Monday, June 10, 2013

Pregnancy Nutrition

In the 24 weeks I've been pregnant, my diet has changed a ton. During the first trimester, it was "eat whatever sounds okay because not much does." Now that I'm almost through my second trimester, I've focused more on well-balanced nutrition to help me and my little one push through to the end. I purchased this book: Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today's Mothers-to-Be, by Catherine Cheremeteff Jones and Rose Ann Hudson, RD, LD 
(RD-Registered Dietitian, LD-Licensed Dietitian)

It is fabulous. The first part of the book walks you through everything from healthy weight gain, to types of foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals essential for you and baby. The authors even provide specific brands, of bread for example, which are the most well-balanced (100% of your daily fiber, high in folic acid, etc.). Another thing I love is that they explain exactly what certain foods contribute to healthy growth and development for baby. 

The next part of the book lays out a week's worth of sample meal plans-full of variety-and all are well-balanced. 

Next comes the recipes! At the top of each recipe, there's a statement about the health benefits of the recipe for you and baby. Some recipes are more involved, to be created on a weekend, but many of them are quick, easy and delicious.

This week I started my summer job, so I had to be prepared with breakfast, lunch, and snacks to take with me. 

Last night I made their chicken salad recipe, which, while a semi-common lunch recipe, this one is packed with ingredients for baby like fresh herbs, red bell pepper, sliced almonds, and dried apricot. I just finished my sandwich for lunch today and was completely satisfied. Crunchy, sweet, herbaceous, meaty, salty, enough said. When eaten between two slices of hearty, whole-grain bread, this sandwich will keep baby and me full for awhile! 

I coupled this sandwich with hummus (there's a recipe for home-made hummus in the book, but I bought mine:)) and carrots, and a small spinach salad with light Greek dressing. 

In thinking about a well-balanced pregnancy meal, let's review this lunch:

Protein: Chicken in chicken salad, chickpeas in hummus, almonds from chicken salad, seeds from my whole-grain bread

Fruits/Veggies: red bell peppers in chicken salad, carrots, spinach

Grains: whole-grain bread  

As you can see, dairy is missing from this list, so I will have a yogurt for snack later!  For me, visually seeing a daily meal layout in this book really helped me think about planning intentional snack and meal choices, ensuring that by the end of the day, baby and I have gotten exactly what we need.

I hope to post more as I work through the meal plans and recipes. On a final note, the authors took great care in creating meals that the whole family will love and benefit from, not just mom and baby. 

Happy Eating!