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November 16, 2010

Simple, Delicious Dishes (5 Ingredients or less) for the Holidays!

Check out this excellent blog post by dietitian Jenna Bell, who assembled 15 easy, nutritious dishes for Thanksgiving and beyond! I want to try them all. Mine is the wild rice salad with golden California raisins. Yum!

December 10, 2009

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Pregnant Women

Even with three pregnancies, I was never expecting during the holidays. If I had been, I am sure the temptation to overeat would have more than I could have resisted, especially given the fact that I love cookies, candy, and just about any other sweet you can think of.

Studies show that many Americans gain about a pound from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. If you’re pregnant, chances are, you’ll gain more than that, depending on how far along you are.  And that’s a good thing - you’re supposed to gain weight when you’re having a baby, after all.

Sure, you may get to have an extra glass of eggnog (pasteurized, please!) and a few more sugar cookies than this time last year, but that doesn’t mean that you should go on some sort of eating spree just because it’s the holiday season.  You still need to watch it when it comes to tempting treats that may be high in calories, or downright unsafe. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re making merry this month.

• Absolutely no alcohol of any kind. I am a stickler for a booze-free pregnancy, and my opinions about the potential harm of alcohol to baby never takes a holiday.  Raise a glass of sparkling apple cider instead of champagne, or mix 100% fruit juice with club soda.

Avoid unpasteurized beverages and foods made with unpasteurized ingredients to avoid foodborne illness. Stick with commercial milk, apple cider, and eggnog, and shy away from smoked fish and Brie or other cheeses if you can’t confirm that they were made from pasteurized milk.  While you’re at it, steer clear of raw or undercooked meat, poultry and seafood, too. Pregnant women are much more vulnerable to the effects of germs in food.

• Indulge, but in small amounts . Enjoy small portions of your must-have holiday favorites. The first few bites of any food are the most enjoyable, so no need to pile your plate.

Don’t get too hungry. You may be tempted to skimp on meals before a holiday party, but resist the urge.  It usually leads to overeating. Have a filling snack like this homemade trail mix to take the edge off your hunger: Combine 1/4 cup California raisins, 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, and 1/2 cup whole grain cereal.

Have a happy, healthy holiday season!