Babies and toddlers are known to be picky eaters. Oh there are exceptions to the rule, but mostly they live in a different sense world when it comes to food. What would they eat if left to their own devices?
Well, according to a notable 1939 study, they'd probably gorge themselves on a ghoulish feast of brains and bone marrow.
Or at least that's what Clara Davis found in her famous study of self-selecting diet among orphanage babies. The test subjects were given the choice of various foods including fresh fruits, veggies, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef and a smattering of organ meats. They didn't pass up the brains - and bone marrow was the hands-down favorite.
Of course the Davis study is hardly bulletproof. You'll see it criticized as "largely a construct of assertions without evidence" while others point to some of its ideas in support of baby-led weaning.
"Gulp" author Mary Roach also points to a study from psychologist Paul Rozin that found children aged 16-29 months ate stuff like ketchup-laden cookies, dish soap and fake (but edible) dog poo in rather high percentages. At that age they haven't absorbed their parents' food prejudices yet.
Either way, gross.