Healthy Eats Tips During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Here’s some great nutrition advice & tips for you pregnant & nursing moms from Amelia Winslow (Eating Made Easy).

~Plus some yummy snack ideas~

When you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you definitely know what it’s like to be hungry all the time.  I’m 28-weeks pregnant, and while sometimes my hunger level seems about average, other times I feel like I need a full meal ever hour!  For better or worse though, pregnancy is not a license to eat whatever we want, whenever we want.  Rather, it’s a time to be especially conscious of what goes into our bodies, as our actions no longer affect simply our own health, but also the health of our babies. When you’re pregnant, you need about 300 extra calories per day to nourish your growing fetus.  When you’re breastfeeding, you burn 500-800 extra calories per day producing milk, so it’s important to nourish yourself well.  Here are the keys to making sure the extra calories you eat as a new mom or mom-to-be are doing your body (and baby) good:
  • Snack every few hours. Regular meals are not enough to keep you feeling satisfied, and if you get too hungry between meals, you’ll overeat at the next meal, or overindulge on junk food.  So plan to eat healthy snacks frequently.
  • Snacks (and meals) should combine lean protein, high-fiber carbs, and some fat.  This combination will help keep you satisfied for longer.  See list below for snack ideas.
  • Don’t keep junk food in the house.  Only keep food around that you would want yourself to eat often.  Treats are fine, but save them for an out-of-the-house indulgence, so they feel like a splurge and not part of the everyday routine.
  • Bulk up your meals with vegetables. Add tons of vegetables to everything: pastas, rice, tacos, sandwiches, wraps, casseroles, soups, etc.  Vegetables add volume and fiber (not to mention needed nutrients), which will keep you feeling full for longer.
  • Ask yourself if you’re really hungry before eating.  When you’re at home all the time with a newborn, you’re around the kitchen more often than normal, and you may get into the habit of snacking just because.  So when you head for the fridge, ask yourself if you’re really snacking out of hunger, or if you’re just bored.  Make a list of non-eating activities you could do for the times when you’re just bored, and keep that posted to the fridge.

Snack Ideas

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with 1 cup berries and 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 2 Hard boiled eggs + 1 cup carrot sticks dipped in veggie dip
  • Oat bran cereal (or oatmeal): 1/2 cup dry, cooked with 1 cup milk and sprinkled with raisins
  • PB & banana sandwich on 100% whole grain bread (use natural peanut butter, the kind you stir)
  • Salmon salad on whole grain crackers: think tuna salad, only with canned salmon instead of tuna. Mix with lemon juice, olive oil, and any of the following: diced celery or cucumber, cherry tomatoes, capers, fresh dill, fresh parsley, plain yogurt.
  • 1 cup Edamame in pods + 3 cups Light popcorn
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese on 1 piece whole wheat toast with sliced tomato & fresh basil leaves
  • Breakfast burrito: 1 whole wheat tortilla filled with 1 scrambled egg, 1/4 cup salsa, and 1/4 cup refried beans
  • 1/2 an avocado, sprinkled with salt and stuffed with 1/4 cup salsa and 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds + 1 large pear
  • 16-oz low-fat decaf latte (if you’re hungry while out and about)
  • 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk, blended with 1/2 a banana, 1 Tbsp peanut butter, and 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1/2 cup pineapple chunks and 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 Dove Dark Chocolate Promises (or other squares of dark choc) + 4 prunes + 10 almonds
  • Need other snack ideas?  Here are tons more!
About Amelia: She hold 2 masters degrees in Nutrition & Public Health & currently works as a nutritionist & personal chef in L.A.  “During the summer of 2000, when she got a job interviewing families with overweight children as part of an obesity study.  She quickly became both fascinated and frightened by the growing obesity epidemic in the U.S., and has since devoted her professional life to making healthy eating more convenient, more accessible, and more appealing for busy Americans.  Amelia believes that in order to reverse the trends of overweight and chronic disease, our entire food system will need to undergo massive change.  But since change comes in small steps, for now she’s here to help you navigate the system as it is, so that you can make the best eating decisions possible in your own everyday life.”

I couldn’t agree more with her saying how our “entire food system will need to undergo massive change” – SO TRUE! Don’t let big company marketing fool you.

Thank you Amelia!



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