Post on: July 6, 2015.

Posted in: Read.

Pickles and ice cream.

Seriously, who made that up?

That is not what pregnant women are devouring. Besides the pickles are likely to exacerbate your heartburn and, although ice cream is packed with saturated fat that will add to that sluggish feeling you get when your pregnant. Come on gals – grab your forks! Let’s dig into the must-knows when it comes to eating for two.


Stretch Marks

It happened again. You woke up and you’re belly is even bigger. How does you’re skin do it? Keeping your skin healthy and hydrated during pregnancy can help prevent stretch marks. Reach of healthy oils (olive oils, fish oils), antioxidant rich foods (berries, seeds) and tall glasses of water to keep your skin nourished during this stretch.



Impulse control doesn’t exist in pregnant women with cravings. Giving in to the occasional craving isn’t likely to get you in trouble but, if your cravings are driving you to eat copious amounts of unhealthy foods its time to intervene. Try to steer your craving. Hankering for chocolate ice cream? Try a chunk of dark chocolate. Itching to pry open that bag of potato chips? Air-pop some popcorn instead.


Skipping Meat

Is your fork avoiding meat? “There’s no way – I just couldn’t eat meat when I was pregnant,” says Leila mom of four. Some pregnant women can find meat unappetizing. But, meat is a good source of vitamin B12 – a nutrient you need during pregnancy to stay energized and, grow a healthy baby. Plus, researchers in the Netherlands found babies whose mothers had the lowest amounts of vitamin B12 in their blood stream during their first trimester, were eight times more likely to cry for prolonged periods of time. If you just can’t fork meat, than seek out nutritional alternatives such as beans, nuts and fish.


Energy Boosters

One word mom’s commonly use to express how they feel is tired. It’s not surprising, Katie of Vancouver asked while expecting her second son, “What can you eat to give you more energy when you are feeling really tired?” Iron can help keep your energy levels up. Meat is a great source of iron, as are beans, nuts, seeds and spinach. Prenatal vitamins have higher amounts of iron to help moms get enough each day. B vitamins are also helpful energy boosters – good sources include eggs and yogurt.


The Pill Question

If your pregnancy cravings steer you away from colourful salads, you may not be getting enough key nutrients required during pregnancy. Taking a prenatal multivitamin will help ensure both you and baby get enough important nutrients. As for other supplements (besides fish oil and probiotics, of course), be sure to research each well and consult a health care professional.


That’s Fishy

Fish contains helpful fats called omega-3s. Brain cells need omega-3s to function optimally. Researchers found that pregnant women who ate four servings of fish each week, or took fish oil supplements (about 1100mg DHA, and 800mg EPA daily) gave birth to babies with higher cognitive development scores. At age 4, these children also grew up to have higher IQ scores. Plus, mom’s who consume fish oil are less likely to suffer from post-partum depression.


Eating Away Nausea

Eat? No, thank you. Nausea during pregnancy can make it hard to keep your food down. Stop taking that prenatal vitamin on an empty stomach – its sure to make your stomach upset. Instead, take your prenatal vitamin with lunch or dinner. And, try a tip from Diana, mom of two from Barrie, “Eat small portions, but eat often!” Stock your purse with a bag of dry cereal to ward of nausea triggered by hunger, as well as a bag of sliced lemons – a refreshing sniff can sometimes help you feel better.


Ah, “K-ankles”

Yicks! Where did my ankles go? With all the extra weight your uterus is putting on the veins in your legs its common for fluids to pool around your ankles. Putting your feet up, and wearing compression socks can help. Nutritionally, stay hydrated and avoid eating too much salt.


You’re Not Really Eating for Two

Of course, you can indulge a little here and there – but you’re not really eating for two. During the last six months of pregnancy, you’ll need to consume about 300 calories more than usual. That is about the same as a large apple with 2 tbsp of nut butter.


Don’t Eat That!

It is overwhelming how many foods people say you shouldn’t eat if you’re pregnant. Get real ladies – if a food was healthy before pregnancy, it still is during pregnancy. But, tread carefully around foods and beverages that could contain unwanted bacteria (lunch meats, soft cheeses), alcohol and caffeine.


Goodbye Joe

Sorry, ladies but it may be time to ditch that cup of java. Research shows caffeine could have negative effects on the pregnancy. Health organizations suggest pregnant women should restrict their daily caffeine intake to 300mg. Yet, new research suggests as little as 200 mg of caffeine (about two 8oz mugs of coffee) may be a better daily maximum. And, don’t forget caffeine is hiding in some foods (brownies, chocolate chips, chocolate ice cream) and other drinks (soda pop, tea, yerba mate).


Dig in ladies. Keep your plate full of fresh, colour, delicious foods – they’ll help keep you healthy and feeling your best during pregnancy.


Allison Tannis BSc MSc RHN is mother of two, as well as author of four books, including The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy (Fairwinds 2009). Visit for