Advertising
Advertising

Best Things To Eat When Pregnant

Best Things To Eat When Pregnant

Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Now you need to start eating like it!

But knowing what to eat when pregnant doesn’t have to be complicated. And there are a ton of wonderful sources to read about eating right during pregnancy, but you sometimes just wanna keep things simple, right?

For starters, it’s wise to consume an extra 300 calories a day to supplement the growing needs of the little tyke inside you. Hence, why you’re constantly reminded by family, friends and doctors that you’re eating for two now! So, here are the 6 best things to eat to keep you and your baby healthy.

Advertising

1.  Your “what to eat when pregnant” list needs to include whole grains

vegan whole grain bread

    You should eat whole grains at all points of your life but they become even more necessary when trying to figure out what to eat when pregnant. Whole grains are very high in fiber and they contain good amounts of iron and zinc. Fiber helps reduce occurrences of high blood pressure and constipation. Also, according to Everyday Family, The American Journal of Hypertension found that pregnant women who consumed 21.1 grams or more fiber daily reduced their risk of preeclampsia by over 70%.

    2. Dark, leafy greens for folic acid and iron

    Advertising

    Spinach

      Skip the iceberg lettuce for dark, leafy veggies likes spinach and kale. Bottom line, the darker the green, the healthier team…meaning you and your baby! Dark, leafy greens contain high amounts of folate (the natural equivalent to folic acid) and iron. Folate helps the baby’s brain and spinal cord develop correctly. In fact, if pregnant women consume the correct amount of folate daily, the likelihood of serious fetal abnormalities could be reduced by 70%.

      3. Maintain a steady weight with nuts and lentils

      lentils

        Protein is one of the most necessary nutrients during pregnancy. It’s needed to regulate the baby’s growth, keep the mother at a healthy weight for childbirth and prevent a low birth weight. Luckily, because it’s found in so many different foods, finding protein won’t be a chore when trying to figure out what to eat when pregnant. Aside from most lean meats, nuts and lentils are one of the best sources of protein. When cooked, lentils can serve as a part of healthy dinner and nuts can make for an easy midday snack.

        Advertising

        4. Salmon, herring and trout for brain development

        salmon-518032_640

          Unless you’re on a vegan diet, a pregnancy without any type of seafood sounds like a slow car crash! Luckily, there are several types of fish you can safely consume during pregnancy, some that are highly recommended. According to the Mayo Clinic, salmon, herring, and trout are all recommended fish during pregnancy because they are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, necessary for a fetal’ brain development. But not all seafood is welcomed during pregnancy. Dishes containing king mackerel, shark, and swordfish should be avoided because of their high levels of mercury.

          5. Calm your morning sickness with oatmeal

          Advertising

          blueberries-531209_640

            When figuring out what to eat when pregnant, it may feel like you can’t keep any food down during the first trimester, thanks to morning sickness. But there’s one welcomed food that could not only calm the tummy but keep you full for several hours. Oatmeal is high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which helps regulate the digestive system and boosts growth in bones for your baby.

            6. Pasteurized juice and pasteurized dairy products are full of calcium and vitamin C goodness

            orange-juice-410333_640

              Unless your juices and milk are straight from freshly washed/ squeezed oranges and cows, it’s recommended you avoid unpasteurized juice and milk when making your list of what to eat when pregnant. These products could contain bacteria like salmonella which could create a breeding ground of serious health problems for your and baby. Stick to pasteurized juices, milk and other dairy products. Not only are they high in nearly every vital nutrient you can think of, especially calcium and vitamin C, but they promote bone, muscle and nerve development for mother and child. Plus they taste delightful!

              More by this author

              20 Ways Celebrities, Parents, and You Can Combat Bullying 10 Ways to Find Happiness, Success, and Awakening As A Single Parent 17 Time Management Hacks for Entrepreneurs With ADHD Best Things To Eat When Pregnant 9 Things Only People With Albinism Can Understand

              Trending in Parenting

              1 20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids 2 35 Easy And Healthy Dinner Ideas For Kids 3 50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving 4 How Much Screen Time Should Kids Have And Why? 5 Parenting Tips from the Pros: How to Teach Children Not to Lie

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Published on May 7, 2021

              20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

              20 Energizing Brain Breaks For Kids

              From coaching martial arts to children as young as four years old, I very quickly came to the understanding that if I wanted to help kids progress their skills, I needed to find a way to help them focus more consistently in my class.

              There are two key ways I found when it came to improving my students’ level of focus:

              1. Make what we’re doing more interesting. Nothing is off the table here—from having ninja clowns on the rampage in a lesson to including popular games with a martial arts theme, tapping into the student’s love of fun to help them focus.
              2. Introduce brain breaks.

              Brain breaks are small mental breaks that help the kids stay more focused. Think of the brain as a fuel gauge that shows the information you can consciously hold in your mind at any given moment. When the kids are focused and working hard on their tasks, the meter is usually full. They can easily concentrate and pass experiences into their long-term memory.

              But when the needle starts to drop, you may observe that your kids are feeling anxious or looking restless. New information, experiences, and knowledge are not getting processed from the staging area or working memory into the long-term memory.[1]

              It’s here that brain breaks make the most difference, as they allow us to “top-up the tank” or reset the gauge so that we can continue to learn and focus and at a higher level.

              If you’ve been home tutoring, you’ll appreciate that brain breaks can help kids in many ways. They can reduce stress and frustration. Think of those times when you’re helping your kids solve a difficult problem. It’s taxing for you both and when compounded with the energy loss after a day at school or watching TV. The stress effect can be compounded, and it’s here that brain breaks can be a lifesaver.[2]

              The following is a selection of brain break ideas for kids. You’ll see that some are physical activities while others are more relaxing. It’s always great to test them out to see which ones connect the best with your children.

              It’s okay to repeat the same brain breaks. Having a clear name and mission to a break can help keep your child excited, knowing that they’ll have the opportunity to take part in a future round of the activity.

              Advertising

              Active Brain Breaks

              Here are some active brain breaks for kids that you can try out.

              1. Swapsies

              Have the participants stand behind a chair. Call out a character trait, like “everyone with brown eyes.” You then swap places with someone else who has the same characteristic. If you have nothing that matches, you stay put!

              Examples: “Everyone with trainers on.” “Everyone who is left-handed.” “Everyone who is wearing yellow.”

              2. Dance Party

              Put five or six different types of songs on Spotify, including a classic like “baby shark or the hamster dance.” Dim the lights if possible and have the kids dance to the tunes. Then, change the tunes and change the dance style. It’s silly and fun.

              3. Freeze Dance

              Similar to Dance Party except that when the music stops, students have to stay perfectly still until the music restarts. You can make this even more fun by trying to make the students smile. If they smile, they are out and have to sit down.

              4. Keep It Up

              Students must keep a balloon from touching the floor. You can add multiple balloons. You can make it more competitive by having different balloons of two different colors and split people into teams. Whoever keeps the balloons up the longest or the team with the most balloons in the air with a timer of 60 seconds wins.

              5. Simon Says

              This brain break for kids is an old favorite. You can also mix it up with martial arts moves, Fortnite dances, superhero moves, etc.

              6. Animal Movement

              Move like different animals. It’s fun for younger children. We use Flamingo where you stand on one leg, crawl like a bear, stand like a meerkat, run like a cheetah, and walk like a penguin.

              Advertising

              7. Find It Fast

              “Find It Fast” is a scavenger hunt variation. Call an item out in the room and kids have to stand by it. For example, find a clock, find something with a face, find something smelly, find some money, find a phone, etc.

              8. The Frog

              Physical Challenges can be excellent fun. We have one in the martial arts class called “The Frog” where you squat like a frog, then lean forward so your head and feet are off the floor. These are all old yoga poses, so have a look through a booklet or website for some safe ideas. Other examples are grabbing your nose with your left hand and touching your knee with your right elbow.

              9. Pizza Delivery Time

              Give the students paper plates and tell them to hold the plates above their head on a flat hand. They then run around the room and try to keep the plate in their hand. You can make it more challenging by having other students try to knock others’ plates off. There’s usually a 3-star jump penalty if your plate touches the floor.

              10. Limbo

              We use martial arts belts and the students take turns going underneath the belts. Fun music creates an awesome atmosphere here.

              11. Human Knot

              Split the group of people and have everyone link hands under and over. That’s making knots between everyone in the group. Have the other students try to untangle them and return everyone back into a circle.

              12. Feather Balance

              This brain break for kids works well with gentle music, and you can use a balloon or a straw if you don’t have a feather handy.

              13. Stack them high

              The students should have plastic cups and paper squares. The goal is to make a tower as high as possible, or it could be to make a triangle or even a pyramid.

              Relaxing Brain Breaks

              We talked about brain breaks for kids that are being used to energize the students. But they can also be used to calm and relax them. We’re more familiar with the term mindfulness, but it’s the same idea. These are brain breaks for kids that reduce stress and anxiety.

              Advertising

              14. Meditation

              Meditation

              is a popular way to reduce anxiety. There are lots of great examples already pre-recorded on YouTube that you can follow along with. Below is a useful classroom meditation example.

              15. Kaleidoscope

              Kaleidoscopes are fun ways to relax. They are mesmerizing and like a peaceful vortex that sucks you into them. Below is a great example of a visual online one you can use.

              16. Reading/Listening to a Story

              When I surveyed the members of our martial arts club about how their kids employ brain breaks at home, there was a clear winner among the families—listening to a story or reading a story. The feedback was that the process of daydreaming a little helps the kids to recharge. But it goes without saying that the story needs to be engaging.

              17. Doodling

              My personal favorite way to brain break as a kid was to doodle. Doodling gives your child a few minutes to draw anything they want. It can be calming for them, and it’s a lot more fun if you have different types of pens or crayons available to use. Add some soft music, and you have a simple way to take some time to relax.

              18. Coloring Sheets

              Coloring sheets are another way to relax the mind. There’s lots of great coloring in pads available, but here are some links to public resources shared on the internet that are great examples.

              19. Deep Breathing

              Deep breathing

              is an epic way to help your child slow down. It is a quick way to relieve anxiety so that they feel more ready for the next task ahead.

              Advertising

              Try this: put your hands on your tummy, breathe in through the nose, and feel your belly expand like a balloon. Hold it here, then slowly breathe out through the mouth while feeling your stomach get smaller. Repeat this 10 times. Use the following counts: breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and breath out for 4 seconds.

              20. Going Outside

              Go outside was the second most popular response from our parent’s survey about brain breaks for kids at home. Fresh air always feels nice. You can combine this with a treasure hunt, looking for different colored cars, types of birds, or even types of trees, if you’re familiar with these.

              My personal favorite is using a mushroom spotting app on our phones and finding a mushroom or toadstool, then using the app to identify its name. This is surprisingly engaging for children. But a few safety rules about not touching them is important. It gives kids a change of scenery and helps revitalize the senses, providing a welcome break from their homework.

              How Often Should You Introduce Brain Breaks?

              The key to brain breaks is their timing. If you can introduce them before you notice that your kids are entering deep fatigue or their loss of focus has set in. You’ll find a great balance between breaks and effort.

              I’ve observed from my martial arts coaching that younger students have a smaller amount of working memory than older kids. My formula is for five minutes of technical training, we provide five minutes of brain breaks for students under seven years old. Plus, we coach to 15 minutes of training to five minutes of brain breaks for children under 12 years.

              Final Thoughts

              Implementing calming brain breaks for kids is a really efficient way of introducing brain breaks. You have a quick way to allow your students to learn about regulating themselves. Balancing their mind and energy is a useful skill, and you can take this with you everywhere you go.

              Our martial arts center revolutionized our approach to coaching by using brain breaks for kids. We found that although we were teaching less technical skills, there was now consistent progress from the students. Plus, everyone was less anxious, happier, and are having more fun. This is a win overall.

              If you’ve been having challenges with your kids focusing at home, maybe try a mixture of the calming and active breaks to see which types work best for your kids.

              Featured photo credit: Robert Collins via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] SimplyPsychology: Working Memory Model
              [2] BrainFacts.org: Kids Need Brain Breaks — And So Do Adults

              Read Next