Winter diet during pregnancy is very important for maintaining the health of the immune system, which makes a lot of effort during winter, but also for obtaining a good general condition (avoiding depressive states) and high energy levels. Paying attention to maintaining a rational and balanced diet is especially important during winter as you may experience intense food cravings and the need to eat unhealthy foods. In addition, the immune system is already weakened during winter, so pregnancy may be quite stressful in this regard.
Winter diet in pregnancy – general tips:
Fruits are necessary in daily diet, but even more during the winter. Fresh fruits are richer in vitamins than canned ones, so even if it is difficult and prices are higher, try to eat them fresh. 4-5 times a day, eat one fruit / fruit juice (squeezed at home). This is important for the resistance of the immune system, as well as for your overall mood, energy levels, digestion and especially for the nutrients that reach the fetus. Oranges and tangerines are perfect for the winter diet during pregnancy – just as they are or squeezed into juice. Other beneficial fruits you can find during winter are: apples, bananas, avocados, pears, peaches, mango and kiwi.
Because during winter it’s difficult to find fresh green vegetables, ask your doctor if you should add some vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet. The carrot is a very healthy vegetable– chew it as a snack or drink carrot juice. Other nutritious vegetables are: green peas, green beans, parsnips, celery (including the leaves), leeks, potatoes (except for fried fries).
During winter the need for carbohydrates grows in general, and even more so for pregnant women. But winter diet during pregnancy should be carefully balanced. Carbohydrates are found in “comfort” foods – the ones you long for and those that will make you feel better – but they unbalance your diet, including the so called “bad” carbohydrates: pastries, pasta, dough foods such as pies and pizza, sweets, sodas. Such foods, no matter how tasty they might be, do not have a high nutritional value, but on the contrary, contain many additives. Instead, you can satisfy your high need for carbohydrates by choosing “good” carbohydrate foods, such as – brown rice, whole grains (barley, wheat, rye), pasta and bread (whole wheat). The latter have a high nutritional value and will fill you.
Avoid as much as you can sweets that are high in sugar. Cravings will not let you stay calm, but eating foods that are high in sugar is not recommended. Avoid bought juices, although natural – most of them contain sugar (those with saccharin are not recommended). When the craving for something sweet is high, try to eat beneficial foods such as peanut butter, cereal, cereal bars with chocolate chips.
Diet during pregnancy in winter, but also in general, can improve or aggravate your digestion, which is anyway more difficult because of the low energy available in the body. To avoid burns and indigestion, avoid spicy foods. Also, very fatty foods are not your ally no matter how hard you crave for them. Fiber foods like whole grains, bread, brown rice and fruits prevent constipation.
Avoid consuming too often foods that will bloat you, which will make you feel very uncomfortable: beans, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, corn (however, these foods should not be in any way eliminated from your diet because they are rich in nutrients – but diminish their frequency and portion).
Healthy snacks between meals include: yogurt, fruit, cereal bars, carrot, seeds and nuts.
Have a small supply in case you cannot go to the supermarket. Going out in the cold while you are pregnant is not very indicated, because the snowy road may be difficult and long so it’s always good to have some supplies, in case you stay at home for several days. Here’s what you can keep for a long time without problems: canned soup, canned meat, canned pate and canned fruits (although low in vitamins, they are preferred in the absence of fresh fruits), peanut butter, cereals and integral crackers.
Eat often, preferably 4-5 small meals a day. This general rule ensures you get the necessary nutrients, but also that you stay away from indigestion and heartburn. During winter this is especially important, because you feel hungry soon after a meal. Never overeat.
Always eat slowly, chewing well and sitting down at the table; do not eat standing, in front of the TV, or while reading – as you will eat more than you actually need!
Do not drink water / juice during the meals, but after eating and do not lie in bed immediately after eating.
It is not true that you should eat for two, though you can justify you cravings, especially during winter!
Never skip over breakfast! If you have morning sickness, chew a piece of toast or integral biscuits before you get out of bed; after that, complete the breakfast with fruits and yogurt.
Pay attention to the rich and tasty holiday meals. Exaggerating and eating more at a meal can cost you as it can translate into hours of indigestion and heartburn. No matter how big the appetite, try to eat a little of everything, but do not exaggerate.
Hydration is very important during pregnancy – drink juice and water as often as you can and also choose hot beverages – tea, milk and even some hot chocolate.
Winter diet during pregnancy – what foods to avoid:
- Raw eggs – mayonnaise used in preparing foods for the holidays (the classic boeuf salad, stuffed eggs, etc.). If you are not sure about the ingredients, do not eat certain foods.
• Unpasteurized cheese like feta, blue cheese, brie, camembert, goat cheese.
• Unpasteurized milk or anything that has been cooked with unpasteurized milk.
• Any steak that was not cooked enough (in blood).
• Any food from processed meat should be well cooked / fried / broiled.
• Fresh tuna, herring, smoked fish (trout, salmon fillet), sushi and semi-raw seafood shells.