Scientists think that if women take choline during their pregnancies, they?ll “super-charge” their children’s brains for life. If they eat chocolate daily, they’ll have a happier baby. And if they have a toddler who’s a finicky eater, it’s because of the way he was fed as an infant.

Babies born to pregnant rats that were given the supplement were known to be faster learners with better memories. They also had better memories when they got old. Choline is found in egg yolks, liver and other meats that, according to researcher Scott Swartzwelder, are “exactly the kind of things people were told not to eat” due to worries about high cholesterol.

Swartzwelder’s study shows that choline produces bigger brain cells in vital areas in rats, and he thinks the same thing will happen in humans. He says, “If it turns out that it’s true in humans and can make people smarter their whole lives and forestall age-related memory decline?that’s potentially a very exciting prospect.” A whole generation of women were warned about the dangers of high cholesterol?advice which is now being reversed. This is why we should beware of new food fads, even when they are being pushed by the government. Swartzwelder says, “?Don’t be afraid of eggs. I used to eat a low fat diet?I’ve started eating eggs and I’m not even pregnant!”

James Randerson writes in New Scientist that researchers from Finland have discovered that eating chocolate during pregnancy produces happier mothers and babies. Researcher Katri Raikkonen asked pregnant women how stressed they were and how much chocolate they ate. After their babies were born, she found that the babies born to women who ate chocolate daily while pregnant were more active and more likely to smile and laugh. Babies of stressed women who regularly ate chocolate showed less fear of new situations than the babies of stressed women who did not eat chocolate.

Is your baby a finicky eater? The cause may be the way he or she was fed as an infant. Researcher Julie Mennella found that feeding experiences during the first seven months of life may contribute to food likes and dislikes.

She compared what flavors bottle-fed babies liked with the food preferences of breast-fed babies, and separated the bottled-fed babies into two groups: those who were given a milk-based formula and those who had a soy-based formula. All three feeding methods taste different.

She found that these early influences shape the flavor preferences we take with us into childhood?and they may even last for a lifetime. Mennella says, “Because we know that flavor preferences established early in life track into later childhood, eating habits in the growing child may begin to be established long before the introduction of solid food.”

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The Future is Yours?and not just if you’re a baby! Anne Strieber learns all about how to change the things that happen in our lives and heal ourselves and our souls, this week on Mysterious Powers.

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