Where do baby boys come from? Cereal, maybe.

Want to have a baby boy instead of a girl? Eat Post Toasties.

Well, not Post Toasties specifically — just a bowl of breakfast cereal daily may be part of the secret to a baby boy, according to a study in a British medical journal. (Granted, this was an old study but, hey, it’s still thought-provoking.) So you could have Cheerios or Frosted Flakes or Shredded Wheat or whatever. Slice a banana into that bowl of cereal and the odds are even better.

The British research, reported by the Associated Press, was possibly the first to show a link between a woman’s diet and whether she has a boy or girl. The study involved some 700 first-time pregnant women in the United Kingdom.

Not skipping breakfast and eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas seemed to improve the chance of boy babies.

Among women with the highest calorie intake before pregnancy, 56 percent had boys compared to only 45 percent of the women with the lowest calorie intake. By highest calorie intake, the article noted, was meant within a normal, healthy range — not pigging out on French fries, chips and sodas. Women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily were 87 percent more likely to have boys than those who ate only one bowlful a week.

The article didn’t mention whether women who really, really wanted a baby girl should perhaps make other breakfast choices such as bacon and eggs or pancakes. What I remember most vividly about breakfasts for tourists in England is tomatoes and pork and beans. Cereal was probably a choice too but who remembers cereal?

I had three boy babies, two years apart. I have been wracking my brain, trying to remember what I had for breakfast when I was 20, 22 and 24 years old. I’m sure I had something because my brain never worked well before breakfast. I made two slices of bacon and two eggs, sunny side up, every single morning for my husband but I never liked eggs so I definitely did not have eggs. Cereal was never one of my favorite foods, or bananas either, so I doubt if I had cereal very often. Probably I had bacon too, and a couple pieces of toast. With jelly.

So how to explain three boy babies? Chocolate has been my favorite food since my first Oreo so I would like to credit three sons to high chocolate consumption but there is no study to back that up. Yet.

Studies come and studies go. Just as we are persuaded that we should or should not eat something, another study comes along and says, oops, that study has turned out to be so much hokum, statistics were flawed, testing compromised, blah blah, blah. And so we go back to eating, or not eating, a particular food.

I have become comfortable with choosing to believe studies that recommend foods I enjoy — dark chocolate, red wine, nuts and berries — and ignoring those recommending things I have no intention of eating now or ever — collard greens, tofu, seaweed and oysters, for example.

But if this study linking baby boys to mothers who ate more cereal turned out to be valid, would that put a stop to new fathers pounding their chests and proudly taking the credit?

Mary McClure lives in Lawton.

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