Many women, after discovering they’re pregnant, decide to change their diet. Whether it be the switch to making more nutritious meals or the push to eating fewer snacks, pregnant mothers are constantly looking for new ways to do what’s best for their babies. However, when it comes to mothers with food allergies, there are many hurdles in the way. Classic nutrient-packed foods like milk or fish may not be a meal-time option. For mothers with food allergies, getting those nutrients to their babies requires a little bit of thought and some helpful creativity.
Many people worldwide suffer from a gluten allergy. However, for expecting mothers, this can be especially difficult. Complex carbohydrates have proven to help pregnant mothers fight nausea and provide iron, and the vitamins found in whole-grain foods can be vital for the baby’s development.
Eat Instead: To replace the gluten-based foods you are missing out on, make sure to eat beans, edamame, popcorn, greens, and berries. Also, try any number of gluten-free bread options.
We are taught from a young age how important milk and dairy can be in our diets. As the old saying goes, “milk will help your bones grow strong.” However, for people with dairy allergies, getting their calcium from milk isn’t an option. That said, babies (and adults alike) do still need calcium for their bones.
Eat Instead: Other calcium-rich foods include spinach, kale, and salmon. Additionally, try drinking a glass of almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, or calcium-fortified orange juice.
Nuts are filled with nutrients. There are some great benefits to snacking on nuts while pregnant, from protein to omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and Zinc. However, nut allergies are amongst the most allergies in the world. Leaving any number of expecting numbers without nuts as a snack time option.
Eat Instead: Leafy greens can be a great source of minerals, and bananas are filled with potassium. Additionally, meat, cheese, and milk can be great sources of protein for the baby.
Fish has always been a great source of lean protein. Meaning that for expecting mothers, fish has always been a healthy option for mealtime. However, when it comes to mothers living with a fish allergy, they need to find alternative protein sources.
Eat Instead: For a good protein source, lean beef and poultry are a safe option. Additionally, cherries, strawberries, broccoli, kale, and asparagus can be great sources of antioxidants.
Eggs are a great meal choice for expecting mothers. Eggs can help with brain development, growth, and even with the prevention of congenital disabilities. Given this, mothers with food allergies require great alternatives to help ensure the health of their babies.
Eat Instead: Soybeans, turkey, and cashews are all great sources for choline, helping the baby grow and develop. Additionally, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and poultry can all serve as smart and healthy protein alternatives.
Pack Your Own Food
Being pregnant comes along with several changes to your body. Not only are you growing, but your hormone levels are changing drastically, and there’s no telling which of the many ways you will react. For some, this may result in the change of their food allergy. As you begin to navigate yourself through your pregnancy, make sure to be handling all of your food on your own. Knowing exactly what’s going into your body can help you feel comfortable and confident in your diet. Additionally, make sure to have a meal plan for the hospital. While most hospitals should be able to accommodate your food allergy, make sure you have a plan set in place both with yourself and your doctor.
Most people living with food allergies are given an adrenaline device – often called an EpiPen. While using the pen is a worst-case scenario, it is important to know the correct protocol for pregnant women. Make sure to meet with your doctor and discuss the proper plan of action when using your EpiPen during pregnancy.
Food allergies have become a worldwide epidemic, affecting all kinds of people all over the globe. For many women, this raises several concerns when it comes to their pregnancies. Being pregnant requires a woman to follow a strict diet to ensure that her baby receives the nutrients they require. However, for women with food allergies, this can pose quite the problem. Being pregnant with food allergies requires a mother to develop a little bit of creativity regarding her meals. Finding healthy alternatives allergy-safe can be hard, but having food allergies does not come at the cost of having a healthy baby.