Fetuses smile for carrots, grimace for kale, study says

Fetuses smile for carrots but grimace over kale, a new study suggests
Fetuses smile for carrots but grimace over kale, a new study suggests(CNN)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 10:57 AM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(CNN) – A kid who loves carrots but hates kale isn’t much of a surprise. Carrots are sweeter and kale is kind of bitter.

But a baby that hasn’t even been born with a clear preference for carrots over kale?

Now, that’s surprising.

A new study shows some of the food a kid likes or dislikes might start in the womb.

A study published in the journal Psychological Science laid out an experiment where scientists gave moms who were at least eight months pregnant either a carrot-flavored pill, a kale-flavored pill, or a plain pill.

Of course, the way a fetus gets food is through the umbilical cord, but what the mom eats does affect the taste and smell of the liquid that surrounds the baby in the womb called the amniotic fluid.

About 20 minutes after each mom got her particular pill, scientists did a 4D ultrasound. They noticed the babies who tasted the carrot flavor made more of a “laughter-face,” and the ones who tasted the kale made more of a “cry-face.”

Scientists said adjusting what moms eat when they’re pregnant might help promote healthy eating habits for their kids.

Now, the next step is to see how the babies in the study react to each food once they eat it themselves and to expand the study to women of different races and cultures.

For more information, the Psychological Science study can be seen here.