Just ten weeks after having baby number two, Registered Dietitian Stephanie Middleberg joined me to chat all things nutrition for women thinking about getting pregnant, moms-to-be, new mamas, and their children.
Pre- & Post-Pregnancy & Toddler Nutrition Episode Highlights
Nutrition for Women in General
- Eat whole food, real food, organic.
- Even if you’re not thinking about getting pregnant, taking a pre-natal is OK. (But always check with your doctor, and get blood work on a regular basis to make sure your blood levels of vitamins are all good).
- If you’ve been on the pill, it depletes the nutrients we need, so taking a prenatal or multi can help fortify the diet.
Nutrition for Women Wanting to Get Pregnant
- Your diet affects your fertility. You can improve chances of getting pregnant through diet.
- Healthy fat is crucial for our hormones and health. We need plenty of healthy fat to get pregnant. Go full fat (egg yolks, full fat dairy if you eat it, etc.).
- What your hubby eats affects fertility and chances of getting pregnant, too.
- Eating organically is important! Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list for guidance on which foods should ideally always be organic, and which foods don’t necessarily need to be.
- Probiotics and fermented foods are also important.
- Magnesium is important – many people are deficient. Chocolate is a good source, epsom salt baths, magnesium sprays, and pumpkin seeds.
- Iron – in the second trimester, It’s common for women to become anemic. Mega Food Blood Builder with Beetroot is a good supplement to add to help prevent. Or Dr. Ron’s liver pills (it doesn’t taste like liver!) Organic grass-fed beef could be another source.
Nutrition for Mamas-to-Be
- You crave what you eat – so eat well-balanced meals before and during pregnancy
- Force yourself to eat well – even if you don’t want to
- Keeping blood sugar stable is especially important (Check out the Ideal Plate Ratio)
- Nausea can be caused by low blood sugar or acid reflux, so protein – whether organic animal protein or plant based – is important. Make sure you have enough, especially at night, to help balance blood sugar.
- Eating organically is important! What you eat, the baby eats.
- Take a lactation class BEFORE you have a baby.
Nutrition for New Mamas
- Make sure you’re eating enough! When you’re breastfeeding, you’ll probably need an extra 500 calories. Even though you want to lose weight, make sure you’re eating adequately to nourish you and your baby – the weight will come off.
- Drink a lot more water – prevents pre-eclampsia.
- Meal planning will help you stay nourished. It only takes about 10 minutes. Don’t put it off!
- Try to breastfeed for 6 months at least, then introduce to solid foods, and continue breastfeeding for the first year.
Nutrition for Babies & Kids
- Healthy eating for baby starts in womb. Make sure you’re having a variety of flavors – not just bland food – to expose them to it. Same goes for during breast-feeding.
- Start early – you don’t need separate “adult” food and “baby” food.
- Rice Cereal, contrary to popular opinion, is not the best first food. Real, whole, flavorful foods are. Avocado and veggies are good first foods.
- For introducing solid food to babies, check out Stephanie’s book, The Big Book of Organic Baby Food, for everything you need to know and dozens of recipes for purees, finger foods, and toddler meals for every stage.
- It’s important to keep the babies diet vegetable-based, not fruit-based, so they develop more of a savory palate instead of a sweet tooth.
- You could make your baby food…but you don’t have to! Plenty of great options for fresh, ready-made baby foods.
- If kids are older and used to eating processed or unhealthy foods already, just put new and healthy foods on their plates. Don’t stress them (or yourself out). It can take up to 25 exposures for them to try it. So don’t give up after one or two times.
- Language around the new food is important. Don’t say “you don’t like it” – it reinforces that they don’t like it. Be more neutral about it.
- Modeling is also important. If you eat healthy, then they will be more likely to want it too. You can also cook with them, and get them involved (in a non-stressful way). Take them to a farm or farmer’s market, or make cooking fun and “Pinterest” worthy, for example, u
How can you live a happier and healthier life?
“Don’t let the perfect interfere with the good.”