Breakfast during pregnancy: menus and myths about nutrition

Breakfast during pregnancy: menus and myths about nutrition

Breakfast is the most important meal even in pregnancy. The menus of the nutritionist Valeria Del Balzo and the 6 golden rules for not gaining too many kilos

Almost 8 out of 10 mothers (77%) ate breakfast every day during the 9 months of pregnancy. And one in 2 (45%) considers breakfast the most important meal in expectation, essential to better face the day.

These are the data that emerge from a research by the Doxa / Unionfood Observatory "Io Comincio Bene", which for several years has been photographing trends and habits of Italians' breakfast and promoting the value and importance of the first morning meal.

The opinion of the nutritionist

“In pregnancy, it can be important to introduce micronutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, contained in milk and yogurt. Consuming an adequate breakfast also helps weight control for the mother and the baby, allowing for a more adequate calorie intake during the day – comments Valeria Del Balzo, nutrition biologist at the La Sapienza University of Rome. During pregnancy it is important to take the appropriate weight which depends, among other things, on the starting weight: an excessive weight of the mother can also be an excessive weight of the child, who will have a higher probability of being an obese adult ".

Adds Dr. Del Balzo: "A moderate intake of sugars in breakfast favors the synthesis of serotonin, which influences good mood and helps reduce the nervous state". And finally he recommends: "For those who love the classic Italian breakfast, with milk and cereals, it is better to avoid 'raw' milk, that is unpasteurized, or desserts based on raw eggs, while it would be preferable to consume non-whole grains (bread , biscuits, rusks) to promote calcium absorption. In fact, whole grains contain phytates that can make calcium less available and difficult to absorb, so it is better to consume them for lunch and dinner ”.

The menus

Valeria Del Balzo offers three types of breakfast for pregnant women (two sweet menus and one savory).

First sweet menu
250 g milk or yogurt and a cappuccino with decaffeinated coffee
A slice of tart or donut or 3 rusks with 15g jam / honey or 40g biscuits
A seasonal fruit

Sweet second menu
Milk 250 g
40 g cornflakes
20 g dried fruit
A seasonal fruit

Salty menu
Yogurt + 1 cappuccino
A toast with 30 g of cheese or 2 slices of toast with 100 g of ricotta cheese 20 g of dried fruit
A fruit

Nutrition in pregnancy: between false myths and reality

Doctor Del Balzo lists 6 easy rules for eating correctly during pregnancy, avoiding to gain too many pounds. And it dispels some clichés, such as the famous "cravings" or the belief that while you wait you have to eat more.

1.It is not true that when you are pregnant you have to eat for two.
From a quantitative point of view, the first trimester can remain the same in quantity, to be increased starting from the second and third trimester because there will be an increase in the general need for nutrients, but always keeping the mother's weight under control.

2.During the sweet expectation, it is very important to have breakfast in the morning with milk or yogurt.
Not only because it increases the daily requirement of calcium, but also because milk and its derivatives, due to their composition in proteins and fats, control the secretion of ghrelin, hence the appetite, favoring the sense of satiety (and helping to control weight).

3. To control your weight, don't overdo any meal.
It is better to always have balanced meals: about 15/20% of daily calories should be consumed for breakfast, 10/15% distributed between 2 snacks, 35% for lunch and 30% for dinner.

4. Do pregnancy cravings? They don't exist (and they make you fat).
There is no scientific basis that proves the appearance of specific cravings while pregnant. If the future mother wants, like anyone else, a specific food, it is better to satisfy her only partially or not at all, avoiding introducing too many calories.

5. Supplements, when prescribed by your doctor.
It is not true that they must always be assumed, indeed, making an indiscriminate use can have contraindications. Folic acid and iron, if it becomes necessary to integrate them to the normal diet, must be prescribed by the doctor.

6. Proper nutrition in pregnancy? It lasts 2 years.
Proper nutrition should be followed from conception to after childbirth, until it “covers” all the first thousand days of the baby's life. It is used to prevent the so-called non-communicable diseases in adulthood, that is, overweight, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer.

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