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Step Away from the Donut: The Do's and Don'ts of Prenatal Eating

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

I am someone who really enjoys food. When I became pregnant for thefirst time, I couldn't wait to experience all the possible cravings, andwondered what they would be. Would I make my husband run out to thestore at 10 p.m. because I had to have sugary cereal? Orsardines? Having always been a healthy eater, I was curious to see howmy body would react: maybe broccoli cravings?

For all three of my pregnancies, the nutritional intake of my firsttrimester consisted almost solely of straight carbs - pretzels,crackers, dry cereal and the occasional piece of fruit or bowl of salad.Nothing else appealed to me. For someone who loves to eat (have Imentioned that?), those first three months were not fun.

Fast forward to the second trimester and, after saying bye-bye tothe morning sickness and queasiness, I was back to my normal way ofeating. My philosophy during each pregnancy was to ensure I was gettingthe right nutrients by eating a variety of foods, and always beingmindful that whatever I ate, my baby ate. That definitely helped me stayon a healthful track and consume lots of fruits and vegetables,proteins and, of course, my tried-and-true carbs.

But of course, I allowed for indulgences. Because ice cream everynight just meant that the baby was getting a lot of calcium, right?

I kept waiting for those run-out-to-the-store cravings to hit, butunfortunately, they never really did. I can recall once during the firstpregnancy, having a really strong desire for pasta, so my husband and Iwent to an Italian restaurant and I ordered a huge plate of spaghetti.It was so worth the massive indigestion I had that night.

With my second and third pregnancies, the only thing I really evercraved was ice cream. It certainly didn't hurt that both thirdtrimesters were in the summer, so copious amounts were definitelywarranted. Again, more dairy for the baby.

Although I probably had enough ice cream to feed a small country overthe course of all my pregnancies, I was also cognizant of the fact thatthe more I indulged, the more ice cream weight would stick around longafter the baby was out. That also helped keep me on track a little bit.

When you're pregnant, eat the best you possibly can and make sureyou're eating a wide variety of nutritious foods. But - and I amspeaking from experience - a little ice cream never hurt anyone. Afterall, you are eating for two.

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