Want Your Child to Eat Vegetables? Food Preferences Start in the Womb

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Courtesy of WhatToExpect.com

This past Sunday, the New York Times published an op-ed, “Bad Eating Habits Start in the Womb” that discussed research that suggests that a person’s tastes are influenced as early as in the womb.

The piece included an interview with Julie Mennella, a  biopsychologist and researcher at the Monell Center, who Evan Kleiman actually interviewed in 2011 about the same issue.

“What’s really interesting about children is, the preferences they form during the first years of life actually predict what they’ll eat later.” Mennella said.

The op-ed outlined how this information could be used to curb the obesity epidemic in America by implying that if pregnant mothers ate diets heavy in fruits in vegetables, as opposed to diets high in fat, they could shape their child’s proclivity to eat healthier diets at an earlier stage.

The op-ed also included an interview with  Gary Beauchamp, the director of the Monell Center who said: “It’s our fundamental belief that during evolution, we as humans are exposed to flavors both in utero and via mother’s milk that are signals of things that will be in our diets as we grow up and learn about what flavors are acceptable based on those experiences”…”Infants exposed to a variety of flavors in infancy are more willing to accept a variety of flavors, including flavors that are associated with various vegetables and so forth and that might lead to a more healthy eating style later on.”

Listen to Mennella’s full interview with Evan that aired on October 15, 2011 below. Click here for the original show page.