Healthy Holiday Eating for Moms-to-Be

Holidays are often a time to enjoy a few extra calories -- and sometimes take on the extra pounds that come with them. For most people, the results of extra pounds and less-than-nutritious eating is only temporary. But for an expectant mom, holiday indulgences can have more serious consequences.

Too many calories and extra pounds can put you at a higher risk for pregnancy complications such as hypertension or diabetes, and may make labor and delivery more difficult. Although you do need extra calories during pregnancy, particularly during the last trimester, you also need lots of extra nutrients, so those extra calories need to be chosen wisely.

Knowing that eating well over the holidays is the best present you can give your unborn child will provide the motivation for you to resist some of the holiday temptations and help you stick to a healthy eating plan. Here are some pointers to help you get through the holidays happy and healthy.

1. Make sure you've eaten your daily requirements of nutritious foods before indulging in extras. Eat foods that will be filling so you're less apt to be hungry at party time. Eating healthy first will automatically limit your intake of sweets.

2. Be a wise cheater. If you want a treat off the Christmas Cookie tray, pick the most nutritious one. An oatmeal-based cookie is better than a piece of fudge, a low-fat macaroon better than a butter-laden sugar cookie.

3. Drink first. If the urge to splurge overcomes you, first down a glass of water or low-fat milk. You'll often find relief from your craving.

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