Should Pregnant Patients Eat Dairy? Physician Assistant Answers
The first 1,000 days of life (the time period from conception through age 2) are proving to be critical in a child’s overall growth and neurodevelopment – and mom’s diet can help ensure adequate nutrition for baby during this crucial time.
A healthy eating pattern for mom during pregnancy – one that emphasizes whole foods and includes dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats – means optimal nutrition for baby. By enjoying a variety of foods from all food groups, pregnant women can help ensure they are getting key nutrients for the growth and brain development that happens most rapidly during the last trimester as well as in the first 2-3 years of life.
Dairy products, in particular, are full of essential vitamins and minerals that are not only great for pregnant women but can also have amazing benefits for their growing babies.
- The calcium and vitamin D that dairy supplies helps the baby’s developing bones, teeth and nerves.
- Research indicates that moderate milk consumption (2-3 servings per day) during pregnancy may have positive associations with both infant birth weight and length.
- Dairy is also a source of protein, which is especially important in the second and third trimesters, when protein positively affects growth of fetal tissue and organs.
6 Ways for Expectant Moms to Enjoy Dairy
There are so many ways for pregnant moms to include dairy in their diets throughout the entire day! Check out some ideas below and help your patients and clients meet the recommended
3-4 daily servings of dairy during pregnancy.
- Begin the day with a latte (even caffeinated is OK in moderation). Enjoy a cup of joe with frothed milk and a dash of cinnamon or this Mocha Latte Smoothie for a blended treat.
- Create a delicious breakfast parfait layered with Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and honey.
- Prep a large pot of Chicken Enchilada Soup on a weekend and top your bowl with cheese and Greek yogurt or a dollop of sour cream as you enjoy it throughout the week.
- Another great meal prep lunch is Quinoa Tabbouleh topped with feta. Just be sure the feta is pasteurized!
- Skillet Eggplant Lasagna is delicious and made all in one pot!
- Sweet Potato Nachos are satisfying and piled high with cheese! Top these with sour cream or Greek yogurt for a little extra serving of dairy.
Looking for more inspiration in and out of the kitchen? Give me a follow on Instagram @thevintagefork where you can find me cooking up a storm and preparing for our first bundle of joy, due Thanksgiving 2020!