Prenatal Nutrition…It’s Important!!!

*Note from Merry* Today’s post is brought to you by Katie from over at Moore From Katie. She’s one smart cookie who has really done her research on this, and I really think that good prenatal nutrition is extremely important. We all get “guidelines” crammed into our heads when we’re expecting, but I did some research of my own and was astounded by the sheer numbers of women (myself included) who had very poor pregnancy diets. I took extra prenatals, per my OB, to compensate for it, but nothing beats getting your daily vitamins and minerals from food. Please enjoy her article, and check out the yummy recipe at the end!

Nothing gets a woman thinking about her nutrition like when she is pregnant. When a woman is carrying a child, she knows that she is responsible for that child’s nutrition and development and wants to ensure that the baby is getting everything it needs to develop and grow properly. The nutrient needs of a mother can vary from woman to woman and it’s important to speak to a doctor about what is best. Just like the doctor will give advice on diet they will also be a great resource on other pregnancy and delivery related topics like exercise, cord blood banking, circumcision, and pain management medicine.

Anything from prior pregnancy weight to special dietary needs or even food allergies can affect the nutrients each woman needs during pregnancy. It is important to evaluate those dietary needs and establish a healthy meal plan to make sure that the baby and mother are getting everything they need. 

Some of the most important nutrients needed during pregnancy are: Protein, folic acid, additional nutrients, calcium, micro-nutrients (especially iron). Women commonly experience cravings during pregnancy. Often times a woman craves food high in the nutrients that she is lacking, strangely enough these cravings are usually for unhealthy items. Thankfully, there is a food serving guideline that is in place to assist women in monitoring their daily intake of food and to help monitor cravings. The recommendations are as following: 6-11 servings of bread and cereals, 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruit, 2-3 servings of protein or protein alternatives (6-9 oz per day), 2-3 servings of dairy, and 8+ large 6 oz glasses of water. 

During pregnancy most women find themselves overwhelmed with questions regarding proper nutrition and aren’t sure where to go. A woman should speak to her doctor about what she should be eating as well as maintain a few dietary references to refer to help educate herself and gain reassurance that she is doing everything she can to provide her growing baby the proper nutrition he needs. 

There are many recipes out there that are ideal for women during pregnancy looking to infuse their diets with nutrient-rich ingredients. A great recipe to enjoy during pregnancy is Vietnamese Chicken Salad. The salad can be enjoyed as a meal or a snack and work great during lunch or dinner. Chicken is a fantastic protein option that is needed for tissue development of the baby. 

Vietnamese Chicken Salad

*Ingredients 

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce (a salty condiment used to flavor foods in Southeast Asian cuisine. Use more or less depending on your taste.)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
For the chicken:
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 small carrot, roughly chopped
1 chunk ginger root, peeled, approximately 1-by-2 inches
1 Serrano chili, sliced in half lengthwise
5 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
2 tablespoons soy sauce
10 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts

For the salad:
1 pound head savoy or Napa cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chopped scallions, green parts only
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped

*Directions 
1. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients and set aside.

2. For chicken, place 2 quarts water in a medium saucepan on high heat and add celery, onion, carrot, ginger, chili, garlic, soy sauce, cloves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 5 minutes. Carefully add chicken breasts to saucepan, cover and cook on low for 15 to 20 minutes—until chicken is tender. Strain broth and reserve for another use. Discard vegetables and set chicken aside and let cool.

3. To prepare the salad, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces with your hands. In a large bowl, toss cabbage, carrots, scallions, cilantro and mint leaves. Place on serving platter and mound chicken on top. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with roasted peanuts.

Remember to do what your doctor recommends is best for you, you will feel better and be less stressed as you prepare for your baby to be born. Have fun with it!

Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26 

 

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