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Foods To Avoid While Pregnant

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Foods To Avoid While Pregnant

It is extremely important for mothers to eat healthy and safely throughout the duration of their pregnancy to help ensure that mommy and baby turn out alright. Make sure to always consult with your physician for a detailed meal plan. Also, get professional advice on what you should not consume.

Here are some common foods to avoid while pregnant.

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Lunch meats and unpasteurized dairy items are foods to avoid while pregnant

Hot dogs, deli meats, or unpasteurized milk all are prone to be a breeding ground for the bacteria listeria monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis. Miscarriages, stillbirths, and other serious problems that can be the result of listeriosis. The risk of this bacteria has been the topic of debate. A big question is if this bacteria is high enough to really be a concern, or is it better to be on the safe side and substitute a non-meat alternative from your local grocery store’s health food section when a craving hits. It is also important to stay away from smoked seafood (like lox) and cheeses that contain unpasteurized milk, like brie, feta, and Camembert.

Raw or under-cooked food

Sashimi (raw fish), raw oysters, and homemade eggnog all fall under the list of foods that can harbor serious bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Therefore these foods should be avoided. To make sure your food is cooked thoroughly test meat with a food thermometer and cook eggs until the yolk is hard. When baking, remember not to eat the cookie dough with raw egg in it, as tempting as it may be.

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Certain fish

Specifically, fish is one of the foods to avoid while pregnant, since they contain high levels of mercury that can damage your child’s growing brain and nervous system. Larger fish like sharks, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel tend to have higher levels of mercury and should be avoided. Not all types of fish need to be avoided though, since the FDA says it is safe for pregnant and nursing women to eat up to 12 ounces of seafood that has low levels of mercury. This list includes salmon (farmed and wild), shrimp, canned light tuna, pollock, sardines, tilapia, and catfish. Since albacore (white) tuna has higher levels of mercury than canned light tuna, it is recommended only to eat 6 ounces of this fish (included in the 12 weekly ounces). It is also important to be vigilant of where the fish was caught; since rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams tend to have higher levels of pollutants than oceans or bays.

Too much chocolate

This is a difficult selection on the foods to avoid while pregnant list: chocolate! For those mothers-to-be who have a giant sweet tooth, chocolate is not off the list, but it should be consumed in moderation due to its caffeine content. Numerous studies have shown that caffeine can put you and your baby at risk for birth defects, premature labor, preterm delivery, and various other reproductive problems. It is recommended that 200 mg of caffeine maximum should be consumed daily, so just make sure not to overdue it.

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Too many extra calories

It may be tempting to give in to those pregnancy cravings and eat your weight in junk food, but it is important to do so only in moderation. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy puts your own health at risk for illnesses like high blood pressure, which can lead to gestational diabetes, overdue (delayed) pregnancy, labor issues, risk of miscarriage, various infections, preeclampsia, and also higher risk of emergency c-section. Your baby can be at risk for being born overweight (with a higher chance of having childhood obesity), as well as chronic conditions such as heart disease later in life, and being born with birth defects. Each women’s pregnancy weight requirements are different, so make sure to check with your primary doctor to see what is a healthy calorie intake for your specific situation.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 5, 2022

How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

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How to Help Your Child to Get Better Grades

Children are most likely to say that they want to just lounge around or rest for a while after spending hours listening to lecture after lecture from their teachers. There is nothing wrong with this if they had a rough day.

What’s disturbing, is if they deliberately stay away from schoolwork or procrastinate when it comes to reviewing for their tests or completing an important science project.

When it seems that it is becoming a habit for your child to put off school work, it’s time for you to step in and help your child develop good study habits to get better grades. It is important for you to emphasize to your child the importance of setting priorities early in life. Don’t wait for them to flunk their tests, or worse, fail in their subjects before you talk to them about it.

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You can help your children hurdle their tests with these 7 tips:

1. Help them set targets

Ask your child what they want to achieve for that particular school year. Tell them to set a specific goal or target. If they say, “I want to get better grades,” tell them to be more specific. It will be better if they say they want to get a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Having a definite target will make it easier for them to undertake a series of actions to achieve their goals, instead of just “shooting for the moon.”

2. Preparation is key

At the start of the school year, teachers provide an outline of a subject’s scope along with a reading list and other course requirements. Make sure that your child has all the materials they need for these course requirements. Having these materials on hand will make sure that your child will have no reason to procrastinate and give them the opportunity to study in advance.

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3. Teach them to mark important dates

You may opt to give them a small notebook where they can jot down important dates or a planner that has dates where they can list their schedule. Ask them to show this to you so you can give them “gentle reminders” to block off the whole week before the dates of an exam. During this week, advise your child to not schedule any social activity so they can concentrate on studying.

4. Schedule regular study time

Encourage your child to set aside at least two hours every day to go through their lessons. This will help them remember the lectures for the day and understand the concepts they were taught. They should be encouraged to spend more time on subjects or concepts that they do not understand.

5. Get help

Some kids find it hard to digest or absorb mathematical or scientific concepts. Ask your child if they are having difficulties with their subjects and if they would like to seek the help of a tutor. There is nothing wrong in asking for the assistance of a tutor who can explain complex subjects.

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6. Schedule some “downtime”

Your child needs to relax from time to time. During his break, you can consider bringing your child to the nearest mall or grocery store and get them a treat. You may play board games with them during their downtime. The idea is to take his mind off studying for a limited period of time.

7. Reward your child

If your child achieves their goals for the school year, you may give them a reward such as buying them the gadget they have always wanted or allowing them to vacation wherever they want. By doing this, you are telling your child that hard work does pay off.

Conclusion

You need to take the time to monitor your child’s performance in school. Your guidance is essential to helping your child realize the need to prioritize their school activities. As a parent, your ultimate goal is to expose your child to habits that will lay down the groundwork for their future success.

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Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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