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Family Nutrition: Preg-Nutrition

I’ve heard it all.  I have to have McDonalds, Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuits, Dairy Queen, Haagan Daaz, or a milkshake.  These are just a few things clients, friends and families need while pregnant and reward themselves with for creating a life in the womb.  Sounds really good doesn’t it and what the heck you need the extra calories because you are creating a life for Pete’s sake! What if I told you that your body only requires 300 additional calories a day when pregnant? That’s right, only 300 calories a day.  Are you shocked?

Focuses on food choices should be on folate which helps prevent neural tube defects and abnormalities with the brain and spinal cord.  Your body also needs calcium to provide strong bones and teeth for your child.  If you aren’t eating enough calcium for yourself, it will be stripped from your bones to provide for your child.  Iron is very important as well and basically you need adequate iron to make your child’s entire blood supply in addition to carrying oxygen to your own tissues.

Folate can be found in cereals, peanuts, oranges, spinach, and beans.  You’ll find your calcium in your dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt and also in some of your fortified items like Tropicana Orange Juice with Calcium and cereals.  Iron is in your lean red meat, chicken, cereal, spinach, and beans.

Don’t like any of these foods and wonder if what you eat will really affect your baby?  A new study from the University of Southampton suggests a mother’s diet can actually alter the function of your child’s DNA.   Mother’s diet doesn’t alter DNA’s sequence but it can influence how your child responds to diet and exercise or create an epigenetic change. For the first time this study suggests that in addition to genetic and lifestyle there may be influences on your babies development as early in the womb which includes what you, the mother are eating.  When researchers reviewed 300 children and their epigenetic changes they were able to accurately predict the degree of obesity for children at six or nine years old.

So folks, next time you want to grab that Bo-Berry biscuit, snickers bar, or bag of Doritos look for a Chobani Yogurt, 1 ounce of low fat granola and a small Clementine instead.  This equals the 300 additional calories you need and provides the iron, calcium, and folate your body requires to keep your precious baby healthy.  Cheers to a healthy, happy pregnancy!

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