pregnancy foods

Soft Ginger Cookies

Soft Ginger Cookies

Morning sickness can make it difficult to muster up an appetite for just about anything. Fortunately, ginger is a natural home remedy for nausea and can actually help keep your queasiness at bay. Try whipping up a batch of these soft ginger cookies to keep on hand for when you start to feel ill or just need a snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of margarine, softened
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of molasses
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Add margarine and sugar to a mixer and cream until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and add orange juice and molasses.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients to the mixer and stir. Place dough in freezer for 10-15 minutes to set.
  5. Place 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into small balls
  6. Roll each ball in sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies with a fork.
  7. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes and allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Recipe transcribed from: Serenity Now

 

Tofu and Spinach in Garlic Sauce

Tofu & Spinach in Garlic Sauce

Nothing says pregnancy nutrient quite like folate! And to meet your minimum daily need of 500-micrograms, folate rich vegetables and beans become an easy answer. Try this highly nutritious tofu and spinach recipe for not only folate but protein also.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • ½ cup of low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 pound of firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, sliced into coins
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch of spinach, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk corn starch with 1 tablespoon of chicken stock and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine with remaining stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar.
  3. Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat and add vegetable oil.
  4. Add shallot and tofu and stir-fry until the shallot is translucent. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry for an additional minute.
  5. Add spinach and toss until wilted then add soy sauce mixture. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir cornstarch mixture well and scrape into stir-fry. Simmer and stir until sauce thickens, approximately 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add soy sauce to taste and serve over brown rice.

Recipe transcribed from: fitPREGNANCY

Squash, Chicken and Kale Pizza

Squash, Chicken, and Kale Pizza

Squash and kale may not sound like ingredients you would find on your average pizza but they do add some vital nutrients that benefit both you and your baby while pregnant. Loaded with vitamin A for your immune system and C for baby’s brain, this unique pizza is fortunately not only healthy but delicious too! And what pregnant mom doesn’t love a good pizza?

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen winter squash purée, thawed (or mash thawed cubed squash)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh sage, finely minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • ½ pound of pizza dough, pricked and oiled
  • 1 ½ cups of chopped kale
  • 4 ounces of crumbled pasteurized goat cheese
  • 6-ounce chicken breast cooked in 2 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1) Combine squash, sage, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.

2) Sautee leeks in 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir often until leeks are lightly browned. Stir in sugar and balsamic vinegar and remove from heat.

3) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon of oil or use a sheet of parchment paper. 

4) Roll the dough into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle that is no more than ¼ an inch thick. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and prick crust with a fork all over.

5) Brush dough with 2 teaspoons of oil

6) Spread squash mixture over pizza dough and top with cheese, kale, leeks, chicken and mushrooms.

7) Bake for 15 minutes.

8) While pizza is baking, toast pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they begin to pop.

9) Add pumpkin seeds to baked pizza, serve and enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: Fit Pregnancy

 

Sticky Salmon

Sticky Salmon

Although some fish may be off limits while you are pregnant, eating salmon is actually great way to get essential fatty acids that are vital for baby’s brain and eye development. Try this easy sticky salmon recipe paired with brown rice and veggies to create some healthy and delicious brain food for you and your baby. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 skinned salmon fillets cut into 4 centimeter cubes

Marinade

  • 1 ½ tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon of sweet chili sauce1 ½ tablespoon of dark brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients for marinade in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Remove from heat and pour into oven-safe dish. Allow to cool.
  3. Add cubes of salmon and turn to coat in sauce.
  4. Let marinate for one hour.
  5. Pre-heat the grill and cook salmon in a baking tin lined with foil for 5 minutes. Turn halfway through and baste occasionally until fully cooked
  6. Serve with brown rice and your favorite vegetables and enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: annabelkarmel.com

Blueberry Waffle or Pancake

Blueberry Pancakes

This blueberry waffle or pancake is a great breakfast option for the first trimester when carbs seem like the only food you can stomach with morning sickness. It might taste like a decadent treat but fortunately this recipe is also full of nutritious ingredients like whole grain oats, antioxidants, protein and healthy fats. Recipe yields one pancake or waffle-- just enough for mom!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar or raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil or melted butter

Topping: 

  • ½ cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup

Directions:

1) Preheat griddle for pancake or waffle iron for a waffle.

2) Combine oats, salt, sugar or honey, and baking powder in a blender and pulse until mixed. 

3) Add egg, vanilla, lemon zest, milk, and oil or butter to the mixture and blend for 30 seconds until well-blended. 

4) Allow batter to sit for 8-10 minutes.

5) Pour batter onto waffle iron or griddle and cook until golden brown.

6) Microwave blueberries in a bowl for 1 minute. Add maple syrup and stir.

7) Drizzle topping onto waffle or pancake and enjoy!

Recipe transcribed from: fittobepregnant.com

Getting Sick When You’re Pregnant

Sick while pregnant

Between morning sickness, swollen feet, and fatigue, pregnancy can often leave you feeling less than 100 percent. Nothing is quite so uncomfortable though as getting sick while you are pregnant. 

Unfortunately, because pregnancy hormones actually weaken the immune system, you are more likely to catch that cold or virus that’s been going around than your non-pregnant peers. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce your chances of getting sick by taking a few simple measures in your daily life. For these suggestions, and to learn ways to cope and when to call your doctor, continue reading.

Prevention: 

With more than 200 viruses out there that can lead to the common cold, it’s no wonder we have trouble avoiding illness. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do while pregnant to protect your health and the health of your baby.

  • Eat a healthy diet: Eating a diet rich with nutrients and vitamins helps support your weakened immune system to stave off germs and illness.
  • Get plenty of rest: Try to stick to a routine bedtime and waking time every day and nap when you are able. Sleep can often become more challenging when pregnant due to discomfort and frequent urination. Do your best to set yourself up for sleep success! 
  • Exercise regularly: Most women who have normal pregnancies can safely engage in moderate exercise throughout pregnancy. Exercise has been shown to flush bacteria from the lungs and airways that may cause colds and viruses. It also can cause changes to the body’s white blood cells and antibodies positively impacting the immune system.  
  • Wash your hands: Washing your hands regularly can prevent illness and the spread of germs to others. This is particularly important when you are pregnant.
  • Take your prenatal vitamins and probiotics: Vitamins and probiotics are not only good for your baby but for your immune system too.
  • Reduce your stress level: High levels of stress can lead to increased cortisol levels which in turn can negatively impact your immune system. Take care to ensure you are not only physically healthy during your pregnancy but mentally as well.
  • Avoid contact with sick friends and family
  • Get your flu shot: The CDC recommends that all pregnant women get a flu shot. This will not only provide protection for mom but also for baby for up to 6 months post birth.

How to Get Better:

In the unfortunate event that you do catch a cold or the flu while pregnant, there are steps you can take to ease your symptoms that are safe for you and baby.

These include: 

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Staying hydrated
  • Taking your vitamins regularly

For congestion, try: 

  • Using a humidifier
  • Taking a hot shower
  • Breathing hot vapor mist
  • Using saline nasal drops
  • Elevating your pillow when sleeping
  • Menthol salve on your chest or your under nose
  • * Some cough suppressants are thought to be safe for the fetus after the first trimester of pregnancy. However, always check with your doctor or midwife before taking any over the counter medication.*

For a sore throat, try:

  • Throat lozenges
  • Ice chips
  • Hot decaffeinated tea with lemon and honey
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Hot chicken soup
  • For sinus pain, try hot and cold compresses on the sinuses. 
  • For fever and aches and pains, Tylenol is safe to use in moderation during pregnancy after the first trimester. As with all prescription and over the counter medications, check with your doctor or midwife before using.

When to Call Your Care Provider:

While most women will experience at least one harmless cold throughout pregnancy, there are a few health circumstances that warrant a prompt call to your care provider. These are circumstances that may pose a risk to you or the baby and need immediate attention.

  • You have severe vomiting or cannot keep food or water down for an extended period of time.
  • You experience chest pains or pressure.
  • You have a fever of 102 degrees or higher.
  • You are unable to sleep for an extended period of time.
  • You have vaginal bleeding.
  • You have difficulty breathing or are wheezing.
  • You experience confusion or dizziness. 
  • You notice a decrease in fetal movement.
  • Your fever is unresponsive to Tylenol.

Fortunately, for most common colds and viruses your baby is well protected in the uterus and is not affected by your discomfort. It is still important however to take good care of your mental and physical well-being while pregnant so that you can be strong and healthy for your growing baby. With some extra care and a few preventative measures, you can reduce your chances of illness during your pregnancy considerably. For questions about prenatal health and all other pregnancy-related issues, contact Health Foundations to schedule a free consultation with a midwife and a tour of our Birthing Center. Here’s to your health!

10 Great Foods for Pregnancy

salad in preg Eating during pregnancy can invite an entirely new way of eating and thinking about food.  For example, a woman who used to eat a small breakfast at 11 am, skip lunch, and eat dinner after a long day at 8pm, may find she wakes hungry and craves a full high protein meal, can’t go longer than two hours without eating, and suddenly hates all vegetables/meats/fruits/or red foods…

Because you are no longer simply eating for your single adult body (but are, miraculously, building the body of another person!) it’s a good idea to educate yourself about how to eat optimally during pregnancy.  Sometimes, all the details about grams of protein, milligrams of iron, what to avoid, and how to take various supplements can get overwhelming; so here is a simple list of ten foods that are highly nutritious and beneficial during pregnancy.  Feel free to incorporate these into your diet as they work best for you (taking what you like and leaving the rest).

foodsEggs

With more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, lots of protein and less than a 100 calories each, eggs are a great food for pregnancy.  Cheap, easy to cook, and versatile, eggs are an excellent source of choline, which is crucial to baby’s growth and brain health and helps prevent neural tube defects.  Insufficient choline consumption in pregnancy can lead to structural problems in the baby’s brain.  Some eggs also contain omega-3 fats, which are also important to baby’s brain health.  Healthy women are advised to consume 1-2 eggs daily.

Other sources of choline include chicken, turkey, collard greens, and cauliflower.

Beans and legumes

There are so many beans to choose from and many ways to prepare and enjoy them.  Of all the vegetables, beans have the highest concentrations of protein and fiber, both important in pregnancy.  In order from highest to lowest protein concentrations are soy beans, fava beans, lentils, red kidney beans, black beans, haricot beans, black-eyes peas, garbanzos, and lima beans.  Beans can be used in burritos, salads, soups, chili, pasta dishes, casseroles and more.

Beans are also a great source of iron, folate, calcium, and zinc.  Half a cup of lentils, for example, contains nearly fifty percent of a pregnant woman’s daily folic acid requirements.

Salmon

Salmon is a high quality protein, a great source of omega-3 fats (DHA), and has low amounts of mercury, which is the reason to limit consumption of other kinds of fish in pregnancy.  Omega-3 fatty acids are great for baby’s developing brain and eyes.  During pregnancy, you can aim to eat about 12 ounces of salmon each week (wild-caught is best).

Quinoa

High in magnesium, manganese, copper, iron (3mg per cooked cup), and B Vitamins, quinoa is one of the only complete proteins in the plant world (containing about 8 grams of protein per one cooked cup).  Quinoa can be used in place of rice or any other whole grain.  It can be used in baking (try quinoa flakes in place of some of your flour), added to soups, salads, made into a tasty side dish with veggies, desserts, and more.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in carotenoids (which lend them their color), which the body converts to vitamin A.  While too much vitamin A from animal sources can be dangerous in pregnancy, carotenoids are a plant pigment that is only converted to vitamin A as needed.  In addition to vitamin A, sweet potatoes also contain vitamin C, folate, and fiber.  They are also inexpensive and easy to prepare.  Try them mashed (with a little ginger to ease nausea), baked, in soups and stews, in salads, or as part of a main dish.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt typically has twice the protein of regular yogurt and is a great source of calcium, which is important for mama and baby’s bones, teeth, and more.  Be careful not to get yogurt that is too loaded with sugars.  If you want to add flavor, you may consider adding your own berries or flavoring to control the sugar load.  You can also cook with yogurt—add yogurt, vinegar, and spices as a creamy marinade for chicken or other meats.  You can also use yogurt to make dips and sauces.

Walnuts

Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, especially for those who aren’t big fans of fish and eggs.  Walnuts and other nuts are a great source of protein on the run.  Consider making a trail mix snack bag with walnuts, dried apricots or peaches (high in iron), and other nuts and berries.

Dark leafy greens

Loaded with vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins A, C and K, iron and folate, dark leafy greens are great in pregnancy.  These include spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and collard greens.  You can make salads, add into soups or smoothies, or sauté with a little garlic and coconut oil.

Lean Organic meats

Lean organic meats are a great source of protein and (heme) iron, which are both vital in pregnancy and postpartum.  Lean meats, such as those around 95-98% fat free, and those that are organic are preferred.  Beef and pork have the added benefit of containing choline.

Colorful vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits have so many outstanding health benefits that if they were pharmaceuticals, they would be hailed as wonder drugs that all people everywhere were encouraged to consume daily.

Eat a variety of red, orange, yellow, green, and purple, fruits and vegetables to ensure that you and your baby get an array of different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

As far as what to get organic, check out the Environmental Working Group's list of the "dirty dozen" and "clean fifteen" fruits and vegetables (based on pesticide use on crops).

Water

Okay, this is number 11 and water is not a food…but water is so important in pregnancy that it deserves to be on this list!  For mama, adequate water consumption in pregnancy prevents dehydration, reduces the likelihood of nausea, cramps, swelling, dizziness, constipation, hemorrhoids, heartburn, and even preterm labor.  Sufficient water intake can also prevent urinary tract infections.  Water is also crucial to building up your blood, amniotic fluid, and breast milk.

What are your favorite ways to eat these foods in pregnancy?

Recipe: Sesame Salmon Burgers

salmonpatties While certain types of fish are not recommended in pregnancy, having "safe" fish regularly is actually quite beneficial.  Salmon, for example, is an excellent source of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid essential to the development of baby's brain, eyes, and heart.  Sufficient intake of DHA has also shown to help labor progress smoother, increase skin integrity, and decrease the risk of tearing in childbirth.

The following recipe is a high protein, nutrient-rich, quick and easy dinner recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound wild salmon, no skin
  • 1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup scallions (white and green parts), chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon flour (coconut flour if gluten-free)
  • coconut oil or other oil, for frying
  1. Rinse the salmon, pat dry and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  2. In a large bowl, combine the salmon, sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, scallions, sesame seeds and eggs
  3. Stir flour into this mix
  4. Use a ¼ cup measuring cup to form mixture into patties
  5. Heat the frying oil in a 9 inch skillet over medium-high heat
  6. Cook the patties for 4 to 6 minutes per side, until golden brown
  7. Transfer patties to a paper towel-line plate and serve hot

Note: You may want to make the patties ahead of time (the night before) to intensify the flavors.  You can grill on BBQ or stovetop for dinner the next day.

Makes about 12 small patties