There is a lot of myth around cravings for pregnant women. For example, if one has a craving for peanuts, she can be calm, her child will not have a birthmark in that shape. That’s not true. However, it is also often said that if your mother repeatedly ate asparagus when you were in her womb, you may also like her taste. And that, according to a study on babies that has just been published in Psychological ScienceYes, there might be an explanation.
In it, something has been done that had never been done before: study the tastes of babies for different flavors when they are still in the womb of their mothers. Previously, they had been carried out similar studies, but always once the babies were born. This is much more innovative, since it has been based on the faces of the little ones in 4D ultrasounds.
Two flavors have been tried, the carrots and kale. In general, the former enchants them and the latter repels them. However, the study authors, from the University of Durham, believe that this could serve to educate the palate of children from the earliest possible moment. And, by the way, I could explain that this famous myth about cravings was not as much a myth as we thought. But that is another question.
The taste of babies before birth
This study was carried out with a very simple procedure. The babies were exposed to these two vegetables, through their mothers. These were 100 pregnant women between 32 and 36 weeks of gestationwho were administered capsules that contained either carrot powder or kale powder. In addition, they simultaneously underwent a 4D ultrasound.
Thus, you could see the little ones in great detail and easily distinguish their faces. It was clearly observed that most of them responded with a smile when exposed to carrot. However, in the case of kale, the faces were typical of the crying. This last grimace appeared later in the pregnancy, but not because the disgust develops later, but because they take longer to be able to contract the muscles they need to grimace so much.
But going back to the taste for one flavor or another, it is still not clear how it happens. However, the authors believe that it may be due to a combination of smells and flavors resulting from inhalation and ingestion of amniotic fluid.
Taste-Based Prenatal Nutrition Education
It is often said that for children to eat healthy it is best to educate your palate since they are small. For example, if they don’t eat candy and sweets on a daily basis, over time they will be able to eat plain yogurt without being upset by the acidity.
This is usually done with very young children. But what would happen if the procedure were carried out from before being born? That is something that these scientists still cannot answer. His next step in the research will be to see if babies’ liking for disliked flavors changes as they are exposed to them. If so, we could have children who love broccoli, for instance. Or the kale itself that was used in the study.
Furthermore, if it is shown that repeated exposure to a flavor makes them like it more, the cravings explanation would make a lot of sense. But only the taste part, the birthmark thing still doesn’t have any kind of scientific evidence. Fortunately.