January 2004
Planning for a boy may just be a matter of diet

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Sunshine Coast Daily - Revive Magazine, January 2004



News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily - Revive Magazine, January, 2004

In these days of smaller families, couples are putting more into getting what they want. Janine Hill put a fresh spin on the phrase: “You are what you eat”.

You are what you eat, the saying goes. Or are you what your mother ate?

The boy/girl diet has emerged as a favourite among prospective parents who are aiming for offspring of a particular gender.

Among the better known couples to have tried to influence their baby’s gender are “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, and his wife, Terri.

The couple, who were already the parents of a girl, Bindi, admitted to putting some extra effort into getting a boy the second time around, with Terri eating “all the right things” and Steve opting to go free and easy in boxer shorts.

Whether it worked, who knows, but they must have been happy with the result – Robert Clancy Irwin, otherwise known as Bob, born in December last year.

The boy/girl diet originated from German studies in the 1940s which looked at how the environment influenced the reproduction of worms.

A 1980 study, aimed at testing the impact of a mother’s diet on gender selection, found that 80% of participants conceived the child of their choice.

Mothers whose diet was high in salt and potassium tended to conceive boys, while those whose diets where strong in calcium and magnesium tended to conceive girls.

Suggested foods on the boy diet can include bacon, ham, sausages, and other salty meats, fish, salted chips and nuts, and most fresh vegetables and fruit, particularly potatoes, bananas, and apricots.

In contrast, the girl diet is strong in dairy products, ice creams, eggs, low salt foods and only small amounts of fish, meats, and fresh vegetables and fruits.

Proponents of the boy/girl diet recommend starting three months before trying to conceive, and those trying to better their chances even further sometimes combine diet with something known as the Shettles method. Put simply, the Shettles method is all about the timing of sexual intercourse.

For boys, that means as close as possible to ovulation but abstaining for several days beforehand, and for girls, two to four days before ovulation, then abstaining for a few days afterwards.

Ngaire McGrath, of Buderim, is one mum who has given the boy/girl diet a try, with encouraging results. Ngaire has already had three boys, Dion, Glen and Scott, when she and husband decided to try for a girl. “It was around the time of Princess Diana’s second pregnancy, and I read a story in the Women’s Weekly talking about what Diana should do if she wanted a girl,” Ngaire said.

Ngaire said she did and ate everything the article said, though they did break the rules.
“I don’t think we abstained when we should have,” she said.

The result of it all was exactly what they wanted: a girl, Angela, now 18.

Ngaire said the diet might have worked but she believed there was probably a little more to it. “I think God already had a plan,” she said.