And now a little about my guest. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging and meeting new people! Her article on healthy eating during pregnancy provides some useful advice for all expectant mums who are battling unhealthy cravings!
Healthy Eating and Alternatives for Cravings by Katie Moore
Eating for two was a lot of responsibility. It was difficult to keep my focus on healthy food when the baby and I were craving salty, fattening foods, or sweet treats. The great news is there are strategies to satisfy some of those cravings while getting the vitamins and minerals you and baby need for good health. As an expectant mom I was always trying to balance good nutrition and healthy weight gain against cravings and old habits. To keep my focus on good nutrition I needed to start my day off right. I recommend speaking with your doctor to see which foods are better than others to eat during pregnancy. My doctor was my best resource when it came to any questions I had, for example about: exercise, cord blood banking, pain medicine, and even circumcision. Have fun with your diet, try new things but make sure to follow what the doctor orders.
A University of Rochester study showed, “A mother’s iron deficiency early in pregnancy may have a profound and long-lasting effect on the brain development of the child, even if the lack of iron is not enough to cause severe anemia.”*
A couple of eggs on a slice of whole grain toast served with a small serving of dried fruit is a great starter to the day. Eggs and dried fruit are rich in iron, which is necessary for the health of the fetal brain.
Your prenatal vitamin is a great supplement to a rounded, healthy diet. It is not meant to replace the vitamins and minerals found in food, but to ensure you are getting what you need. It is important that all pregnant women increase their intake of foods rich in folic acid, which can prevent some birth defects if consumed before pregnancy and in early pregnancy. Folic acid is found in broccoli, strawberries, oranges, and spinach. Foods rich in calcium, such as yogurt and milk, help grow strong bones. Fighting cravings is tough. There are healthy alternatives to try before giving in to the unhealthy cravings. Bear in mind, there is no reason you cannot indulge occasionally in the things you are craving, but you can substitute healthy alternatives here and there. Balance is the key. For example, are you craving salty pickles? There are several low-sodium alternatives to try in stores. When you have a sweet tooth, ambrosia salad is delicious and packed with vitamins. This recipe is an easy version with lots of flavor: Ingredients • 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple • 2 large navel oranges, peeled and sectioned • 1-1/2 cups green grapes • 1 cup miniature marshmallows • 1 large banana, sliced • 1/2 cup flaked coconut • 1/4 cup chopped almonds • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) vanilla yogurt Directions • Combine ingredients and fold in the yogurt. Chill until ready to eat. If you use your imagination you can find tons of healthy ways to satisfy your cravings. Remember that it is always better to eat the fruit than drink the juice, keep your sodium at healthy levels, and eat lots of colorful vegetables every day. Enjoy all the foods you love in a balanced way, and let the cravings push you toward new recipe discoveries.
Thanks Katie for your interesting and informative article. I was very lucky to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy and it's actually the time of my life where I felt the fittest and healthiest. I made sure I ate well and got plenty of exercise and I really felt wonderful. I did have unhealthy cravings for salt and vinegar crisps and although I allowed myself the occasional indulgence, mostly I tried to satisfy the craving by adding extra vinegar to my salad dressing. What strange cravings did you have during pregnancy?