Nature-Nurture

Thanks for all the great comments on yesterday’s question of whether children develop their taste in food through nature or nurture.

I highly recommend reading through the comments if this is something that interests you.

Like most things, this seems to be a case of a mix of nature-nurture with a larger percentage of nurture or environment.

One of the most interesting comments  sparked from research that says the food a mother eats while pregnant changes the taste of the amniotic fluid and thus effects a child’s taste in food once born.  Wow, huh?  Is this why many mom’s say “I have two kids, I treat them the same and offer them the same food but one is an adventurous eater and one is very cautious and picky.”  Maybe the mom was sick more often with one pregnancy and ate a bland diet or maybe the pregnancies occurred during different seasons and so the mother ate different with each one.  Food for thought. 😉

A reoccurring theme in the comments was that while nature plays a large role in whether or not a child is a particular eater, it’s nurture that influences healthy eating habits and tastes. I see this with my niece.  She has particular tastes; she won’t eat scrambled eggs without onions and chard and she loves greens but they must be doused in balsamic vinegar.

Today’s much cooler than it’s been for weeks and there’s snow in the forecast!  I love spring but the temperature fluctuations are hard to keep up with sometimes, I always feel like I need extra sleep in the fall and spring.

I’ve been craving a good hike this weekend but the weather prediction might squash my motivation. 🙁  Do you have any active plans this weekend?  Are you more active on the weekends or weekdays?  I think I’m actually more active during the week with walking and biking.  By the weekend it’s also easier to let my workout plan slide.

9 Comments

  1. There really were great comments on yesterday’s post! Your observations on eating during pregnancy are really interesting too.
    We stay active during the week with workouts, biking, walking, etc, but Definitely feel more active during the weekend because we can climb, hike, play, ALL DAY! 🙂 We are definitely climbing this weekend if the weather holds. Hope the weather doesn’t ruin your plans — enjoy!

  2. I just read through yesterday’s discussion…I’m years off from kids, but I think it is such a fascinating subject. Especially having in-laws who are SUPER picky about foods, or who aren’t willing to try them because growing up they could eat whatever they wanted-usually processed fast foods. I read an article one time (maybe in the NYtimes?) about a couple who just took whatever they ate and ran it through a food mill for their baby, so the kid developed an awesome palate because he was eating super good food from the start.

  3. sharon

    what is your lemon and water ratio in the morning?
    And I heard we have all have different amount of taste buds, those having more find stronger flavored foods more difficult to enjoy.

    • Speaking of taste bud differences, I love sour so I usually use a whole lemon juiced into about 12 ounces of hot water. Most days it tastes great to me but sometimes it’s a little harsh for first thing so I add about 1 tsp of maple syrup. Occasionally I go big and really make a tonic with lemon, maple, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper.

  4. I think the single biggest stress in my life is wishing my son would eat a better variety of foods. I am willing to cook him the greatest meals, and he won’t eat so many different flavors, textures. Won’t eat things that are mixed together. I want to change this, but I don’t know how.

    • I’m so sorry to hear this. One of the responses I got from this post was from a mother who said she and her child made an agreement that the child would re-taste a food once a year, understanding that taste buds and preferences can change over time. Do you think your son would be open to this?

  5. Tracy

    In response to your discussion on the taste of amniotic fluid and nature vs. nurture, I have 11 year old twins that could not be more different in regard to food pickiness. One is a pretty adventurous eater and the other could not be more picky. That boy has a very limited list of preferred foods! I obviously offered them both the same foods at the same time. Anyway, there are always exceptions to every theory!

    • Tracy, thanks for personal insight! Blows my theory out of the water. 😉 It’s really fascinating to me though and I must admit I’m a little terrified that when I do have children they will despise all the goods that I love!

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