It's National Nutrition Month!

We all have heard how important good nutrition is during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and for your baby. In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, I wanted to share with you all some healthy tips for you and your baby!

While you’re pregnant:

I know you might feel nauseous for one moment and craving something the next, but eating healthy is so important for you and your baby while you’re pregnant. It is especially important for moms-to-be to get enough folic acid and calcium while pregnant. So taking your prenatal vitamins and talking to your doctor about how to get enough calcium in your diet is often recommended. According to choosemyplate.gov, here is what the United States Department of Agriculture recommends for pregnant or breastfeeding women:

Vegetables: Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, cooked greens (kale, collards, turnip greens, and beet greens), winter squash, tomatoes and tomato sauces, and red sweet peppers. *When choosing canned vegetables, look for “low-sodium” or “no-salt-added” on the label.

Fruits: Cantaloupe, honeydew melon, mangoes, prunes, bananas, apricots, oranges, red or pink grapefruit, and 100% prune juice or orange juice. *When choosing canned fruit, look for those canned in 100% fruit juice or water instead of syrup.

Dairy: Fat-free or low-fat yogurt, fat-free milk (skim milk), low-fat milk (1% milk), and calcium-fortified soy milk (soy beverage).

Grains: Fortified ready-to-eat cereals and fortified cooked cereals. *When buying ready-to-eat and cooked cereals, choose those made from whole grains most often. Look for cereals that are fortified with iron and folic acid.

Protein: Beans and peas (pinto beans, soybeans, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, and chickpeas), nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts, and peanut butter), lean beef, lamb, and pork, oysters, mussels, and crab, and salmon, trout, herring, sardines, and pollock.

For your baby:
You have most likely heard that breastfeeding is the most nutritious form of milk for your baby. But for some women, it’s not possible to breastfeed. In that case, formula is the way to go. For more specific questions on what formula to feed your baby, it is always recommended to talk to your baby’s doctor. According to eatright.org, here are some tips that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend.

-Count the number of wet diapers to make sure your breast- or formula-fed baby is eating enough. (They recommend six or more every 24 hours. But if you’re unsure if your baby is getting enough to eat, make sure to ask your baby’s doctor.)

-Offer breast milk or formula, not cow milk, to your baby up to 12 months of age.

-Clean all baby-feeding equipment with hot, soapy water, and make sure to rinse well.

-Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle.

-Discard unused food after feeding.

-Start with single foods (one new food at a time).

-Always stay with your baby while he or she is eating.

-According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it’s recommended to wait until at least 6 months to start feeding your baby solid foods such as baby cereal or baby food.

-The AAP also recommends that you do not give honey to a baby younger than 12 months.

Nutrition information is often overwhelming! Don’t let it scare you. Remember these helpful, reliable websites for nutrition tips: healthychildren.org, choosemyplate.gov, and eatright.org. And as always, when you have a question about your baby’s health or nutrition, your doctor is the perfect person to talk to!

What are some tips you have for moms-to-be or new moms concerning health and nutrition?

For the babies,
Sarah