Saturday, January 21, 2012

Feeding for two, what's safe AND healthy?

During my (first and only) time being pregnant I freaked out about everything I ate, constantly asking myself "Is this safe?" or "Is this healthy for my baby", even questions like "Okay, it's good for my immune system, but is it good for his?" - I talked to my doctor, my friends, my family, and I often had little meetings with a very good friend of mine, the Google search engine to find answers to all of my questions. I spent a great deal of time obsessing over proper nutrition for myself and my baby. Well, now one of my very close family relatives is pregnant (Yay!) and the other day she was asking me a few questions about food, eating, nutrition and what is and isn't safe for her baby, as we were talking and I realized how much stuff I learned while pregnant, I thought to myself.. I should share all the things I learned with other mommies to be out there. And so, here it is, my guide to safe, healthy eating while your pregnant!

Firstly, always be conscious of what your eating while your pregnant, even if you thinks it's safe, if you find yourself second guessing it, concerned about food expiration or just have a bad feeling about eating something, it's best to hold off. If your trying something new while pregnant, try just a little first, give yourself a while and see how you feel before continuing to eat.

Also, keep in mind the prenatal vitamin your probably taking is giving you lots of vitamins, no need to go overkill on anything so consider your vitamin when planning your meals and intake.

Some quick tips before we get started:

- Never eat raw eggs or meat while pregnant.

- Wash (more than you normally would) all of your fruits
and vegetables before you prepare them, even if cooking.

- Avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel,
and albacore tuna during pregnancy because
of their high methylmercury levels.
However shrimp and canned tuna are
OK in moderation while pregnant.

Alrighty, now lets start by going over what nutrients your growing baby actually needs, I'm going to explain how all these vital nutrients helps your baby to grow, how you can be sure your getting these nutrients, and tasty ways to serve 'em up!

Calcium! - 1,000 mg per day.Helps to grow strong teeth and bones, healthy heart, muscles, and nerves.
Also, develops that beautiful heart beat you love to hear at those doctors visits!

How Can You Get It? - 8 oz of skim milk or orange juice provides 300 mg,
cheese is another GREAT source of calcium too!

Choline! - 450 mg per day
This stuff is great, it helps to prevent neural tube defects,
and increases brain cell development!
How Can You Get It? - 1 hard boiled egg provides 113 mg,
and pork is a great source of Choline too!

Folic Acid! - 600 mcg per day
This is truly a necessity, be sure to have plenty of this stuff
because it also helps to prevent neural tube defects, as well as
reduce risk of other birth defects; and it is critical for DNA production.

How Can You Get It? - (4) Boiled or steamed asparagus spears
provide 81 mcg, and just 1/2 lentils provide 179 mcg!

Iron! - 27 mg per day
This helps to create red blood cells, builds bones, connective tissue and cartilage,
and also supplies oxygen to cells for energy and growth.

How Can You Get It? - A lot of cereals are Iron-Fortified and provide
24 mg in just 1 cup! And 3 oz of beef sirloin(if you're not vegetarian) provides
3.2 mg!

Magnesium! - 350 mg per day
This stuff repairs and builds tissue, regulates insulin and blood sugar levels,
all while helping to build strong bones and teeth!

How Can You Get It? - Just one cup of spinach pasta serves up 87 mg, but
most leafy vegetables, cereals, nuts, legumes and pumpkin seeds are all great sources too!

Vitamin D! - 5 mcg per day
 This is essential for healthy bone and teeth development,
and it's found in tons of food and drinks you probably already have everyday!

How Can You Get It? - Just one cup of milk provides 2 mcg! If your lactose intolerant or don't
want to drink milk, salmon, tuna, eggs and even some cereals are great sources of vitamin D! 

Zinc! - 11 mg per day
This is crucial for DNA production and also aids in cell growth,
pretty important stuff, huh?

How Can You Get It? - It's easy to get your Zinc! Yogurt, Tofu, King Crab, Cashews and Raisin Bran, Chickpeas and Roasted Chicken legs, Flounder, Peas, and even Kidney Beans all have Zinc!

An important thing to remember while your expecting is that eating for two doesn't mean eating
twice as much. Unfortunately, at least for me because I am a total food lover, you are
only supposed to take in an extra 300 Calories per day while pregnant,
maybe a little more if your very active.

So don't give in to every craving, don't dig into every bag of chips or
rip open every candy bar you see, remember that your baby
is just the size of a pea for the first trimester, and even by the third trimester
they are a lot smaller than you, don't over eat because it makes your
journey towards returning to your pre-baby body a lot more difficult!

I hope this post helped mommies all around to better understand
what they need to support and help grow healthy,
happy babies!


Candace said...

Wow, thank you for this. I am pregnant for my first time and loved your summary of what I have been hearing from random people or random sources.

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