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What pregnant women really eat

Most moms (70 percent) said they started eating healthier when they became pregnant, however 63 percent are not eating the recommended 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, according to the results of a survey released by American Baby magagazine.

A startling 12 percent eat one or fewer servings a day. Many are restricted by extreme food aversions due to pregnancy.

Cravings were common among the survey respondents. Eighty four percent reach for foods like ice cream, chips, pretzels, chocolates, cookies, and candy, according to the survey, which polled about 2,300 pregnant and new moms, and featured in a piece entitled, “What Pregnant Women Really Eat,” in the October 2015 issue of American Baby and online at americanbaby.com/pregnancy-nutrition.

While these indulgences are common, a staggering 8 in 10 women also admitted to taking chances with risky foods. The study found that 48 percent have eaten cold deli meats, 32 percent have had undercooked eggs, meat or fish, 20 percent have had premade deli salads, and 7 percent have eaten unpasteurized cheese. All of these are considered off-limits because they may contain listeria, which can lead to complications during pregnancy.

“Time constraints, aversions, and convenience are the top reasons moms-to-be are missing out on beneficial nutrition,” said Mindy Walker, Executive Editor, American Baby in a press release. “There is some good news though: 92 percent say no to alcohol, 77 percent are eating breakfast every day, and 84 percent are following the recommended guidelines for caffeine, all of which are critical to a healthy pregnancy.”

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The survey, entitled, the “American Baby Magazine Pregnancy & Nutrition Survey,” also revealed that 61 percent of moms are concerned about weight gain during pregnancy and over one third started their pregnancy obese or overweight.

Mindy Walker, executive editor of American Baby provides the following 7 tips:

1. Make a smoothie. It’s the best way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet when you really don’t care for them.

2. Give yourself an incentive. If you want a cookie, eat your fruits and veggies first.

3. Avoid overindulging by tracking your meals on an app like MyFitnessPal.

4. Eat breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.

5. Get three servings of dairy a day through yogurt, milk, or cheese.

6. Like fish? Smaller swimmers (such as shrimp, salmon, scallops) are better.

7. Not a fish fan? Choose omega-3 rich eggs or foods high in the essential fatty acid like walnuts and avocado.

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