Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Your children are what YOU eat!! Nutrition for the pregnant Mum

The old saying you are what you eat is true in many ways but did you ever wonder why so many children "don't eat their vegies"?

Its true sometimes they just don't like carrots or peas or some other type of vegetable but there is now evidence to suggest that what you eat while pregnant strongly impacts the tastebuds of your unborn child.

A child's tastes are developed at an early age, consider the following:

Q If all you ever fed a child during the first year to 5 years of life were raw foods and loads of fruit and veg what would happen when you feed a child McDonalds?
A You probably said they would love it.  Well that's not entirely correct. Studies show that children who eat a diet low in artificial additives, sugar, fried foods, salt etc don't actually like those types of foods.

If your pallette is geared to eating sugar, salt, fat (the bad kind) as your staple diet then anything else will taste foreign.
On the flip side if you eat a diet low or completely avoiding the foods above then you probably won't be able to stomach them.

So, when considering what you should eat during your pregnancy its not just your body you are taking care of you are shaping your child's own nutritional habits for the future.

Tip: If you struggle to enjoy vegetables find a way to spice them up a bit; add herbs, roast them, make a casserole with other flavours you love and that way you can hide the taste you don't like.

Tip for your child who eats solids: If you don't like bland veggies i.e. plain pumpkin, carrots and beans then don't serve that to your child. Add herbs or again serve in a soup or casserole (blended for under 8 months).

Benefits of exercise during pregnancy on your unborn child

Most people are aware of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy for Mum's.
  • decreased pain and improved posture
  • decreased stress and a better self-esteem
  • decreased nausea and varicose veins etc
  • Better sleep patterns 
I personally can say this was all true for my pregnancy and exercise was my saving grace so many times.

But what about the effects of exercise during pregnancy for the unborn child? Here are the main benefits:
  • Decreased body fat deposit in the last trimester (lower birth weight)
  • Better ability to cope with stress during labor and usually they are less stressed throughout labor
  • Newborn babies tend to be more alert and adjust more quickly to the outside world
  • lower body fat deposits have been sited up to the age of 5.
All aspects of growth and development are the same in exercising mothers as those who don't and may even be better.
This not only means your bub may be born healthier but there is evidence to suggest that your child maybe healthier in general throughout the crucial early years of development so if this doesn't motivate you to get moving I don't know what will.

ref:  "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" James F Clapp M.D.
Note: He was part of the movement of MDs in the 1970s who proved the safety and benefit of exercise. We owe a great debt to medical professionals who put themselves on the line in the name of controversial issues.