Babies by nature put things in their mouths, but have you ever seen your baby eat a plant? Well, there could be a very good reason for that as new research reported by Discovery News suggests babies may actually have an innate aversion to plants.
The discovery wouldn’t be the first time that babies were found to be born with an innate fear, but most of the time such fears are directed toward dangerous animals like spiders and snakes.
It may seem strange that babies should be scared of plants, since they are inanimate, but poisonous plants are actually much more widespread than poisonous creatures, so it’s perhaps not surprising that such an aversion has evolved.
An inborn fear of plants could also help protect against toxins, thorns, fine hairs or oils that can damage tissues.
The study was based on a simple experiment that involved placing a plant (basil or parsley), an artificial plant or a fabricated object in front of a baby while the child sat on its mother’s lap. No other stimuli were presented in the room to distract the baby. Researchers found that it took about five seconds longer on average for the babies to reach out and touch the plants or artificial plants than it took them to grab any other object.
The study might also be a roundabout way of explaining why it’s so difficult to get your kids to eat their vegetables too.