Eating healthy is extremely important when you are pregnant and breastfeeding. There’s research that proves that the mother’s diet affects the cognitive and physical development of the child. It’s also a well-known fact that for the first months of life, your baby will rely on you and the food it gets from you in order to protect them from disease as the newborn’s immune system is only developing. This puts even more pressure on new mothers who are stressed and often don’t get enough rest because they need to tend to the baby.
Overall, the importance of your diet both while pregnant and nursing is huge, but maintain this diet healthy is exceedingly hard. This is because cooking becomes a difficult chore late in the pregnancy and the lack of time when the baby is born doesn’t make it any easier.
Add to that strange cravings and you’ll see how these issues add to the risk of gaining too much weight during pregnancy and not losing it fast enough after giving birth. After all, it’s much easier to get takeout or some frozen and otherwise prepped meals than to cook some healthy food from scratch.
But luckily for all expecting and new mothers today you don’t have to settle for the less healthy options. You can now order healthy meal kits that will be delivered right to your door. Another advantage of this service is that the kit might contain products that are usually hard to come by in your area. And unlike fully-cooked meals from “healthy restaurants” these kits aren’t overpriced.
Of course, they are more expensive than what you’d pay if you did the grocery shopping yourself, but not by much. The best meal kits cost between $10-$13 per serving for two people. For this money you get a healthy meal with various ingredients prepped and detailed cooking instructions. Overall, it shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to make the meal from the kit, so you might be able to enjoy it even faster than takeout will reach you.
Also note that meal kits are a subscription service. This means that you sign up once and they will be delivered to your door regularly. Therefore, you won’t even need to waste time looking for a kit online every other week.
But before you run off to sign up for the first meal kit service that catches your fancy, you need to think about the importance of your diet again and remember that it’s the quality of your meals that matters most for you and the baby. This means that you need to choose a company that provides kits which will be safe and good for you during this time.
Best and Worst Food for Pregnant and Nursing Women
A healthy diet during pregnancy and nursing must exclude seafood, caffeine (this means chocolate as well), unpasteurized dairy, and processed foods. The latter is optional, but junk food and products with few essential nutrients but many calories should be excluded from any healthy diet.
Foods that you absolutely need to have in your diet during pregnancy are:
- Yogurt, cottage cheese, and other dairy products that you can be sure are safe must be in your daily diet. They are essential as your need of calcium will increase during pregnancy. You might also need to take some in the form of prenatal supplements.
- Legumes are a must because they contain lots of folate and protein.
- Sweet potatoes and carrots because they are rich in beta-carotene. Your body processes this element into vitamin A, which is used for cell growth. This means it’s important for the development of the fetus.
- Eggs are rich in a variety of nutrients, but you must be sure to cook them thoroughly before eating.
- Leafy greens and broccoli are some of the healthiest foods. You should eat more of them during pregnancy and nursing to avoid anemia and provide your baby with a wide range of nutrients.
- Fish liver oil can be a good addition to your diet due to its high content of omega 3 essential fatty acids. But be sure to consult with your doctor about how much of it you really need during this time.
You can get more detailed information about the healthy diet for pregnant and nursing mothers in this booklet by the World Health Organization. Be sure to study it before you conceive as it’s imperative that your baby gets the best nutrition since their first days in the womb.