“Fast Foods” In Pregnancy
According to Dr. Tom Brewer some of the “fast foods” so often restricted during pregnancy are actually excellent for pregnancy!
He recommends the following: eggs, milk, breads, tortillas, tacos, enchiladas, ice cream, salad bar, beans.
Think about it…these are all quick to prepare yourself, and/or readily available at your local fast food eatery. They are all high in protein and essential vitamins and minerals. They are calorie-full, which is NOT a negative thing when you’re literally eating for the life of your baby. They also contain salt (NaCl) which is an essential nutrient…that is, your body (and your baby) CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT IT!
Eggs make a quick breakfast, and they contain 7 grams of high-quality protein each. Each egg contains all the building blocks of life - enough to create a complete chicken!
Milk is easy and refreshing anytime, with meals or snacks. It is high in calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D, and each 8 ounce glass contains 7 grams of high-quality protein.
Two eggs and one quart (4 glasses) of milk each day will give you 40 grams of protein…that’s 50% of what you need to avoid toxemia and other protein-deficiency diseases of pregnancy.
Breads and tortillas provide much-needed calories during pregnancy, and whole wheat (or other grain) breads and tortillas are packed with natural vitamins and minerals essential to a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. They make very easy meals…and a great way to use up leftovers. Last night’s chicken and rice make a great sandwich or burrito…just add some shredded cheese, a little mayo or salsa, and you’re set!
Tacos and enchiladas? Sure, why not?! Again, think of how they’re made: corn tortilla (whole grain), beans or meat (protein), lettuce and tomato (vegetables). Sounds like the makings of a great pregnancy meal!
How about ice cream? So many pregnant women I talk to mention ice cream like it’s on a taboo list. They apologize for having “just a tiny scoop” at a Fourth of July picnic. Personally, I eat it every night during pregnancy, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty! As Dr. Brewer says, “If you’re going to have a candy bar, have one with nuts.” So I apply that to my favorite indulgence: ice cream. I scoop it up, then add plenty of peanuts or almonds, wheat germ, and a bit of chocolate. With a glass of milk, it makes a great high-protein, evening snack.
The salad bar in your office cafeteria, buffet restaurant or fast food joint is a great place for a pregnant feast. Choose fresh, dark-green, leafy lettuce or spinach, and add your choice of veggies (yellow squash is a good choice) and add an array of high-protein, high-vitamin and -mineral additions…consider hard-boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, kidney and ceci beans, hard cheeses, and cottage cheese. Fruits are often available as well, so you can probably meet an entire day’s vegetable and fruit requirements in one satisfying meal - not to mention getting a significant amount of protein in the deal!
I’ve already mentioned beans at the salad bar, but what about at home? They’re easy to prepare from dried, or you can use “convenience” cans. Yes, they’ve got sodium. That’s what you need! They’re also an excellent source of quality protein, and make a complete protein when combined with rice or grains. Try eating chili with cornbread, black beans with rice, or a three-bean salad. There are refried beans, franks-n-beans, baked beans, barbecue beans…take your pick!
I hope this has helped to free you a little from the traditional mindset about foods and nutrition in pregnancy. Remember that as long as you gain weight on high-quality protein and food that tastes good to you (that means, salt to taste!) you can enjoy them without guilt, and without fearing the scale, knowing that you’re doing a great thing for your baby.