Babies in utero can taste what the mother is eating!
That’s right, a baby can taste what the mother is eating whilst they are still in her tummy.
Whilst pregnant, flavours from the mother’s diet are transmitted to the amniotic fluid and ingested by the baby. A baby can also taste what the mother is eating through breast milk. With all of these flavours being experienced so early on in our development it may be unsurprising to find that many infants share similar tastes and preferences to their mother and flavour principles of their culture.
In the study referenced below they tested their hypothesis by asking women to consume carrot juice at points during the last trimester of pregnancy and the first 2 months of breastfeeding. When the babies were 4 weeks into weaning, having never experience the taste of carrots, they were given carrot juice, filmed and their enjoyment rated by their mother. The results showed that babies who had been exposed to carrots early, showed fewer signs of negative facial expressions and their perceived enjoyment of the taste rated higher. They concluded that: “Prenatal and early postnatal exposure to a flavor enhanced the infants’ enjoyment of that flavor in solid foods during weaning. These very early flavor experiences may provide the foundation for cultural and ethnic differences in cuisine.”