Posts Tagged ‘food’

TTC? Should you change your diet?

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

woman having breakfastIf you’re trying to conceive (TTC) or thinking about getting pregnant soon, don’t wait until you get a positive pregnancy test to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. Start now.

Did you know that when you get a positive pregnancy test result, you’re already 3 – 4 weeks pregnant? This is why you should treat your body as if you are already pregnant when you are trying to conceive.

Not sure where to begin? Here’s your cheat sheet:

  • Include a multivitamin on your grocery shopping list. Taking a daily multivitamin that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid BEFORE and early in pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain and spine) in your baby. Don’t wait until you are pregnant – start taking a multivitamin now. When you become pregnant switch to a daily prenatal vitamin with 600 mcg of folic acid.
  • Here’s more to put on your shopping list: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk products and proteins. Go ahead and make your plate all the colors of the rainbow. See our guide for details and a sample menu.
  • Cut out alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigs, marijuana and street drugs. These items can be harmful to your baby during pregnancy. By cutting them out now, you don’t have to worry about them when you become pregnant.
  • Talk to your provider about all of the medications you are currently taking to see if any need to be switched to one that is safe to take during pregnancy. Never go off a prescription medication without speaking with your health care provider first.
  • Start limiting your fish and caffeine intake. Eat 8 to 12 ounces a week of fish low in mercury such as shrimp, salmon, Pollock, catfish and canned light tuna or 6 ounces a week of albacore (white) tuna. Limit your caffeine to 200 milligrams a day; this is the amount in 1½ 8-ounce cups of coffee or one 12-ounce cup of coffee. And be sure to read labels on your food products for added caffeine.
  • Stay away from: raw or under cooked meat and eggs, raw fish and all shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Don’t eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads, raw sprouts and herbal products like pills and teas. Avoid all unpasteurized products, which may include juice, milk and soft cheeses. See our complete list of foods to avoid.
  • Healthy foods can get expensive; read our guide to food shopping on a budget.

Remember, as you’re trying to conceive, treat your body like you are already pregnant. Making healthy choices now will give you a great start once you become pregnant.

Satisfying those pregnancy cravings

Friday, March 25th, 2016

SaladAs the temperature rises here on the east coast, I can’t help but think of warm weather and yummy summer foods like ice cream. But while enjoying your cone this season, remember that nutrition is important, especially if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant.

This month is National Nutrition Month, and this year the theme is to savor the flavor of eating right. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics raises awareness that no one diet is right for everyone. By keeping your lifestyle in mind and focusing on foods and traditions that appeal to you, you can find an eating plan that works for you.

So what does this mean for pregnant women?

Lots of women have food cravings during pregnancy. And it’s usually okay to satisfy those cravings as long as what you eat is safe and you don’t overdo it.

You may have heard that you should be eating from the five food groups: grains, veggies, fruits, milk products and proteins, but what about when you get cravings for crunchy foods and you reach for the potato chips?

Here are some tips:

  • Eat what you crave, but in small amounts. Eating too much of something sweet, spicy or salty can cause problems, such as heartburn or gaining too much weight.
  • Work your cravings to your advantage. If you are craving a crunch, see if some carrots or an apple will satisfy your craving before you reach for the chip bag. Or at least buy the reduced fat kind of chips.
  • Buy single servings instead of in bulk. If you are ready to enjoy some ice-cream, go to your local ice cream shop for a scoop instead of buying a container at the grocery store.
  • Plan your day’s snacks ahead of time. This will help you know what and when you are going to eat between meals and will keep you away from unhealthy convenience foods in a vending machine.
  • If you are trying to stay away from your craving, try distracting yourself by going for a walk or calling a friend.

Not sure if your craving is healthy for your pregnancy? Email or text us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Running out of steam? Don’t forget to eat

Monday, September 13th, 2010

appleSounds odd, but some of us are so busy taking care of the small fry, not to mention the older medium and large fry and/0r work, that time flies by and we forget to eat.  When I forget, I usually end up with a wicked headache. Here are some tips for healthy and quick eats for Mom.

• Hard-boiled eggs (protein’s a power house)
• Hummus scooped up with pita chips or sliced carrots, celery, peppers (keep a big bag of them in the fridge for diving into whenever the mood strikes)
• Low-fat cheese (kids love string cheese… so do I!)
• Yogurt mixed with cereal and diced fruits
• Fruit smoothies with yogurt in them
• Water, lots of water
• Whole grain crackers
• Low-fat bran muffin
• Dried fruits and nuts (I keep some in my car)
• An apple a day… what can I say? (except maybe banana)

Snacks for your troops

Monday, June 28th, 2010

fruitAre your kids home and running around? Do you keep hearing “I’m hungry!” in between bursts of energy?

Sometimes kids aren’t really hungry, they’re bored.  Many children and adults eat when they’re bored, one of the contributors to our overweight society. Sometimes it’s tempting for us to just cave in and give Junior that cookie (been there), but try not to.  If breakfast or lunch was only an hour ago, getting your tike interested in a project (coloring, building with blocks, making a fort under a table, splashing in the yard in a pot of water…) can divert his attention away from food.  It’s important to help kids manage their hunger.  Avoid letting them pick and nibble throughout the day because it can set them up for overeating when they’re older.

But then there are times when they really are hungry and they need to refuel.  Scheduling snacks can be helpful for you and for them.  Here’s a link to some good information about smart, fun, creative and healthy snacking.

ADHD and pesticides in food

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

strawberriesChildren exposed to certain pesticides are at increased risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This was the finding of a  new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. More research is needed to confirm this finding. But meanwhile, you can take steps to reduce your children’s exposure to pesticides.

Diet is a major source of pesticide exposure for children. For instance, celery, frozen blueberries and strawberries can contain pesticides.

To protect your children, wash all fruits and vegetables with water. Use only produce that is in season. If you can, avoid fruits and vegetables that have been treated with pesticides.

For more, read the March of Dimes article on pesticides.

Hot dogs, serious choking risk for kids

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

hot-dog-2It’s a common thing to do. Take a hot dog and slice it up into small pieces for toddlers to eat. Usually, the little ones can easily pick up the pieces with their small fingers and put them into their mouths.

But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), hot dogs are the food most commonly linked to fatal choking among children. Because they are cylindrical or circular in shape, hot dogs and those cut-up pieces can wedge tightly into the child’s airway, blocking it completely.

And there’s another problem. When you squeeze a hot dog, it compresses and then expands when you let go. So the hot dog piece works like a plug or a cork in the child’s airway.

Today the AAP issued a new policy statement on choking hazards and children. Other foods besides hot dogs can also be risky. They include hard candy, peanuts and other nuts, seeds, whole grapes, raw carrots, apples, popcorn, chunks of peanut butter, marshmallows and chewing gum. Whenever you give your baby solid food, be sure the pieces are very small and that he has swallowed what was in his mouth before.

For more, read the March of Dimes article Starting Your Baby on Solid Foods. On Friday, I’ll write about the choking hazards of coins and toys. Stay tuned.

Recalls: Parkers Farm products, Happytot and Happybaby pouch meals

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Two companies have recently recalled food products. Parkers Farm, a food company in Minnesota, has recalled several products because of possible contamination with Listeria. This bacteria can cause a type of food poisoning that can be especially dangerous for pregnant women and small children.

The recalled products include peanut butter, bagel spreads, dips, cheese and salsa. They are sold under the brand name Parkers Farm and other brand names, incuding Kroger, Dutch Farms and Central Market.

For a list of all the products in this recall, visit the Web site of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Nurture, Inc., has recalled some Happytot and Happybaby meal pouches. The packaging is defective and could lead to contamination with bacteria. For a list of all the recalled products, visit the FDA Web site.

What’s for dinner?

Monday, November 9th, 2009

722716_thbI’m at the point now where I ask myself that question almost on a daily basis. I think it’s safe to say that this has become a really bad habit. I’ve run out of ideas and I’m bored with what I make. Pasta. Chicken. Fish. Repeat. I like to shop for fresh veggies and meats, but end up throwing a lot of it away because with only two people we just don’t get to all of it. I hate wasting food. In a perfect world I would have the energy to plan our meals each week — a variety of healthy dishes that taste delicious and are effortless to prepare. I would make batches of things and freeze them. But sadly, I don’t do these things. On nights when my husband works late I usually just pour myself a bowl of cereal and call it a day. Now that I’m introducing solids into my daughter’s diet I need to work on my culinary skills and get organized. I want her to develop healthy eating habits right from the start and I know that I’m the one responsible for establishing that. I wish cooking didn’t feel like such a chore though. Maybe I should take a class. What are you having for dinner?

New Web site on food safety

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

grocery-basketDo you get a knot in your stomach when you hear about people getting sick from eating unsafe hamburger meat? Do you worry when you hear that some canned food has been recalled?

Well, now there’s one place to help you get answers. Several federal agencies are working together on a new Web site about food safety.  Everything in one place. Great idea!

And here are some March of Dimes resources:

* Food-borne risks in pregnancy
* Food safety dring pregnancy
* Feeding and food safety for baby

Plum Organics: Baby food recall

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Plum Organics has recalled one batch of its Apple & Carrot Portable Pouch baby food. The company is concerned that the food may be contaminated with the bacteria that can cause botulism. Botulism can be a life-threatening disease.

The following code appears on the bottom of the packages: 890180001221. The food has been sold at Toys-R-Us and Babies-R-Us stores.

No illnesses have been reported. The recall is a precaution.

Symptoms of botulism include weakness, dizziness, double vision and trouble speaking or swallowing. People with these problems should get medical care immediately.