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to fill their plates have one more member of the food police to contend with: their obstetrician. OBs tend to keep expectant mothers of multiples on a tight leash when it comes to diet, especially since we’re at higher risk for developing gestational diabetes. So let’s recap: expectant mothers of multiples have lots more nutrients to get with a moderate amount of extra calories to get them with; we need loads more protein, but we’re craving only carbs; the list of foods we can actually eat is shorter than ever due to food aversions and food safety considerations, but our energy to plan and execute appropriate meals is limited. Sigh. So much for that nine month long, all-you-can-eat buffet. So what’s a hungry/nauseous, protein-seeking/ carb craving, nutrition-needing/too tired to cook mom-to-be to do? I recommend stocking the kitchen with simple, nutritious foods that can be combined to make low glycemic meals and snacks, without much cooking. Low glycemic food combos are ones that won’t spike your blood sugar quickly or dramatically, and generally include protein, fiber and/or a little bit of fat. Choosing such foods that are also good sources of important pregnancy nutrients like folate (peanut butter, avocado, beans/lentils); iron (beans/lentils, oats); calcium (yogurt, kefir, cheese) and choline (eggs) is a great exercise in multi-tasking --- a skill you’ll need to master anyway as a mom to multiples.

• Low sugar granola + plain yogurt • Banana-chocolate-peanut butter smoothie made with a plain kefir base for protein • Dry, crunchy snacks high in protein and featuring slow-digesting carbs, like bean chips and salted/roasted nuts • Smashed avocado on whole grain/seed crackers • Lentil chili topped with plain yogurt, crumbled tortilla chips and sliced avocado As for sweet cravings, dark chocolate is (and was!) my pick for pregnancy. Loaded with magnesium and antioxidants, it’s a veritable health food. Some research even suggests that chocolate intake in pregnancy is associated with a reduced risk of pre-eclampsia, possibly due to its beneficial effect on blood vessel function. Dark chocolate is reasonably low in sugar, and can scratch a chocolate itch effectively without requiring excessive quantities. If you do develop gestational diabetes, you can even try making a no-sugar-added hot cocoa to satisfy nighttime chocolate cravings. My trick is to combine 2 teaspoons of high quality unsweetened cocoa powder with lactose-free milk and blending it with a milk-frothing device (I use my husband’s fancy Nespresso one!). Lactose free milk tastes sweeter than regular milk as the result of the pre-digestion of lactose into its component sugars. Using it produces a cocoa with mild natural sweetness without needing to add additional sweeteners.

Even if you’ve got food restrictions beyond those listed above, whether food allergies, Celiac disease or lactose intolerance, there are some easy swaps you can make. Sunflower seed butter is as nutritious as peanut butter for peanut-allergic mamas, and lactose-free yogurts from Green Valley Organics are the most digestively friendly dairy products on the market if you love dairy more than it loves you. There are also terrific gluten-free grains, breads and crunchy snacks for my fellow Celiac carbophiles from companies like Bob’s Red Mill and KIND. Here are some of the easy-assembly, low glycemic mini-meals and snacks that fueled my twin pregnancy --- despite food restrictions and aversions --- all the way to 36 weeks and 6 days, and then straight into lactation land: • Egg and cheese sandwich on whole grain toast (I used gluten-free, you need not) multiplicity

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Profile for Multiplicity Magazine

Multiplicity Winter 2014  

Multiplicity's Winter issue complete with features including seasonal affective disorder, parenting resolutions, cutting the budget, getting...

Multiplicity Winter 2014  

Multiplicity's Winter issue complete with features including seasonal affective disorder, parenting resolutions, cutting the budget, getting...

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