The holidays are closely approaching, and the Midwives of New Jersey are gearing up for a busy month with lots of babies expected in the month of December. This is a wonderful time of the year to appreciate and enjoy family, friends and of course food!
This season welcomes us with sweet temptations throughout our homes and workplaces and often leaves us struggling to avoid unhealthy eating. If you are truly “eating for two” this holiday season, it is especially important to maintain a well-balanced diet. A healthy diet with normal weight gain in pregnancy reduces the risk of gestational diabetes. Eating well also can improve your odds for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. Even though it may be tough to resist overeating during these holidays, remember you are creating a Masterpiece and he is TOTALLY worth the sacrifice!
10 Pregnancy Holiday Eating Tips to Stay Healthy
- Plan ahead: Start your meal planning now and make sure your holiday plates will be mainly covered with vegetables and protein-filled foods. If your family does a potluck style meal, choose a vegetable side dish or salad to bring instead of a dessert.
- Eat breakfast: Don’t skip breakfast in order to “save your appetite” for the main meal. Eat a nutritious breakfast and healthy snacks throughout the day. Binging at dinner will spike insulin level, increase fat storage and send extra glucose to the baby.
- Pick protein: Protein based foods help you stay fuller longer. Aim for at least 60grams of protein daily in pregnancy. Non-animal sources of protein include quinoa, lentils, and beans.
- Stay hydrated: Make sure you continue to drink at least 60oz of water a day. Increasing your water intake will help you to feel fuller for a longer amount of time and avoid side effects of dehydration including headaches, fatigue, dizziness and cramping.
- Get moving: Plan a family walk before or after your meal and counteract your sweet tooth by increasing your energy output. Dessert (and the dishes) can wait until you’ve had a chance to digest.
- De-stress: Stress often triggers us to crave sugary carbohydrates. So try to fit five minutes of prayer, meditation or a little time alone into your day
- Sleep: Lack of sleep can slow down your metabolism making you more tired, less likely to exercise, and more likely to eat carbs.
- Set goals: Talk to your midwife about your recommended weight gain. This discussion may vary based on your BMI and stage in pregnancy.
- Keep track: Because it is so easy to overeat during the holidays when candies, desserts, and snacks abound, it might help to control your calorie intake by logging your foods or keeping a protein diary to make sure you are meeting your nutritional goals.
- Enjoy: Take some extra time to focus on your family and friends and enjoying quality time together. Don’t rush to finish your meal. Eat and chew slowly; the slower you eat, the more time your body has to realize it is full.
Talk to your midwife about your recommended weight gain during the month of December. If you are in your 1st trimester, aim for a one pound weight gain, four pounds in the 2ndtrimester, and two pounds in third trimester.