We all know that eating healthy foods and leafy greens while pregnant is best for both expecting moms and developing babies. But did you know that what you eat while pregnant might affect more than just your baby’s health?
An article recently published by NPR suggests that what we eat while expecting may actually help shape the food preferences of our children while in utero…
According to the article…
“Things like vanilla, carrot, garlic, anise, mint — these are some of the flavors that have been shown to be transmitted to amniotic fluid or mother’s milk, says Julie Mennella, who studies taste in infants at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. In fact, Mennella says there isn’t a single flavor they have found that doesn’t show up in utero. Her work has been published in the journal Pediatrics.
University of Florida taste researcher Linda Bartoshuk says babies are born with very few hard and fast taste preferences. She says Mennella’s work shows that very early exposures to flavors – both before and after birth — make it more likely that children will accept a wide variety of flavors. And when those early exposures are reinforced over a lifetime, Bartoshuk thinks they might have far-reaching implications, even promoting good eating.
In addition, a study on three groups of women showed that mothers who repeatedly drank carrot juice during pregnancy, had babies with the highest preference for eating carrots when given solid foods.
As expecting moms, I know we all already have enough to worry about when it comes to what we eat and how it will affect our bodies and our babies. But this article is a great reminder that our decisions have impacts far greater than what we can see day in and day out.
As a vegetarian, I already eat plenty of vegetables, greens, and grains. But after reading this article I feel even more compelled to make sure I’m eating a good variety of foods and flavors. Who knows, maybe if I eat enough beets and quinoa I’ll end up with a few more foodies under my roof!
A few extra fruits and vegetables certainly never hurt anyone, and now I have one more reason to make sure there is always something green on my plate.