Eating for a healthy pregnancy can be overwhelming at first, especially planning for the different nutrients you want to incorporate into your diet to promote the healthy development of your new bundle of joy! At Meal Garden we strive to support the pregnant community by providing healthy recipes to fuel a healthy pregnancy and later on, to transfer this healthy eating habit onto the next generation of Meal Gardeners.
During pregnancy, there is an increased requirement for certain nutrients such as folate, iron, zinc, calcium and fibre.
These are “the Big 5” which have a very important role in your baby’s growth, as well as keeping the mother more comfortable during pregnancy. Folate helps build new cells and during pregnancy it promotes the healthy development of the neural tube, from where the brain and spinal cord will form. Iron helps build new red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the whole body. Zinc is an essential mineral because it is necessary for cell division, protein synthesis, the immune system and growth of all body cells. Zinc deficiencies during pregnancy have been linked with birth defects, low birth weight and premature delivery. Calcium is needed for bone and teeth development, as well as heart, nerve and muscle growth. If you do not get enough calcium, it will be taken from your bones to meet the baby’s needs. Fibre is important for the mother’s personal health because it prevents and reduces constipation and, hemorrhoids.
Other specific vitamins and fats that need to be included are Vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron, especially from fibre-rich foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for the baby’s brain and eye development.
Multivitamins are a common recommendation from health professionals to expecting mothers to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Diet is equally as important for getting these nutrients and here at Meal Garden, we have put a collection of prenatal recipes together, containing sources of “ the Big 5”, Vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids to help you plan for a healthy pregnancy!
Eat Right Ontario. (2016). Eating for a healthy pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Pregnancy/Eating-for-a-healthy-pregnancy.aspx
Health Canada. (2011). Prenatal Nutrition. Retrieved from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/prenatal/index-eng.php
Scholsberg, S. (n.d.). Fit Pregnancy. Nutrition during pregnancy: 10 do’s and don’ts. Retrieved from http://www.fitpregnancy.com/nutrition/prenatal-nutrition/10-safe-and-healthy-foods-pregnancy
World Health Organization. (2013). Zinc supplementation during pregnancy. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/elena/bbc/zinc_pregnancy/en/
The above article comes to us from Meal Garden's new Recipe Manager - Iris!
I am so happy to be joining Meal Garden as the new Recipe Manager and to be part of a community that shares the same passion for food as me! With a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Human Nutrition, this is the perfect opportunity for me to contribute with my knowledge into making the Meal Garden recipes and user experience the best they can be.
Before even learning about Meal Garden, I struggled to plan meals for one person only since I live alone. I was getting into a rut of preparing the same recipes over and over again or opting to go out for food due to the convenience or social allure. When I found Meal Garden the two things that excited me the most about the tool was the HUGE variety of recipes in the database and the scheduling feature of the tool. I use the tool mainly for recipe inspiration. I get many new ideas for my weekly meal plan so my diet is much less boring and repetitive and I am now more organized in my weekly meal planning!
Joining the Meal Garden community has been great for my career and also my personal lifestyle. I now work with a group of amazing people who are equally as committed to health and wellness as I am and I am looking forward to developing this tool to help our users meet their goals.