Did You Know That What A Mother Eats Can Affect Her Baby’s Taste Buds For Life??
An old wives tale goes that a baby will be able to adopt its mother’s appetite. It was never really been proven to be true, but now science is coming out with some new research that shows children really do have the ability to develop taste preferences while they are still in the womb.
The author of First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, Bee Wilson, says that taste preferences are decided by the genetics, culture, early habits, and memory of the child.
The research shows that mothers that eat while pregnant are able to affect the taste and smell of the amniotic fluid. This means that mom’s favorite food will become one of comfort for the baby.
“One of the main things we know about taste is that liking is a consequence of familiarity, so the things that our mothers eat, even before we’re born, affect the way we’ll respond to those flavors when we later encounter them because they seem familiar,” Wilson told NPR.
Even after birth, the mother continues to influence her baby’s taste. Whatever the mother’s diet is, it changes the flavor of the breast milk she is feeding to her child, creating flavor preferences.
“There have been remarkable studies done showing that if someone eats a lot of garlic when they’re pregnant, their amniotic fluid will taste and smell garlicky. So imagine swimming around in that for 9 months…”
How then, do you explain a picky eater?
The “picky stage” of a child is believed to be a part of a genetically-wired survival instinct.
Not to worry, taste preferences are not permanent, and that goes for everyone!
Wilson goes on to say that the development of taste preferences never ceases. It can continue to change and evolve over time.