Research supports the hypothesis that the mother's diet during pregnancy and lactation can influence a child's future food preferences.
From (Crystal and Bernstein, 1998):
maternal dehydration, induced by moderate to severe vomiting during pregnancy, can lead to enhanced salt preference in offspring.
From (Mennella and Beauchamp, 1996), summarized by (Birch, 1999):
Recent research indicates that what the mother eats during pregnancy and
lactation can affect a human infant’s very early ﬂavor experience, which in turn
shapes the formation of ﬂavor preferences and ingestive behavior.
From (Bayol et al., 2007):
Results showed that 10 week-old rats born to mothers fed the junk
food diet during gestation and lactation developed an exacerbated preference for fatty, sugary and salty foods at the expense of protein-rich
foods when compared with offspring fed a balanced chow diet prior to weaning or during lactation alone.
From (Mennella et al., 2001):
Only those infants who were exposed to carrot flavor either prenatally (CW) or postnatally (WC) displayed fewer negative facial responses while eating the carrot-flavored cereal relative to the plain.
We demonstrated earlier that at least 1 flavor consumed by pregnant women, garlic, does enter amniotic fluid to levels detectable by the adult human nose.
Bayol, S. A., Farrington, S. J., & Stickland, N. C. (2007). A maternal'junk food'diet in pregnancy and lactation promotes an exacerbated taste for'junk food'and a greater propensity for obesity in rat offspring. British Journal of Nutrition, 98(4), 843-851.
Birch, L. L. (1999). Development of food preferences. Annual review of nutrition, 19(1), 41-62.
Crystal, S. R., & Bernstein, I. L. (1998). Infant salt preference and mother's morning sickness. Appetite, 30(3), 297-307.
Mennella, J. A., & Beauchamp, G. K. (1996). The early development of human flavor preferences.
Mennella, J. A., Jagnow, C. P., & Beauchamp, G. K. (2001). Prenatal and postnatal flavor learning by human infants. Pediatrics, 107(6), e88-e88.