If you’d like your child to eat up all their fruit and veg, the best time to start is before birth, says research.
The food you eat during pregnancy not only nourishes your baby in the womb, but could also shape his food preferences as he grows up.
Whilst in the womb, your growing baby will gulp several ounces of amniotic fluid every day. Research has shown that this fluid is actually flavoured by the food and drink you have consumed throughout the day.
“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,” said Julie Mennella, who studies babies’ taste at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, reports NPR.
Julie gave the pregnant women involved in the study either a garlic capsule or a sugar capsule before taking a sample of their amniotic fluid. A panel of people was then asked to identify what the different samples of amniotic fluid smelt of.
“They could pick out the samples easily from the women who ate garlic,” commented Julie. As the sense of taste is 90 % smell, it was clear that the unborn babies could taste it, she said.
Also, the memory of the flavours and odours babies experienced in the womb form before birth, which could result in preferences for these foods in later life, said Julie.
Best to start eating the broccoli now then!
• Find out what else your baby experiences whilst in the womb
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• Check out our 20 clever ideas to get your little one to eat up their greens