How does a Kid Get a Sweet Tooth?

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My 5-year old was born with a sweet tooth. I remember pushing my little guy in a shopping cart down the baking aisle of our local grocery store. He was just learning how to speak and still had the speech patterns of someone learning the intricacies of language. As we wound our way through the aisle, he started pointing and asking what different things were. This was our dialog…

My son: “What’s that?”

Me: “Sugar.”

My son: “I like it sugar.”

My son: (pointing again) “What’s that?”

Me: “Brown sugar”

My son: “I like it brown sugar….what’s that?”

Me: “Confectioners sugar.”

My son: “I like it white sugar, I like it brown sugar, I like it confectioners sugar, too!”

And, that basically sums it up. Yes, my son likes all sugar. LOL!

As I contemplated his love for sugar I began thinking about when I was pregnant with my son. When I was carrying him, I craved sugar…especially dark chocolate. I had to have a little bit of dark chocolate each and every day. This was strange for me because before I was pregnant, I really wasn’t big on sweets or chocolate. I always thought my son was responsible for my craving.

I kept this question in my mind, but until this point, the question of who caused who to like chocolate was a bit like answering the chicken or the egg riddle. You know the riddle, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

Well, according to the latest research, it seems babies learn lots of things before they are born. They learn sounds – including the sound of their mother’s voice and the cadence of their mother’s natural language. They learn to recognize passages of books and songs. Babies also learn tastes and smells. It turns out babies remember flavors of the foods from the womb and prefer those tastes when they’re born. In effect, babies are taught by their mother’s what is good and safe to eat.

So, I guess if I follow the logic of the research, my son probably gained his love of chocolate from me. Hmm.

If you’re interested in the research of what babies learn while in the womb, take a look at this TED video.

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