- The do’s and don’ts of eating while expecting
- Introduce new flavors – taste the rainbow & enjoy new foods!
- The importance of temperature checking
A no-nonsense guide to eating while expecting
We all know how critical eating healthy is, but now it truly is more important than ever – you are growing your family inside you. Think about this: Every time you sit down to a meal, grab a snack or debate eating a cupcake (or 4 of them), that you have a tiny little dining companion who always says “I’ll have what you’re having, Mommy” – changes your perspective a little bit right?
Re-evaluate your diet and make changes where necessary.
Think about what you truly need and what you can do without, because every single bite of food is a part of that beautiful growing baby inside you. Speak with your pediatrician about what prenatal vitamin would work best for you. Since most women experience either exhaustion or nausea during the first trimester, taking a prenatal vitamin will ensure you are ingesting the bare minimum nutrients for your growing baby. You should also make efforts to purge toxins from your diet. Special foods like strawberries and algae (chlorella) have the ability to pull toxins from your body to avoid crossing them into your unborn baby’s bloodstream.
DON’T: Overindulge in processed foods
DO: Eat fresh, whole fruits, vegetables and grains. Take a prenatal vitamin and aim to eat organic as much as possible.
Eat the rainbow.
Now is not a time to diet. Clue into your body’s cravings, as they are an indicator to what nutrients you need. In the first trimester, you only need an additional 150 – 300 calories a day. Just adding an apple to your diet is enough to satisfy this need. When thinking about your diet, don’t look at your day’s consumption or even the week’s consumption but rather look at the month of food you are eating. If your diet resembles a rainbow, then you are doing well. Each color resembles important nutrients and vitamins; for example the orange from a sweet potato is from beta-carotene. If you’re not a fan of sweet potatoes you can try carrots or cantaloupe instead and benefit just the same.
DO: Eat a wide variety of colorful fruits, vegetables and grains. Eat when you are hungry.
Eat smaller amounts, more often.
If you are napping a lot or are queasy from morning sickness, you may not feel like eating normal-sized meals. But mini-meals and snacks may be better for you. Try to keep something smaller and easy on digestion in your stomach, like frozen fruit pops, coconut yogurt or carrots with hummus. Nothing too heavy or acidic should do the trick.
DON’T: Overeat when you feel hungry.
DO: Try smaller meals and snacks throughout the day.
Introduce new flavors.
You may find it interested to know that your baby can actually TASTE what you are eating because the amniotic fluid takes on the flavors of your diet. Take advantage of this. Try to “introduce” every food under the sun so when your baby is starting solids, they truly will be ready for these “new-ish” flavors.
DON’T: Stick with the same five meals all pregnancy long.
DO: Eat a wide variety of dishes from different cultures
This may seem like common sense, but “pregnancy brain” makes it easy to forget to drink enough water. If you drink a glass of water with each of your smaller meals that already covers up to 6 of your 8 recommended glasses of water for the day. You can also download an app for your phone to remind you when to drink water. You can even EAT your water – think about fruits like watermelon, cucumber apples and pears. Almost 90% of the content is water so you satisfy your hunger and thirst at the same time.
DON’T: Have processed juices or soda when thirsty.
DO: Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.
Indulge once in awhile.
It’s no secret that pregnancy can cause overwhelming cravings. If you’re walking past a bakery and dying for a cookie, go for it! I know it seems crazy to encourage pregnant women to splurge, but I have to quickly follow it up with in moderation. An indulgence once a week is perfectly fine but try to keep it in check.
DON’T: Use pregnancy as an excuse to go crazy with your sweet tooth.
DO: Allow yourself a sweet treat once in a while.
Skip alcohol, cigarettes & unpasteurized dairy products.
Most everyone knows about these by now so they almost go without saying, but I think it is important to reiterate them. Unpasteurized dairy products can contain potentially harmful bacteria so it is prudent to save the creamy cheeses like brie for post-pregnancy. There have been several studies lately talking about how careful we really need to be when it comes to alcohol and crossing the blood of our babies; However, the topic is still up for debate. I believe that until we know 100% it is best to significantly limit or completely stop alcohol consumption. Cigarettes are not good for you with or without a growing baby in your body so no matter what point you find yourself in life, I would highly encourage you to break the habit and seek medical help if necessary!
DON’T: Drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or eat unpasteurized dairy products
DO: Eat fresh fruits, vegetables and grains
Best wishes for a happy, healthy and comfortable pregnancy from the Little Spoon Team!