A research team from Durham University’s Fetus and Neonatal Laboratory used 4D ultrasound to study the facial reactions of fetuses when they responded to the taste of the food their mothers were eating. In particular, the experts studied the faces of infants after their mothers consumed foods that tasted like carrots and cabbage. Infants showed more “laughing faces” when exposed to the carrot taste and more “crying faces” when exposed to the cabbage taste.
“A number of studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but these are based on findings after birth, while our study is the first to see these responses before birth,” said the presenter. researcher Beyza Ustun.
“As a result, we believe that pre-natal re-exposure to tastes may help shape food preferences after birth, which may be important when considering the promotion of healthy eating and the ability to avoid “food pickiness” at weaning. It was truly amazing to see the response unborn babies to taste like cabbage or carrots while being scanned and share those moments with their parents”
Perhaps introducing children to healthy foods in utero will help them develop a love for more nutritious foods as they grow up. The researchers are currently conducting a follow-up study with the same children after birth. The next step will be to study whether fetuses show less “negative” reactions to these tastes over time, leading to more acceptance of these tastes when babies first try them out of the womb.”
This study is published in the journal Psychological Science.