Friday, April 3rd, 2015
We all know about the importance of taking folic acid and eating well during pregnancy to maintain good health for ourselves and our developing babies. Still, many of us experience pregnancy cravings. And hey, with all the work our bodies are doing to grow those babes, we deserve to embrace those sometimes unhealthy cravings from time to time, right?
I’ll be the first to confess: I was like an animal whenever Red Vines were around last year when I was carrying my twins. And though it’s not my secret to tell, my editor confessed to eating a Sarabeth’s muffin nearly every day while pregnant with her second child, after passing her gestational diabetes test!
Well, if you’re going to indulge in junk food while pregnant, new research suggests there are actually better and worse times to do so for your developing baby.
University of Adelaide researchers have shown there are two important periods when junk food is most dangerous. These latest findings branch off from earlier research that demonstrated that mamas who eat junk food during their pregnancies are laying a foundation for babies who are addicted to a high-fat, high-sugar diet by the time they are weaned.
The new studies show the two times to “turn around this junk food addiction” are in late pregnancy—as well as in adolescence.
“Our research suggests that too much junk food consumed late in pregnancy for humans has the potential to be more harmful to the child than excess junk food early in the pregnancy,” wrote Jessica Gugusheff, post-doctoral researcher in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.
The good news is this gives moms a chance to set things right as their pregnancies progress.
Gugusheff wrote, “Importantly, it also indicates that if excess junk food was consumed by the mother in those early stages of pregnancy, there may be a chance to reduce those negative effects on the baby by eating a healthy diet in late pregnancy.”
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Alesandra Dubin is a new twin mom. She’s also a Los Angeles-based writer and the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Put down those Doritos and read this! The foods you’re eating during pregnancy and while breast feeding are shaping the way that your unborn child will eat for years to come, according to a new study. That’s right—bad eating habits form in utero.
Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a nonprofit research organization in Philadelphia, found that babies’ taste buds are directly linked to what their moms ate while pregnant with them. So if you’re eating a diverse and varied diet, your child will eventually be a less picky eater, who is open to trying new things. Your good habits are being passed down to them, and that will show in how they eat as toddlers and later on as adults.
But your bad habits are being passed down as well. A study conducted at the University of Adelaide in South Australia found that if you are eating sugary or fatty foods, your child will actually have cravings for those foods and form an emotional attachment to them. Moms who ate Froot Loops, Cheetos and Nutella during pregnancy had children that built up a tolerance for those foods, so that they needed more of them to get the same gratification from eating them. That is how researchers believe the US’ obesity epidemic all started (70 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese).
According to the New York Times, “researchers believe that the taste preferences that develop at crucial periods during infancy have lasting effects for life. In fact, changing food preferences beyond toddlerhood appears to be extremely difficult.” So when you tell people you’re “eating for two,” you really are—not the amount of calories for two people, but you are choosing what your baby will be eating for the rest of his or her life. Just think about that the next time you have a craving! Of course it’s fine to indulge every now and again (here are some ideas for doing that the smart way), but know that your eating habits do have long-term effects on your little one, so choose your meals wisely!
Test your Pregnancy Nutrition IQ here.
TELL US: What foods have you cut out while you’re pregnant? What are your healthy indulgences?
Image of pregnant woman eating a salad courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Childhood Obesity, Diet, Fit Pregnancy, Food, Healthy Eating, Healthy Pregnancy, Junk Food, Obesity, pregnancy, Pregnancy Diet, pregnant | Categories:
Cravings, Healthy Pregnancy