Across the globe, handed down from generation to generation, myths surrounding expectant moms and their pregnancies have always persisted. Some of them wild and outlandish, others somewhat believable or totally nonsensical, these old wives tales purported to shed light on a developing baby’s future.
Giving new meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat,” we’ve compiled five head-scratching food pregnancy myths that were thought to predict the gender and demeanor of a mom-to-be’s little bundle:
Hold the spice
In Japanese culture, if an expectant mom indulged in spicy food too often, she was said to give birth to a feisty, short-tempered baby.
Say ‘no’ to crab
Chinese women who loaded up their plates with crab could expect a misbehaving, mischievous little one later on.
Slow and steady
In parts of Africa, ancient thought predicted something a bit more literal: Moms who routinely ate snails, as the old tale goes, would birth a slow and sluggish baby.
Reason to smile
In much more recent times, some of the Finnish people believe that eating chocolate during pregnancy results in a happy newborn. That’s thanks to a 2004 research study which – sad news – ultimately admitted inconclusive results.
Sugar and spice
In the United States, a mom-to-be’s food cravings were once thought to be predictors of baby’s gender. If a pregnant woman hungered for sweet and sugary snacks, her baby would be a girl. If salty and savory foods fit the bill, mom could expect a boy.
Some folks once believed that changing a woman’s diet prior to conceiving could enable her to choose her future baby’s gender. If she loaded up on dairy, leafy greens, and nuts, she’d be well on her way to conceiving a girl. If, however, this woman wanted a boy, all she needed to do was eat a high-salt diet also rich in red meats and bubbly drinks.