Well, moms-to-be, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is, you may be able to lessen the chances of your baby being a picky eater simply by paying attention to what you eat during your pregnancy.
But guess what? That's the bad news too. Because new studies have found that eating green vegetables during pregnancy increases your baby's chances of preferring healthy foods.
Sigh. No more doughnuts. No more pizza. No more stuffing your face full of every delicious thing you can get your hands on -- otherwise you may wind up with a very fussy eater on your hands.
Julie Mennella, a developmental biologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia says, "Even before a child eats their first mouthful of food, they are learning about flavor through the amniotic fluid in the womb, and later through their mother's milk. The message is, eat the healthy food that you enjoy and when the baby is old enough to start weaning, they will already be familiar with those flavors."
Huh. Yeah, I guess that makes a whole lot of sense.
And I can't help but wonder if my pregnancy diet is part of the reason my son is just about the pickiest eater on the planet -- and why he's been that way pretty much since we introduced solids when he was an infant.
Sure, I did my best to stick to a healthy diet while pregnant. I really did. I ate lots of whole grains, and a decent amount of salads, but now that I think about it, I really didn't eat many fruits and vegetables. I just didn't want that stuff. I wanted comfort food, not bird food. (Gah.)
And yes, I knew very well that I needed to be incorporating more of those foods into my diet, but that's easier said than done when you're dealing with pregnancy cravings. If I'd had a hankering for the green stuff, I'd have gladly eaten it.
But now that I know I may have screwed up my kid's eating habits by not taking in more healthy foods, I feel guilty for letting my cravings guide me during that time. (Good grief. What else can I possibly do to mess him up?)
Have you been eating lots of vegetables during your pregnancy?
Image via Mary Fischer