Some of us just don’t like fruit and vegetables, to the dismay of our well-meaning and concerned mothers who are always telling us, “Eat better! Eat healthier! More fiber! Are you eating your veggies?”
Well, Mommy Dearest — it’s not our fault that we don’t like ’em, according to a new report by The Telegraph. In fact — it’s yours.
Researchers have known for a while that expectant mothers’ diets actually play quite a role in their future children’s food preferences — since food eaten by mothers are essentially transferred during pregnancy and again through breast-feeding. That means that mommies-to-be who shun vegetables in favor for other foods might be passing along a slight predisposition to avoid the food as well.
It’s one of those things that sounds a bit ludicrous — because after all, are those first few months after conception that delicate? If so, could a predisposition to love sardines and ice cream come about for those expectant mothers who have odd food cravings?
According to researchers, infants already are (naturally) attracted to salty and sugary tastes — it’s just the bitter flavors in green vegetables which are harder to learn how to like.
Researchers explained to The Telegraph that the aversion to bitter foods is, quite natural — a “warning system triggered by eating unfamiliar food,” while the “early experience of the flavour teaches infants to tolerate it more quickly.”
While the validity of the findings is questionable, (one study involved a sample size of only “46 babies,”) it’s something to think about the next time you shun your beet salad.
H/T The Telegraph