If you’re like me, your idea of what a pregnant woman should eat is probably from what you've seen in the movies and on TV… the pregnant mama chowing down on her third packet of Oreos… or screaming for Doritos and ice cream at 3 o’clock in the morning. It makes us feel like we could, or should be doing exactly that when we're pregnant.
And while you could eat whatever you like during pregnancy, being mindful about what foods you eat during your pregnancy will have payoffs - for both you and your baby.
By no means is pregnancy a time for restrictive eating... your body has additional energy requirements because you are afterall, growing a human being inside of you and that takes a lot of work!
However, it is a time to be intentional about the choices you make when it comes to food.
Real food vs junk food
If you choose to eat real, whole foods most of the time, you’ll get the nutrients your baby and your body needs, without worrying about excessive weight gain during pregnancy and the complications that may bring.
Real foods allow your body to naturally put on weight where you're biologically programmed to. The beautiful thing about mother nature is that you'll be biologically programmed to lose weight from these places once you've given birth.
On the other hand, junk or processed foods don't contain the nutrients your baby needs so you're left hungry for more - and more susceptible to the cycle of cravings. Someone once told me that if eating junk food before you were pregnant made you put on weight, wouldn’t the same thing happen while you were pregnant? Food for thought...
So, while you can eat whatever you want during pregnancy, not everything is going to benefit your baby’s development - or give your body what it needs to stay healthy and strong after your pregnancy.
Instead, make healthier choices when you can, and focus on eating real, whole foods that don’t come out of a packet or box. Choose meals with real food ingredients, that you have to put together yourself.
As a quick and easy snack (or breakfast), I love to make whole-wheat toast topped with nut butter, bananas and chia seeds. It's quick to make, satisfying to eat and full of nutrients that'll look after your baby and your body.