interesting flavors to experience. Salty is probably the number one flavor they'll experience with this cuisine, but dishes such as sweet and sour chicken or orange chicken can send them for a happy loop due to the sweetness. Additionally, things like steamed veggies in a light sauce can add valuable nutrients to your diet and take on a whole new flavor profile for your baby. Of course, all of this in moderation.
11 Thai Food Is Great For Vegetarians
Thai cuisine can be extremely healthy for you because a lot of the ingredients used are fresh and cooked in such a way that preserves the natural flavor and perfection that is the vegetable world. This is a great option for moms who are vegetarian or vegan but still want some variety in their diet. The best thing you can do for your baby's developing taste buds is giving them a taste of everything and see how they respond. Thai cuisine also tends to make use of fresh fruits as well such as mangos, which means that your baby will be singing your praises.
10 Italian Satisfies Mom And Baby
Not only can Italian food be super comforting, but it also tends to be fairly acidic and full of bold, strong flavors. There won't be much sweetness in this food option for your baby, but you'll have a chance to share some of your favorite Italian dishes with them and give them a taste of an Italian-turned-American staple. Pasta can be swapped for whole wheat pasta which is high in complex carbs as well as fiber, and depending on the sauce, your baby will get to experience citrus, dairy, or acidic tomato flavors. It'll be interesting but definitely satisfying for both of you!
9 Avoid Highly Salty Foods
Since the amniotic fluid your baby is already ingesting is somewhat salty and strong, you'll want to avoid foods that are super high in salt content and also avoid salting your own dishes more than necessary. Salt can also increase water retention which might make you feel extra bloated and uncomfortable. While your baby might enjoy a pickle every now and then, avoid eating too much from cuisines that are known to use a lot of salt, avoid salty meats, and especially junk food such as chips or overly-salted popcorn. Your baby would much rather prefer sweet over salty anyway!
8 Baby Loves Oatmeal With Sweetness
It might sound like the most boring of all breakfast or brunch options, but hear us out on this one. Not only is oatmeal great for your digestive system as far as fiber goes, it can also be turned into a fun vehicle for all things sweet. Add some diced apples, clementine slices, or mango chunks to your daily breakfast to get your baby started early in the morning. You can even try some dried fruits and nuts for a savory/sweet combination and see how your baby reacts to it -- Everything that you're eating, they're tasting as well, so there's no reason it can't be fun for both of you.
7 Fresh Fruits Have Vitamins The Baby Needs
We're just going to keep repeating it; your baby will definitely have a preference for sweet flavors since it'll combat the rough taste of amniotic fluid. Fresh fruit is an excellent way to get in some much-needed vitamins and nutrients without splurging on super sugary snacks that definitely aren't healthy for you. Stock up on fruits that are high in vitamins C and B! This can be a fun task to follow according to what's in season at the time because your baby might not know it yet, but they'll be eating according to whichever season they're about to be born in... And that's actually really cute.
6 Lots Of Veggies To Give The Baby Many Flavors
Granted they're not all sweet, they're still insanely healthy for you while you're pregnant. Your baby will be able to pick up on strong flavors, so if you're going to saute a bunch of spinach and kale in olive oil and garlic, just be aware that your baby will probably have garlic breath too. Sweet potatoes are a good option every once in a while because they have a natural level of sweetness but can still be eaten as a savory dish while being super versatile. Carrots are a great source of vitamins and beta-carotene and can be sauteed or roasted in a little bit of all-natural maple syrup for a slightly sweeter flavor that your baby will love.
5 All-Natural Jams And Preserves
If it's summer, there's no way you can say no to whole wheat toast slathered in some peach jam, are we right? The good news is that an option like this will probably get your baby up and moving around because of the soon-to-be increase in your blood sugar level. It's a great thing to take advantage of when the season comes around, and even things like apple or pumpkin butter during the fall can be a nice sweet treat. Keep some on hand for that early morning sweet tooth or a midday snack with some apple slices or crackers as well. Or just keep a spoon nearby... We won't tell anyone.
4 Smoothies For Health And Sweets
This might be an obvious option and one that many women already partake in, but smoothies are a great option for early mornings. You can throw in virtually whatever you want and sneak a few spinach leaves in there (frozen will help to conceal the flavor even more), and chances are if all you're tasting are berries, then that's all your baby will taste, too. They might give you some healthy kicks for this one simply because they have increased energy, not unlike you will after a peanut butter-banana-green smoothie. They're healthy, delicious, and something your baby will absolutely love.
3 Believe It Or Not, Curry Gets The Baby Moving
It's an old wives' tale that curry will help a woman go into labor, and while there's no definitive proof for this, there's a solid chance it'll help your baby to get up and movin' around in there. For those who aren't familiar, curry has a myriad of robust and bright flavors; with a common broth of crushed tomatoes and coconut milk, you've got sweet and acidic and to bring in warmth, you've got a beautiful blend of Indian spices ranging from coriander to masala to cumin and everything in between. This is one flavor profile that's going to do a number on your baby's palette and who knows, they might actually like it!
2 Glazed Salmon Makes The Baby Think You're Having Sweets
Salmon is great for you during pregnancy as long as it's in moderation. Glazed salmon, with honey or even brown sugar, can be a good way to trick your baby into thinking he or she is getting sweets -- When in reality, they're getting a healthy dose of omega-3 and proteins with it. It's a lean but fatty fish which makes it the perfect healthy seafood option to add to your diet, and we're pretty sure your baby won't mind it too much either. It's a great way to eat salmon if you're (or think you're not) the biggest fan of it. Take a word of caution, though... The salmon might not be the only thing attempting to swim around afterward.
1 Turn Avocados Into A Sweet Tastebud Stimulator
Avocados are an excellent healthy additive to your diet while you're pregnant, and even before and after. Since they're fairly bland on their own, chances are your baby won't be able to taste much which is why they're the perfect vehicle for whatever you're in the mood for. You can add some hot sauce for a spicy kick, some flavored hummus for a bit of savory, or even turn an avocado into dessert. That's right, with a little bit of cacao powder, almond milk, and honey, you'll have the most perfect healthy(ish) dessert that both you and your baby will love.
References: whattoexpect.com, parents.com, babyq.com, npr.org, beingtheparent.com, dailymail.co.uk