TRUTH OR TALE NO. 1

Posted on 31 January 2018

 Eating veggies while pregnant means your baby will like them.

ANSWER: Truth

Of all the pieces dietary advice mothers-to-be are given, surprisingly, this one is true.

The amniotic fluid that surrounds the foetus not only serves to protect it, but it is also essential in the exchange of water, nutrients, and other biochemical elements between the mother and her baby.

Since the nutrients and other elements of the amniotic fluid are indirectly processed from what the mother consumes, studies have proven that the amniotic fluid is in fact flavoured by the food the mother has eaten in the last few hours.

So, when the foetus starts swallowing amniotic fluid (during the second trimester), it is essentially eating what its mother eats.

Now apply this principle to vegetables. Science has actually shown that when mothers eat more green vegetables, such as broccoli, peas, and even kale, their babies are exposed to their flavours in utero, and they are more likely to develop a taste preference for them once they begin eating solids and develop into adulthood.

Another taste-conditioning factor is breast milk. Paediatricians have published a study that showed 4- to 8-month-olds who were breastfed while their mothers ate green beans were three times more inclined to like them when compared to babies whose mothers did not.

One thing that’s important to remember is that this unfortunately also holds true for unhealthy eating. Just like you can slowly get your baby to develop a taste for healthy foods, when you follow a diet that is high in sugar and saturated fats while pregnant and breast feeding, then so is your baby. Their taste preferences will develop accordingly.

Sources: 

https://www.npr.org/2011/08/08/139033757/babys-palate-and-food-memories-shaped-before-birth

https://www.monell.org/faculty/people/mennella

 

Published in Healthy Life

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