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To Eat or Not to Eat...during pregnancy With Aveen Bannon

Monday, 26 January 2009

During pregnancy, mum and baby need plenty of nutrition and it's no secret that eating healthily during pregnancy will boost both yours and your baby's nutrition.

It might also be obvious that getting pregnant is not a green light to binge; so the same healthy eating rules still apply as do when you're not pregnant, however, your body does absorb a higher amount of nutrients from food than it would when you're not pregnant.

Nutritionist Aveen Bannon:
Aveen says pregnant mums need to keep well hydrated, eat iron rich foods, calcium rich foods, vitamin C, essential fatty acids and lots of fibre.

Foods to eat are:
Pasteurized cheese, milk and yogurt are all good sources of calcium.
Calcium is also found in fortified soya produce and tinned fish - salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
Foods rich in iron are recommended for healthy cell development.
Lean red meat is a good source of iron - aim to eat 3-4, 2oz portions per week.
Fortified breakfast cereals, beans, well cooked eggs, apricots, prunes, spinach, figs contain iron. However, they need vitamin C to make use of their iron content so drink a glass of orange juice with them.

Other sources of Vitamin C are:
All fruits and vegetables, especially strong coloured ones are high in vitamin C; berries, Satsumas, lemons, limes, kiwi, blackcurrants, grapefruit.

Potatoes are also rich in vitamin C. You should choose 5 or more fruits and vegetables per day to meet your vitamin C requirements during pregnancy.
Fatty Acids such as salmon, kippers, sardines, trout and mackerel are also good for essential oils such as DHA and EPA. These are good for the development of baby's eyes and brain. However, avoid large oily fish such as shark or swordfish and not no more than 2 tins of tuna per week.

Eat plenty of Fibre
Some pregnant women experience constipation so it's essential to eat plenty of fibre. Prevention is better than cure.
High fibre wholegrain breakfast cereals like porridge, muesli or wheatabix, whole grain pasta, brown rice and bread and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (washed) are also a good source of fibre.

Seeds can be good sources too, linseed is especially good for constipation
Drink plenty of water.
Avoid the following:
Liver because it's rich in vitamin A and too much of this is harmful to your baby; especially during the first three months.
This also includes avoiding fish liver oil supplements like cod liver oil.

Limit your tuna intake to one tuna fish steak or two medium cans per week. (Total recommended is 8oz per week)
Do not eat raw eggs. Make sure eggs are fully cooked right through and don't eat home made mayonnaise.
Don not eat under cooked meat.
Unpasteurized milk, cheese or yogurts whether it is goat or cow.
Avoid soft cheese such as camembert, brie and blue veined cheese.

Never eat unwashed fruit and veg.
Peanuts - avoid nuts or nut related products during pregnancy (if any history of food allergy) and avoid during breast feeding due to allergy.
Avoid alcohol.
Avoid caffeine or limit to 4 drinks per day.
Avoid taking any medication unless prescribed by your doctor.
Heartburn.generally happens nearer the end To avoid it -

. Eat small regular meals, avoid big meals
. Eat slowly and chew food really well
. Avoid fried, fatty or spicy foods
. Avoid fizzy drinks and caffeine
. Don't lie down for an hour after eating
. If very severe symptoms seek medical advice

Food cravings.what happens if you get them?

Aveen says - An American survey on cravings during pregnancy showed that 85% of women reported at least one food craving. Of those;
. Almost 40 per cent of women craved 'something sweet'
. 33% something salty
. 17% something spicy &
. 10% craved citrus fruit, green apples and other tart or sour foods

. You should acknowledge pregnancy cravings but don't necessarily give in to them.
. Make sure that it's food you want and not a hug!
. Try to incorporate your craving into your mealtime.
. If craving a non-food item seek professional advice.