We all know that what women eat and drink in pregnancy can have a significant effect on the baby developing inside of them.
For the most part, these guidelines have been limited to what NOT to eat and drink. Raw fish. Blue cheeses (oh, cruel world). Wine (it just gets crueller).
But now, new guidelines have been released that suggest what women eat even before pregnancy can prevent childhood obesity and allergies.
In a News Limited exclusive, it’s been reported that what a woman eats in the three months before a child is born, and during pregnancy, can have a huge impact on the child’s health.
According to the six Australian and New Zealand scientists who worked on the Early Life Nutrition Guidelines:
- To prevent allergies in children, pregnant women are advised not to avoid peanuts or other allergens.
- Mothers are also encouraged to introduce their children to solid foods at 16 weeks, to help prevent allergies.
- Babies should only have full cream milk after 12 months of age.
- As the first three years of the child’s life set their eating preferences, parents should limit sugar and fruit drinks, as well as avoiding added salt, sugar and fat.
- Pregnant women should take iodine and folic acid supplements and eat oily fish like salmon or tuna several times a week.
- High protein diets while pregnant should be avoided.
- Women should eat 8.5 serves of breads and cereals every day.
- Fat intake should be no more than 20-35 per cent of the woman’s total energy intake
- Once the baby is born, women are advised to breastfeed for as long as possible (if they can).
The new guidelines are encouraging women (and men) to lose weight before they conceive. Apparently, when women are overweight it increases their chance of gestational diabetes – and the chances of their child growing up overweight. Women are encouraged to gain no more than 9-18 kilograms during pregnancy (unless they are already thin).
Luckily, no one has banned eating to satisfy cravings. So if gherkins are your thing, go for it.
What did you eat during pregnancy?