Ever wish there was a scientifically proven way to influence the sex of your baby-to-be? There is, actually! According to research, what mom eats around the time of conception can influence the gender of her baby to be! Cool, huh!?
I know, I know, this sounds like a pure myth, but let’s go through what the researchers found in detail.
So, let’s go through what to eat to conceive a boy or girl and how research explains what might be going on. (And an explanation as to why on earth there might be a connection between a baby’s sex and the food their mom eats at conception!)
If you’re already pregnant and want to guess the gender of your baby, think back to what you ate while trying to conceive and right at the beginning of your pregnancy. It might just be a hint as to if you will give birth to a girl or a boy. :-)
Also, take a look at comments by many other moms on whether research results matched their own diet and the gender of their child.
How to Conceive a Boy or a Girl by What Mom-to-Be Eats
This is NOT bulletproof, of course, and we all know that the gender of your child is decided by which sperm (X or Y) gets to the egg first.
But – what affects the X or Y sperms’ chances of reaching the egg? That’s where this research comes in.
Now to the study…
The Study on Mom’s Diet and Baby’s Gender
A research group led by Fiona Mathews at the 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, lifestyle, etc. The moms were then divided into three groups depending on how many calories they ate around the time of conception.
The Link Between Mom’s Diet and the Sex of Her Baby
Here is what the research study 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.
- Some particular ingredients in a mom’s diet can also 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 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! A lot of dairy products in the pregnant mom’s diet seemed to increase the chances of conceiving a boy.
- 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.
Interpretation of the Results
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, we might be genetically coded to produce more boys in good times and more girls in times of less food being available. In fact, it is already known 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, we don’t!
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 was certainly a new aspect for me.
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. Make sure to eat enough calories.
- If you want to conceive a girl: Well, don’t eat… ;-D Or at least cut down on salt, cereal, and dairy products. Avoid too many bananas.
Now, good luck with whichever gender of your new baby you would like to push!
Curious on whether this worked to conceive a boy or girl for other moms? Read the testimonials below, and also, please share your own thoughts and experiences by commenting at the bottom of the article.
Fiona Mathews, Paul J. Johnson, Andrew Neil April 2008 You are what your mother eats: evidence for maternal preconception diet influencing fetal sex in humans. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.
This Post Has 24 Comments
How do you Need to time the diet? Meaning : do you need to w as t this way for weeks leading up to ovulation, only over ovulation, or all the time?
That’s a good question! Since the gender of the baby is determined by which sperm reaches the egg, the diet can only be relevant before and around the time of ovulation and conception. After that, the gender of the fetus is a given.
Yes banana is very helpful to conceiving baby boy …
I have 4 girls, this theory does not match up with what I ate..
Good to know! The diet sure isn’t the main factor for gender. Did you eat mainly “boy foods” or just not typical “girl foods”? Either way, thanks for sharing your experience, and 4 children – you’re blessed! :-)
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 to get pregnant, I jumped into a very healthy diet. Lots of fruits, lots of vegetables, very little red meat, some lean meat, lots of healthy dairy, and a lot of vegetarian meat substitutes. After the second round of fertility drugs, I started getting nauseous.
Within a day or two, I started throwing up a couple times a day. “Honey, you need to see the doctor about this. It looks like a serious stomach bug.” I had a follow up with the OBGYN the next day.
“Do you want the good news or the bad news?” the doctor asked me.
“Uh, bad news.”
“The bad news is, this stomach bug will last nine months. The good news is, you’re pregnant.” He also stated that this severe of morning sickness had a 70% correlation to being pregnant with a girl. The sonogram 4 months later confirmed that fact.
I later found that vegetarian diets and high soy diets create an increased conception rate of girls.
From the BBC, “They found that while the national average in Britain is 106 boys born to every 100 girls, for vegetarian mothers the ratio was just 85 boys to 100 girls.”
Here is the BBC article. (It is OLD, but still…)
We were not specifically trying to have a girl, but are quite happy with the child we had.
The other advantage of the nearly vegetarian diet was that it reduced the severity of the morning sickness. (Red meat and fish triggered the symptoms, so it actually would have been worse if I had steak and tuna every night.)
Thanks a lot, Tamara!
That’s a wonderful story and really interesting information! ;-)
If you ever plan to conceive again, let us know about your diet…
Ok, so I found this website in a bid to change my diet and conceive a boy. Given that we are lucky enough to have a beautiful little girl.
Prior to getting pregnant with my daughter I did a detox that avoided meat. I always eat cereal but never more than one bowl a day! I am a small eater. I never ate bananas, so now I am off to the fruit and veg shop. And surprisingly, some recent blood tests did show that I was low on salt. So in my case, I did unknowingly follow a girl diet and I did conceive a girl.
So there you go, who knows! We can only try.
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 ate more potato chips and burgers and fries. Now I crave bananas and oranges and orange juice. I ate a 5-pound bag of oranges to the face :P I guess my little man needs all the vitamin C he can get. (I am pregnant with a boy now!)
Hi, I’m 31 years old. I have a 5-year-old daughter, named Caylee. While pregnant with my daughter, I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast or I’d skip breakfast. We were not financially stable and well I did miss some meals. I also had low calorie intake and so I was not getting enough vitamins.
We’re trying for another baby. I will be happy with either gender, however, but my fiance would like a little boy. He has no brothers and would like a little boy.
So I am so excited to have came across this site. We have been trying for almost a year and not successful, so now I am going to go try all the things mentioned above. Thanks.
I have read that when the man has a high protein diet, your conception is more likely to result in a baby boy.
But more importantly, make sure you eat better this time. You will need the energy to keep up with your little girl while you’re bakin’ that baby.
um, except for the scientific fact that the male is responsible for the gender of the baby, not the female.
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 a girl.
Well two years later I really wanted a boy! So I read online to eat salty junk food and to have missionary position sex. Also to time it for when I was absolutely ovulating! So went to the store bought some ovulation test and waited till they showed positive! Then we had lots and lots of sex! Also at the time I was eating tons of cereal like three bowls in the morning. Also lots of meat! McDonald, burger king, anything salty! Sure enough I had my boy!!
I truly believe this works if you do it right! Here in a few years I’m gonna try it again because I want one more boy! I bet it will work!! Good luck to anyone trying for a boy!!!!
I have a completely opposite experience. I ate super healthy when I was trying to conceive (no junk!), had very little cereal, and I have been a vegetarian for more than 10 years, and I had a boy!
FYI, it’s not the ‘junk’ food what increases your chances of conceiving a boy but the minerals in it, that’s high levels of sodium and potassium. Healthy food sources of sodium include cottage cheese, celery, milk and corn while high concentrations of potassium can be found in fish, bananas, sweet potatoes, yogurt, orange juice and spinach. I know this because I’m a personal trainer. Hope this help.
I am skinny and I hate bananas and guess what – I had a… boy! So no, no perfect match here! But I do like salty foods, maybe that’s why we conceived a boy ;-)
Want to know a secret… We really tried to conceive a boy this time, by timing the ovulation. Had heard that if you make love right at the time of ovulation, chances are greater that you get a boy. And we did. (Had TWO girls before!)
(Great site by the way, even for a mother of three.)
Thank you for the kind words about Easy Baby Life!
And congratulations on your little boy. The timing of ovulation probably did it then, or maybe it was just a coincidence. My guess is that by far most of the time, you really can do nothing to affect the gender of your child. And that’s good, of course!
Thanks for sharing your secret… :-)
I had a baby girl for my first baby. I ate cereal every morning for breakfast, every time i wanted a snack, and sometimes even for dinner. I ate cereal a lot and still got a girl. After I found out I was pregnant I just knew I was having a boy. Since there are no girls in my family I thought I was going to have a boy also.
When it was time to find out what I was having, the lady doing the ultrasound told me that I was having a boy. But after 20 minutes that went by she told me, sorry I was having a girl.
So now we are trying to have our second baby and we want a boy. So even though eating cereal i still don’t know what else to do to have a boy ]= my husband said we are not stopping until we have a boy so I’m trying to figure out what I can do to have a boy. But no eating cereal for breakfast don’t work, at least not for me.
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. Anyway, I always prefer salty over sweet and I never eat bananas.
I do have to say after reading all this, that diet definitely attributes to conception and if boys are made in times of good and need more nutrition than that would apply here too. I was taking a butt load of vitamins and prenatals too at conception. I guess diet is everything.
wow! with your roots and herbs you have enveloped my frown face with smile, slung to stand,tube tie burned alive, i used your herbs and root according to the instruction given it materialized,i have conceive now and delivered a baby boy,from letter A-z can’t speak how joyful i’m. contact him via on facebook (Oduduwa Ajakaye)
Is the article really real? Id like to give it a try. Ive been planning to have an IVF treatment (with gender selection) in Bourhall Clinic in Dubai by next week. And I would consult my doctor about this diet.
Hi Ameera, This article is certainly real! It references research done in 2008. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2602810/ You should be aware that it is not undisputed and there is not likely to be a surefire way to “select” gender of your baby to be. But I found the research interesting!
The gender diet at conception seems to have worked for me…
I never thought that my diet at the time of conception led to the birth of my wonderful baby boy, but this does make sense. I battle with low blood pressure and was told to increase my sodium intake. At the time of conception I was adding extra salt to my food.
The crazy thing was that I was like most women and looked up all the different lovemaking positions and different things to guarentee a girl. I tried them all but still had my boy. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change my boy for a girl any day.
However I always wondered why all these things that you read about, and heard other people say that it was full proof didn’t work. Now it makes sense. I was also a big raisin bran eater. I would eat at least 2 bowls a day and not even think twice about it. I never even thought about how what I ate would determine the sex of my child, but it does make sense.
I had a friend that was pregnant around the same time I was. Her eating habits were the total opposite of mine. She was determined to lose weight before she got pregnant, therefore she cut back on what she ate and cut back her calories.
I remember how she would get on me for eating so much salt, but she knew that I was only doing what the doctor told me. I remember thinking that she wasn’t eating enough, and sure enough, she had a baby girl.
There are a lot of old wives tales and stories out there that people will tell you to do to conceive a boy or a girl, but this is definetly the
closest thing to the truth I have ever heard.
Thank you for making all of us think about this.
I ate cereal every day and ended up having gestational diabetes and was a strict diet. I didn’t eat bananas
though as I don’t like them much and they have too much sugar in them.
I am a salt addict preferring potato chips to chocolate cake but cheated occasionally after I tested my blood for the day. No insulin but managed it through diet.
My son was born 9 days late and weighed 6 12. I will have another as I am getting older 37 now and not sure how to eat for a girl,
which would be nice but don’t care either way.
Besides me, there were 6 other pregnant girls around me close to the same age and they all had girls. Odd that I had the only boy!