Rudey's Room

Will a Kale-Eating Mommy Produce a Kale-Loving Baby?

“Food is not rational. Food is culture, habit, craving and identity.”

– Jonathan Safran Foer

My mom has a food story she likes to tell.

When she was first pregnant with me, she went grocery shopping and bought only fruits – bananas, pineapple, kiwis, apples and pounds of oranges. In season, out of season, no matter. She loaded up her cart with fruits. No meat. And a chocolate bar. 

Once home, she proceeded to cut up and eat one dozen oranges … in one evening.

My dad estimated she ate around 1300 oranges during the pregnancy because almost every day she ate six right after work and four to six at bedtime. They joked that’s why I was born with orange hair.

She’s told this story countless times. Every time she retells it, I picture her at the kitchen island, cutting and inhaling orange after orange.

She swears my love of fruit and vegetables stems from her overconsumption while she was pregnant. (She devoured all but melons – to which I still dislike). She says with my brother, she would eat only the best cuts of meat and loads of apples and pears (still his standouts). With my sister, the youngest, she ate anything and everything. (My sister is not a picky eater).

My mom’s theory: She passed on flavor preferences to her children, in utero.

I chalked these stories up to my mom’s sweet way of categorizing her children’s food preferences.

It’s safe to say many of our food preferences originate in childhood – your parents eat hummus, you likely eat hummus. It’s logical to be drawn to what you’re exposed to and accustomed to eating.

But is there any link to your mom’s pregnancy diet? Will a kale-eating mommy produce a kale-eating baby?

I did a little internet digging and found this article.

Maybe my mom was onto something. Maybe there is truth to what you eat in pregnancy influencing your child’s future tastes.

The week after reading the article, we grabbed burgers at Parts and Labor in Logan Square.

At the end of the meal, V turned to me and said “Let’s call this place Heaven’s Burger.”

This girl loves her burgers, and I craved cheeseburgers when I was preggers with her.

In fact, this was how my husband knew I was pregnant, even before the line showed up positive.

It was a Saturday in June and I asked my husband to make me a cheeseburger. He lit up like the 4th of July. I hadn’t had a hamburger since I was 17 years old (12 years to be exact!). Happy to appease, he fired up the grill and I pounded a delicious burger.

Throughout the pregnancy, I wanted cheeseburgers and filet mignon. I had an aversion for baked goods (is there a link to her egg allergy?). I was drawn to sweets, but eventually avoided them. Even a sliver of cake, gave me instant, miserable heartburn.

Maybe my mom was onto something.

What’s your take? Did you have any cravings or aversions from your prenatal diet that influenced your kiddo’s taste buds?

Ciao for now.

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