In the 2008 movie "Baby Mama," Kate (Tina Fey), a working woman in her 30s, finds that she can't have a baby and hires Angie (Amy Poehler) as a surrogate. Angie, who's a junk-food junkie, is reprimanded by Kate: "I don't want my kid born addicted to high-fructose corn syrup!" "Really?" Angie replies, amazed that what she eats actually could cause that.
Well, Kate was right! Being concerned about her future child's corn syrup addiction is legitimate. We know that moms-to-be are aware of the importance of staying healthy for themselves and the health of the fetus, but it's easy to overlook how powerful an influence your food and supplement choices have on the future health of your child. ("I had to have that glazed doughnut, but I forgot the omega-3 DHA and prenatal vitamins!")
In a new analysis of more than 40 studies on kids' food preferences, researchers determined that flavors from a pregnant woman's diet actually reach the fetus and shape food preferences.
Says lead author Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, Ph.D.,
"These early exposures familiarize the baby with specific flavors as well as the experience of variety and set the stage for later acceptance of healthy flavors in solid foods."
So if you're enjoying broccoli, dark greens like kale and good-for-you salmon while you're pregnant, your fetus will experience those flavors and learn to love them! Then when you start feeding your child solid foods, the battle over "eat your vegetables" and even salmon (it improves kids' sleep and their IQ 11 years later) will be won before it begins!
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.