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Mom's diet at conception may play a role in determining if she will conceive a boy or a girl

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how to conceive a boy

Have you heard the old wives' tale that what you eat will affect whether you conceive a boy or a girl?

Well, some researchers in the UK finally seem to have found a real connection between mom's diet and the gender of her baby-to-be.

So if you're pregnant and curious, think back to what you ate while trying to conceive. Also take a look at the reports by many other moms on whether research results matched their own diet and gender of their child.

The study

The research group, led by Fiona Mathews at University of Exeter followed a group of 740 first time pregnant British women (unaware of the gender of their fetus) and compared their eating habits, life style etc. The moms were then divided into three groups depending on how many calories they ate around the time of conception.

The results

Here is what they found:

  • In the group of moms who ate the most calories, 56% got a boy, while in the low-calorie group only 45% conceived a boy.

  • It also appeared as if some particular ingredients in mom's diet can affect the gender outcome. Salty foods and bananas tend to generate boys. Funny, thinking back on my own pregnancies, I probably had more bananas the second time, basically because I had a 10-month-old baby girl who loved bananas. We did conceive a boy that time!

  • On the other hand, the old saying that eating a lot of dairy products will generate a girl was not supported by the research. Rather the opposite!

  • And the most clear-cut ingredient connection was found between the amount of breakfast cereal the mom had and the gender of her baby. More than one bowl of cereal and you'll get a boy (59% chance), and one bowl or less and you'll get a girl (68% chance).

  • In addition, the women who had sons were also more likely to have eaten a wider variety of nutrients, such as potassium, calcium and vitamins C, E and B12.


Fiona's team cannot yet explain what's going on here, but the theory is that biologically, the risk with conceiving a boy is higher, since boy fetuses are more vulnerable.

Hence, just as seen among animals, it might be that we are genetically coded to produce more boys in good times and more girls in times of less food being available. In fact, it is already know from IVF (in vitro fertilization) that higher levels of sugar tend to encourage the growth of male embryos.

Wouldn't this mean - in these times of more and more obesity- that we produce more boys than we did earlier?

Well, actually the contrary! But this is because the calorie intake is falling among young women in developed countries (generating more girls). At the same time, we exercise less, which is why we tend to gain weight. Also, people tend to skip breakfast more often, also generating more girls.

Now I always learned in school that only dad's sperm determines the gender of the baby. Later on I learned that the timing of the intercourse and the position while making love can make a difference. But mom's diet??!

What effects will this have at the breakfast table of parents-to-be in the future...?

"Honey, no more cereal now, we've talked about this and I really want a girl this time! And NO more salty cheese on your sandwich!"

So, to increase your chances of conceiving a boy or a girl...

  • If you want to conceive a boy: Eat salt, bananas and lots of breakfast cereal.
  • If you want to conceive a girl: Well, don't eat... ;-D Or at least cut down on the salt, cereal and dairy products.

And if you want more tips on how to choose gender of your child, here is an extensive ebook on the topic.

Curious on whether this worked for other moms? Read about mothers' experiences here. And please share your own thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

Reference: Fiona Mathews, Paul J. Johnson, Andrew Neil April 2008 You are what your mother eats: evidence for maternal preconception diet influencing foetal sex in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences

What Other Mom's Ate When Trying to Conceive

Click below to whether this diet orked for other moms.

Got A Girl Now Here Comes The BOY! 
With my daughter I ate a lot of chocolate ice cream since I conceived in the summer :) but when I conceived this summer I went to a lot of cookouts so …

I Believe the diet truly works!! It did for me!!! 
Well I was 18 when I had my daughter and at the time I never ate breakfast and hardly ate anything, I was always trying to lose weight. I ended up with …

Boy of Breakfast 
When I conceived my boy I always had breakfast and it usually entailed at least one bowl of cereal with Organic Whole Milk... Maybe the Dairy too. I dunno. …

Going Veggie Gives A Girl 
My husband and I had tried to conceive for about a year before starting fertility treatments. As a result of the new, high power health kick in the effort …

I Love My Boy!!!! 
The gender diet at conception seems to have worked for me... I never thought that my diet at the time of conception lead to the birth of my wonderful …

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