Ever wonder if babies have a sense of different tastes in utero? Well, a new study shows that babies do in deed! The study demonstrates that babies respond to different flavors in utero…and one healthy favorite is not on the top of their list!

Photo Credit: Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab/Durham University/People Magazine

“We are the first ones who could actually show on an ultrasound scan the facial expressions in relation to the food which the mother has just consumed,” commented Nadja Reissland, a co-author of the study and head of the Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab at Durham University, to NBC News.


According to NBC News, Reissland also noted that she believes the new study could help our “understanding of how exposure to flavors in the womb affects eating habits later in life.”

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

The English research team studied almost 100 pregnant women participants and their fetuses. The women were between 32 to 36 weeks gestation and between 18 t0 40-years-old. Each woman in the study had “healthy, singleton fetuses.”

So, just what was the healthy option that babies scoffed at? Well, the English women were fed capsules filled with powdered versions of kale and carrots. When fed the kale capsules, babies frowned with a grimace in contrast to the bright smiles when exposed to the carrots.

Photo Credit: iStock

The study, was published in Sage Journals. In the study, it is stated why researchers chose kale in contrast to other green vegetable.

“Kale was chosen because it conveys more bitterness to infants than other green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, or asparagus.”

In contrast, carrots were described in the study as “‘sweet’ because of its sugar content but also sometimes [was described] as having ‘fruity,’ ‘woody,’ or even ‘petrol’ flavors.”

This study is truly new territory for scientists to determine if “prenatal flavor experience is embedded and is accessed postnatally in humans.” What do you think of the study? Sound-off and comment below. We want to hear from you!

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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