Mozart Won’t Make Your Baby Smarter, But the Right Food Might

By Melissa Lafsky | April 24, 2008 11:04 am

baby foodWe’ve discussed how a mother’s diet may influence her baby’s sex. Now there’s research indicating that a baby’s diet may influence his or her future mental health and intelligence. Researchers for the Early Nutrition Programming Project (EARNEST) have found evidence that an infant’s diet can permanently affect the child’s future cognitive development, mental performance, and even susceptibility to mental illness.

So far, the research team—put together in 2005 and made up of scientists from 16 European countries—has spent the last few years investigating the role of infant nutrition in developmental aspects like brain structure, verbal IQ, eyesight, and appetite regulation. Their “remarkable” findings have set the stage for the NUTRIMENTHE Project, launching this week, which will bring pediatricians, nutritionists, psychiatrists, and other specialists from eight European countries and the U.S. to start more comprehensive tests of around 120,000 children. In particular, the team will run epidemiological studies to determine what effects nutrition variations have on cognitive development levels (i.e., perception, memory, and intelligence), anxiety disorders, Attention Deficit Hyper Activity (ADHD), depression, and other mental illnesses.

The project’s plan is to test the longterm effects of early post-natal diet, as well as pre-natal diet—which means that what mothers eat around and during pregnancy might sway not only their baby’s sex, but also his future brainpower and mental well-being. Which may put a lot of pressure on mothers, but it sure beats playing Mozart CDs next to your stomach.

  • http://Mozartwontmakeyourbabysmarter Susan

    My oldest baby had severe vitamin B deficiency, I was given a special diet–no white (milk) wheat, or sweet. Since it was over 30 years ago, that meant doing all my own cooking and baking, no candy cookies, or fast food. All three kids are super coordinated (not inherited), not one cavity, (not inherited) no overweight kids(we parents are), and IQ’s in the gifted range (not inherited) they are also high achievers, but never hyper. I push the diet for all kids, but most parents don’t realize that the first cookie or candy bar “treat” is poison and starts the downward spiral of nutrition until they reach the typical American diet.

  • Heidi

    I have two kids. One was a normal, healthy baby, who was fed on some breastmilk, plus Enfamil, McDonald’s, and various crackers and other fast food when she was old enough. However, we changed her diet when she was about 6 to exclude wheat, due to my own problems with it.

    The other had a major eating problem. We fed him on our own mix of kefir, steamed rice, beef, vegies. He never got plain cow milk, and never, ever got wheat.

    The two look very similar. But the younger one is smarter, calmer, no cavities, etc. Like they are from two different planets.

    Both of them have very wide faces and ok teeth (which is unusual in this family). But the older child started to have teeth problems before we dropped the wheat. Both of us parents have very narrow jaws and had braces: neither kid needs them. But the younger child, who SHOULD have more health problems, given his history, is actually in better shape.

    Science will sort this out, eventually. But for right now: it’s interesting data.

  • tammy

    what kind of milk are the mothers referring too?

  • Pingback: Mother’s Fatty Diet Makes Baby Monkeys Afraid of Mr. Potato Head | Discoblog - DIET AND EXERCISES – DIET AND EXERCISES()

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