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Foods Consumed During Pregnancy Impact A Baby's Taste Preferences After Birth

Research has shown that whatever someone's mother eats while pregnant could possibly shape a person's eating habits for the rest of their life. So, if you have quite the sweet tooth, you may want to call up your mom and demand to know what she indulged in during her pregnancy with you.

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A study was first conducted in 1995 and published by the journal Chemical Senses. Lead researcher Julie Mennella had the idea to study how a mother's diet affected her baby after learning that dairy cows who ate strongly flavored plants like onion and garlic, could transfer that flavor in their milk. Mennella theorized that this could happen to human mother's too, and if their milk could change flavors, maybe their amniotic fluid could as well.

Curiosity.com shared this article with their 21st-century audience noting that the study did show a correlation. Mennella and her team had pregnant women either eat a garlic capsule or take a placebo. They then took regular samples of amniotic fluid. The lucky people tasked with smelling all of this amniotic fluid were easily able to identify the fluid belonging to the women who had consumed garlic. Taste and smell are closely related so it was theorized that these babies would likely develop a positive taste for garlic.

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Animal research also indicated that whatever a mother eats during pregnancy, their child will enjoy later in life. In order to prove this, Mennella randomly assigned breastfeeding mothers to drink carrot juice every day. They did this either when they were pregnant, breastfeeding, or both. Once the babies were old enough to have eaten solid food for at least a month (but before they had carrots), they were served cereal made with water and cereal made with carrot juice. Researchers then watched them eat to see which one they preferred.

The babies whose mothers consumed carrot juice made fewer negative faces when first being exposed to the cereal and carrot juice. Research has also shown that the greater variety of food a mother eats while pregnant or nursing, the more diverse the palette the baby will have as a child and an adult. So if your little toddler won't eat their veggies, you may be the one to blame. Perhaps we're all just trapped in a vicious veggie-hating cycle.

What do you think of this study? Do any of your kiddos have similar tastes to you? Let us know in the comments!

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