'pregnancy' on Serious Eats

Eating for Two: Iodized Salt

©iStockphoto.com/Cardston I thought I was past the part of my pregnancy where I worry about what to eat and onto the part where I worry about what we’re going to do with the kid when she’s out and about. But I just managed to find another source of concern, one I could have allayed easily enough at the beginning: most pregnant women should use iodized salt for cooking and seasoning, and I don’t. The vast majority Americans are using iodized salt without even thinking about it. We began adding iodine to much of our salt in the 1920s, after the draft during World War I revealed the extent to which hypothyroidism, a result of iodine deficiency, plagued the population. Thanks... More

Eating for Two: Recipe for a Boy or Girl

Eat more breakfast and you could have a boy! Last week news outlets from here to Islamabad announced the release of a study purporting to show that women with higher caloric intake and better nutrition at the time of conception are more likely to have boys than girls. Although it’s the father’s sperm that determines the sex of an embryo, the mother’s body can be more or less well suited to that embryo’s thriving. Goodness knows I’m no scientist, but I’m fairly skeptical about these conclusions. The amount of extra calories that encouraged male embryos seemed rather small, maybe just a few hundred. Perhaps because my own daily caloric intake can swing a few hundred up or down based on... More

Eating for Two: Of Cheese and Anxiety

Saturday night I went out to dinner with two friends, one who does not have children and one whose daughter just celebrated her first birthday. The former suggested that I might want to order a certain salad, but the new mother said, “No, she can’t have feta! You can’t eat soft cheese when you’re pregnant.” More

Eating for Two: What to Eat While Pregnant

Last year I got a late Christmas present—on December 26, I found out I was a few weeks pregnant. The very first thing I did was eat a celebratory piece of cheesecake (it’s silly, but I felt as if I was giving the embryo a treat—thank you for implanting!). My second priority was to start reading about what I was actually supposed to be eating, which I suspected was not the cheese enchiladas, endless milkshakes, and french fries I dreamed of as the ideal indulgent pregnancy diet. To prepare for pregnancy, I had already cut out alcohol and started taking folic acid supplements, but how else would I have to change my ways in the months ahead?... More

In the News: Seafood OK; USDA Slow to Act; Animal-Friendly Highs

Seafood now said OK for pregnant women: In a major break with current U.S. health advice, a coalition of top scientists from private groups and federal agencies plans to advise pregnant and breast-feeding women to consume at least 12 ounces of fish and seafood a week to ensure optimal brain development of their babies. Since 2001, these groups advised pregnant that women eat no more than 12 ounces a week. [Seattle Times] USDA took 18 days to recall meat: The U.S. Department of Agriculture waited 18 days after learning that millions of pounds of ground beef made by Topps Meat Co. could be contaminated with E. coli before it concluded that a recall was necessary, according to an email from... More

Pregnancy Eats Media Conversation Heating Up

First Steven Shaw weighed in on pregnancy diet myths (yes, he's a guy, but he's a sensitive fellow), then our own Meg Hourihan responded, and coming up fast on the inside is Jane Brody, with a story titled "Dispelling Pregnancy Myths: Eating for 1.5." Brody, using the March of Dimes as her Chief of the Pregnancy Nutrition and Safety Police Battering Ram, seems to be spouting just the kind of stuff Shaw and Meg decry. Her basic thesis: "The March of Dimes is making a new push to dispel nutritional misinformation and replace it with advice based on solid scientific evidence. Some of the advice may come as a distressing surprise to women, who may be fond of foods or... More

What Megnut Ate While She Was Expecting

Serious Eater Meg Hourihan (aka "Megnut") weighs in on the "what to eat when you're pregnant" issue with her usual blend of passion, intelligence, and common sense: Every pregnant woman needs to find her own balance, and it's not going to be the same for each. For me the anxiety of worrying about what I ate was worse than actually eating it. Early on, I was so worked up I wasn't gaining enough weight. And that's a much worse consequence for a developing fetus. Why take any risk? Because life is risky. Are you going to stop driving because you're pregnant? Are you going to stop leaving the house? I found my balance between enjoying food and tolerating risk, and... More

Sushi Chefs: Can We Talk?

On a sushi-filled New York Times op-ed page, Trevor Corson offers us a prescription for sushi eating in America, and Stephen Shaw says the pregnancy police are all wrong in advising pregnant women not to eat sushi. Here's what Corson says: What we need isn’t more tuna, but a renaissance in American sushi; to discover for ourselves—and perhaps to remind the Japanese—what sushi is all about. A trip to the neighborhood sushi bar should be a social exchange that celebrates, with a sense of balance and moderation, the wondrous variety of the sea. I suggest that customers refuse to sit at a table or look at a menu. We should sit at the bar and ask the chef questions about... More

Ice Cream As Fertility Aid?

"Ben & Jerry might help you get pregnant, but not in the usual way. A diet rich in ice cream and other high-fat dairy foods may lower the risk of one type of infertility, a study suggests. It sounds too good to be true and probably is, some doctors say. But the findings are bound to get attention because they are from the well-known Nurses Health Study at the Harvard School of Public Health and were published Wednesday in the European journal Human Reproduction."... More

Pregnant Women, Start Eating More Fish Again!

A study of 9,000 British families has found that the children of women who ate more seafood during pregnancy than the US guideline of 12 ounces a week have significantly more advanced fine-motor, communication and social skills than the children of women who stay within the guidelines or eat no fish at all. "The research suggests that those who avoid fish or do not eat enough of it risk depriving their unborn children of important nutrients that are needed to help brain development. (...) Those children whose mothers had eaten no fish were 28% more likely to have poor communication skills at 18 months, 35% more likely to have poor fine-motor coordination at three-and-a-half, 44% more likely to have poor... More

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