The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

Pregnancy is the ideal time to think about creating a healthier and greener environment for you and your growing family. During these precious 9 months, your developing baby is exposed to everything you eat, drink and breathe. Therefore, it is a great time to make a few simple changes to your diet, your home and your lifestyle, which will not only help you have a more eco-conscious pregnancy, but will help save the planet that your baby will one day inherit. A healthy diet in particular is a must during pregnancy. There are a few simple steps that you can take to reduce your exposure to pesticides AND ensure that you are eating well for you and your baby. Remember, you are what you eat, so eat a green diet! 1. Eat a variety of whole fresh foods: Unprocessed whole foods are supremely healthy compared to processed foods. During pregnancy, your requirement for vitamins and minerals increases. To meet these rising demands, choose a large variety of whole foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, organic dairy products and organic or free range meat, fish and poultry. Also, speak to your doctor about a prenatal vitamin. 2. Purchase organic, locally produced and seasonal foods whenever possible: Studies have found that on average, organic food contains higher levels of vitamin C and essential minerals such as calcium and iron as well as cancer-fighting antioxidants that can benefit you and your baby. Also, by choosing organic food you can be sure to avoid the potentially harmful pesticide residues found in non-organic food. Choose foods that are both seasonal and local during pregnancy. You will not only ensure that you are eating the freshest foods available but you will be supporting your local farmers and food purveyors, which is great for the economy! 3. Eat foods rich in folic acid: Folic acid is essential before, during and after pregnancy as it helps prevent neurological defects in your baby, such as spina bifida. Good food sources include dried beans and peas, citrus fruit, spinach, collard greens, and broccoli and fortified cereals. A daily supplement is integral to ensure you are meeting this dose. For more information visit Health Canada. 4. Eliminate alcohol and reduce caffeine in your diet: When you're pregnant or trying for a baby, experts recommend that you cut down on the amount of caffeine and eliminate alcohol from your diet. This is because studies have shown that having more than 300mg per day of caffeine and drinking alcohol can have negative effects to your developing baby 5. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products and cheeses: Dairy products are essential during pregnancy to meet your rising demand for calcium. However, you must ensure that your milk, cheese and other dairy products are pasteurized. There are so many resources now available to us which can help us learn how to green our pregnancies. One book in particular that I love is Christopher Gavigan's Healthy Child, Healthy World. And remember, always ask your doctor or obstetrician any diet related questions that you have! Check back soon for more tips on eating green during pregnancy!