Book Review – What to Eat When You’re Pregnant
Author – Nicole M. Avena PhD (2015)
There is increasing amounts of research which suggest that what you eat during your pregnancy not only affects your baby’s health but also their subsequent behaviour and eating habits. There is a lot of information out there about foods to avoid during pregnancy, such as soft cheeses and raw fish, but not so much about what you should eat to optimise your own and your baby’s health during this time. “What To Eat When You’re Pregnant” by Nicole M. Avena published in 2015 is that book.
The author is a neuroscientist with a focus on appetite and nutrition. She understands how foods affect both our health and behaviour and why that is even more important when you are growing a baby.
The book begins with a heavy chapter about why it’s so important to begin a pregnancy at a healthy weight and then try to keep off the excess kilograms. I find sometimes those statistics can be overwhelming but the general jist is as pregnant women we should try very hard to eat well during our pregnancies and not gain excessive weight. The following chapter provides information regarding all the nutrients we require to grow a healthy baby. Again there is a lot of information packed into this section and it’s a little overwhelming but we just have to remember to eat a well-balanced diet of whole foods and we should have it covered.
The best part of the book is the weekly guides of what to eat. It provides a brief outline of what the baby is up to, a food of the week and then a recipe. For example when you are 8 weeks pregnant your baby is a size of a jellybean and is developing his or her kidneys and producing red blood cells. The food of the week is bananas which are high in potassium. The recipe is for a banana and almond wrap, which sounds pretty tasty. Having the recipes is a great reminder to plan ahead so that there is food in the cupboard. It is hard to eat well when food isn’t easy to prepare.
The book is more than just about food. It really guides you through common challenges and experiences throughout pregnancy and how food can help. ‘What to Eat When You’re Pregnant‘ provides nutrition information in bite size pieces that doesn’t need to be read all at once and has the potential of helping you make good food choices for life. I highly recommend this book for anyone planning to conceive or already pregnant.
If you’d like to get yourself a copy check out the links below!