Pregnancy is a remarkable time in a woman’s life. And she needs to pay attention to what to eat during pregnancy like no other time in her life. During pregnancy everything a woman eats affects her baby – so planning for good eating is important to both.
How to Make Eating While Pregnant Fun and Tasty
Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean that you should start packing in everything you see at the market. If you aren’t already eating properly in anticipation of your pregnancy, you should do so as soon as you find you’re going to have a baby.
Artificial sweeteners, processed foods and other junk don’t provide the nutrients you or your baby need. That doesn’t mean you are stuck with a dull and lackluster diet though.
The best foods to eat are those that are as close to their source as possible. By this we mean whole grains and naturally raised meats that have been grass fed. It also means honey and stevia if you want a little something sweet, fresh organic produce, and a healthy dose of wild caught fish and raw nuts.
Nuts? I thought those were fattening!
In principle, yes, nuts do have a lot of fat per gram when compared to other foods. What isn’t taken into account when you only look at fat is what type of fats are in those nuts, and what other nutrients you access with them.
First of all, you should only eat raw nuts. Cashews, almonds and walnuts all taste great raw, and are perfect to tuck into your purse on a busy day. They keep you from sugar crashes and offer omega 3 fatty acid which is good for your heart. Nut butters made from these raw nuts are wonderful to add to oatmeal or spread on sprouted grain bread and on apples for a snack.
Fish is still brain food – for both of you
Who would have guessed that our mothers were right; fish really is brain food! Recent studies that followed women through pregnancy and their children for 8 years after birth showed conclusively that if the mother ate at least 12 ounces of fish a week during pregnancy, the kids displayed markedly higher verbal IQ scores. Nutrients in fish promote the development of the nervous system and the brain–so eat that fish!
We all know that produce is regularly sprayed with any number of pesticides and herbicides. While the verdict is still out on what those chemicals do to a fully grown adult, there is little doubt that body size is a big factor.
You can be sure that if your body struggles with the commercial chemical load carried on produce, your baby’s liver won’t be thrilled with the need to detoxify so early on. Avoid the issue as much as you can.
Getting organic produce does several things for you and the baby. Produce offers lots of roughage in the form of fiber–and constipation is a common complaint for pregnant women.
Organics are more nutritious than many of their conventional cousins, and they are better for the earth. The only possible down side is the slightly higher price; but this is a time when it is well worth the investment.
Dealing with Cravings
Just as in any other time of your life, you are likely to deal with some cravings. In fact, pregnant women are known for this phenomenon. If you have a craving, and it isn’t unhealthy – for example craving dirt – go ahead and indulge a bit. Just remember that you only need 200-300 extra calories a day to support that little one, so don’t over do it. Chances are, if you are eating a well balanced, healthy diet, your cravings will be minimal anyway.
Knowing what to eat during pregnancy doesn’t take a PhD, it takes good common sense, some advice from a nutritionist and a desire to provide both mother and baby the best possible building blocks around.