Food for Thought (and Baby)

Yesterday a really interesting NPR article came up in my “buzz” entitled Baby’s Palate and Food Memories Shaped Before Birth. 

The basic premise of the article is that we can influence the foods our children will like by altering what we eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

At 21 weeks after conception…the growing baby gulps down several ounces of amniotic fluid daily. That fluid surrounding the baby is actually flavored by the foods and beverages the mother has eaten in the last few hours.

…not only is the amniotic fluid and breast milk in humans flavored by food just like cows, but memories of these flavors are formed even before birth. That could result in preferences for these foods or odors for a lifetime.

Kind of interesting, no?

The problem is it makes me slightly worried that my child will come out craving nothing but mac’n’cheese. Might be time to get back into salads!


  1. Very interesting and very cool.:)

  2. I'm picturing that comercial where the little girls playing soccor are shaped like donuts and french fries! My kid would be in serious trouble. 🙂

  3. In addition to the obvious reason for not drinking beer (alcohol content), perhaps this is another reason for not drinking during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Makes for early alcoholics.

  4. uh oh – my baby is going to eat apples and cupcakes exclusively. 😉

  5. @Michele – Honestly, I have a beer or a glass of wine here and there, and I'm sure I will during breastfeeding as well. My doc/midwife said it was fine (after the first trimester) and even recommended (especially during breastfeeding to help with supply), and I honestly don't feel like one glass of wine with dinner will cause any harm whatsoever to the baby. I worry more about the pregnant women I know who guzzle caffeine and eat sugary foods and don't keep active. ps – I was joking about the kiddo craving only mac n cheese. It has been a craving of mine, but I do eat pretty dang healthily, and it's something I hope to instill in my children!

  6. Hi, I'm new to your blog. That is a very interesting article thanks for sharing.

  7. That's so interesting! I've heard that they can taste the foods you eat, so I can see how they would remember them once they're born. Cool!

  8. Oh gosh, if this is true then our babies will come out wanting nothing but ice cream and other various varieties of junk food! Barfing every week has prevented me from eating anything other than what I am craving at the moment!

  9. I read an article similar when I was preggers too. Jack will love ice cream, baked potatoes and oranges 🙂

  10. If this was true cooking in my house would be a LOT easier. I'm hoping it's just a phase for Bud but he won't eat anything if it isn't steak with A1 sauce or peanut butter and jelly. (Neither of which I ate when I was pregnant.)Although he does love apples and I did have cravings for those. 🙂

  11. I was scared this would be true for Gracie since I eat like a 3 year old – I hate food touching, I despise added flavors like spices and sauces, I could eat (and do!) eat bread all day everyday.Fortunately, we haven't found a food Gracie doesn't like! She'll literally eat anything. It doesn't even have to be food 🙂

  12. It is kind of exciting to think you're influencing your baby's palate so early! That's why I haven't made any effort to avoid spicy foods or anything while breastfeeding–I would rather he get used to the taste.

  13. When we read this at week 21, my husband began trying to force feed me meat, ESP ribs, so our son will share his food loves. I couldn't do it and now he's worried he will only ever want chicken. And lots of ice cream.

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