It takes an estimated 75,000 calories to “make” a baby, and few factors will have a more profound effect on the overall health of a newborn than the diet of the mother during pregnancy. But just because you’re eating for two doesn’t mean that it’s time to double your caloric intake. In fact, most experts believe that an expecting mother should be taking in an extra 300-400 calories a day. And just where those calories come from will have a lasting effect on a baby’s birth weight, brain development, bone strength, and many other important indicators of a healthy newborn. Pregnancy will be a time of many challenges, but your diet shouldn’t be one of them. David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, authors of "Eat This, Not That!," show you the simplest, healthiest, most satisfying way to feed yourself, nourish your baby, and indulge your wild cravings during these nine crazy months.
Salad made with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, tofu and cheddar cheese
Called "baby greens" for good reason, romaine lettuce is packed with folate - two cups contain 150 mg, about 40 percent of your recommended daily dose — which promotes healthy development. And hard cheeses like cheddar are good sources of calcium, which will help strengthen your baby’s teeth and bones. Finally, tofu is rich in iron, which enables your red blood cells to carry oxygen to the baby.
Salad made with iceberg lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, deli turkey and feta cheese crumbles
They call it iceberg lettuce because it will sink your ship — iceberg has almost no nutritional value. In the salad hierarchy, it’s pure filler, providing little of the vitamin- and iron-rich benefits of spinach. And we’re banning deli meats and soft cheeses like feta because they can carry harmful bacteria — a bad choice for pregnant women.
Smoothie made with plain low-fat yogurt, banana and two tablespoons chunky peanut butter
This is the tastiest baby vitamin we know. It’s loaded with calcium and folate, and the yogurt packs B12, which helps red blood cells deliver nutrients to the baby. Plus, bananas are high in potassium and B6, both of which help reduce morning sickness.
Smoothie made with Dannon Fruit on the Bottom strawberry banana yogurt, Haagen-Dazs strawberry sorbet, fresh-squeezed orange juice and apple juice
Fruit on the Bottom yogurt is loaded with sugar (more than 25 grams), and so is sorbet (28 grams) and apple juice (28 grams). You want the tooth fairy to come for your child, not for you, so opt for fresh fruits in lieu of sweet products packed with added sugar and few antioxidants. And always use bottled, pasteurized juice during pregnancy rather than freshly squeezed, as unpasteurized juice may contain harmful bacteria.
Ice cream (and pickles!)
Breyers All Natural Butter Almond (1 cup)
18 g fat
28 g sugars
Your body needs ice cream! (Isn’t nutrition science great?) During the last two trimesters, your body absorbs more calcium from food than when you’re not pregnant, and ice cream is a great way to get it. But again, it’s about smart choices: Breyers is all-natural, and the almonds provide iron, zinc and folate.
Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch (1 cup)
32 g fat
54 g sugars
Your body needs ice cream, but it doesn’t need 54 grams of sugar. Plus, chocolate and coffee can aggravate heartburn, which a lot of women experience during the second and third trimesters.
Kosher Dill Pickle Spears (1 oz)
0 g sugars
Sweet Pickle Spears (1 oz)
10 g sugars
A pickle is a pickle, right? You’d be surprised. If you choose the sweet pickle over the kosher, and you eat just one pickle a day for three trimesters, you’ve added a whole pound of body weight by the time the baby is born. That’s a nutritional pickle you don’t want to be in.
Sauteed farmed rainbow trout
Fish is packed with heart-healthy Omega 3s, and studies show that babies born with higher levels of these fats have greater attention spans and faster-developing brains. But when it comes to fish, there is danger lurking here, too. The trout is packed with good fats. Eat plenty of it and your child will be blessed with a greater attention span — he’ll only be pretending not to hear you.
The swordfish, on the other hand, is one of the most contaminated on the market, as it’s loaded with mercury. If you’re pregnant, avoid it whenever possible.
Virgin Pina Colada
45 g sugars
60 g sugarsYou need to teetotal during pregnancy, but why not create a little scandal by drinking a virgin version of your favorite cocktail? In fact, one of the choices will actually promote a healthy pregnancy — as long as you leave out the booze. Pina coladas are made with coconut milk, which is like breastfeeding your baby while she’s still in the womb — coconut milk has nutrients like lauric acid and capric acid, both found in breast milk. A frozen margarita, on the other hand, is nothing but sugary corn syrup — most don’t even have real limes in them.A final tip — for your baby. Breast milk not only contains nutrients not found in formula, but studies show that women who breast-feed burn off pregnancy fat faster. Although, with a little one in the house, we imagine you’ll be burning off plenty of calories in no time.
Source: Men's Health
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