Do you think it’s free for all, and that you should indulge your cravings?
Party is over. (Or is the party just starting?)
You’re not eating for two. You’re rather eating twice as healthy. Welcome to pregnancy, mama!
What’s the dealy-o?
- 1st trimester: no extra food needed
- 2nd and 3rd trimester: the equivalent of one more snack per day. That isn’t exactly eating for two.
So rather than going hard core on quantity, maybe it’s time to go BIG on quality.
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The healthy plate + a prenatal multivitamin ensure you have proper nutrition for you and baby. That is how you eat for two!
4 ideas (+ 1 bonus) we often hear
Well that one is safe to follow. Alcohol does pass in the placenta and reaches the baby. We don’t know if there is a “safe” amount to drink during pregnancy, and quite frankly who would want to test it? A mother drinking while being pregnant might give birth to a baby with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which is a serious health condition that cannot be reverse. It can affect emotional, physical or mental health of the baby with dramatic consequences. The thing is we don’t know how much drinking will cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorder so better to play it safe: avoid all type of alcohol at all time during pregnancy.
Good news, you can actually enjoy your daily cup of coffee while pregnant. Just don’t exaggerate. The recommended maximum daily caffeine is 300 mg. That means 2 small (8oz) cups of coffee. But that includes all sources of caffeine (not just found in coffee): coffee, tea, yerba mate, chocolate, pop and other caffeinated beverages like guarana-containing beverages and energy drinks.
- Limit to 2 cups a day: citrus peel, linden flower, ginger, lemon balm, orange peel, rose hip
- Avoid chamomile
- Avoid teas containing aloe, coltsfoot, juniper berry, pennyroyal, buckthorn bark, comfrey, labrador tea, sassafras, duck root, lobelia and senna leaves.
This one has bad press because of mercury content and environmental concerns. Both are fair, but there are ways around it! We actual recommend to eat fatty fish like salmon twice a week. It provides omega 3 fats, vitamin D and many other important nutrients. The problem is that large fish live longer, and accumulates contaminants such as mercury from the prey they eat over time.
- Avoid: Fresh/frozen tuna, shark, swordfish, escolar, marlin, and orange roughy
- Caution with species you fish yourself: Check with your local authorities for any advisory for your fishing area.
- Limit canned albacore and canned white tuna: limit to 2 cans of 170g per week.
- Enjoy freely and often: Salmon, trout, herring, haddock, canned light tuna (skipjack, yellowfin, tongol), pollock (Boston bluefish), sole, flounder, anchovy, char, hake, mullet, smelt, Atlantic mackerel and lake white fish: They provide omega 3 and contain less contaminants/mercury
But the easiest way to get all the good without the bad: vary your menus! Eat different types of fish and seafood. Keep it interesting and tasty while you eat for two!
No alcohol + a healthy plate most of the time. Variety is key when you eat for two.
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And here are some less known truths
- raw or undercooked meat like sushi, smoked salmon, tartare
- deli meat and meat pâtés, unless they are reheated
- raw eggs or runny yolk (and products containing raw eggs like salad dressing)
- raw (pasteurized or not) soft, semi-soft or blue-veined cheeses
- raw unpasteurized dairy products and juices
- wash your hands, your kitchen counters and sink often
- brush fruits and veggies before eating (even if you peel them). Think about where they grow, what is the soil fertilized with, and who touched them before you.
- defrost your meat in the fridge over night (not on the counter top). You can also use a water bath to speed up the process, and cook it right away.
- wash knives and cutting boards between tasks, specifically making sure to avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked items.
- store leftovers in servings size and place in the fridge/freezer to cool off faster (don’t leave them on the counter).
- buffets and pot luck meals: ensure that food is not left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Use ice tray or burners to keep an appropriate temperature.
Now that you know the risks in the kitchen, you can decide if the sushi you dream of eating is worth it. In the end, each pregnant women will deal with the risk she is ready to take (and it is not for us to judge).
Know what are the risks when storing, handling and cooking food so you can make informed decisions when you eat for two.
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