Feeding Your Baby Bump on Junk Food Day

by Pregnancy.org Staff

National Junk Food Day -- that obscure July holiday -- celebrates goodies high in fat and calories, low in nutritional value. Leading the festivities? A friend from kids' TV!

cookies shaped like a puppetC is for Cookie!
Me like them a bunch.
Me eat them for breakfast...
And dinner and lunch!
~Cookie Monster

Of course, a healthy monster would only eat healthy cookies, right? So let's take a closer look at his platter and see what he's really singing about. Maybe your baby-in-belly is hungry for those same nutrients! You feel quivering. Anticipation? Mini punches. Are those tiny fists cheering? What treat does your baby really want?

Folates: With a whole-grain, oatmeal cookie in one fist and another in his mouth, Cookie Monster shouts, "Yum!" Whole grains are a great source of folates which your baby uses building spinal cord and spinal nerve growth.

Vitamin A: "Om nom nom nom," Cookie Monster picks up an orange and green-striped one that's shaped like the letter "A". "What dis good for?" Vitamin A keeps googly eyes sparkling and helps your build your baby's skin, eyes and healthy immune system. It's found in argula and other dark green and orange vegetables.

Omega 3's: Cookie grabs a round cookie. "O for Omega! Me feel smarter!" Your baby uses omega 3's and other essential fatty acids to build cell membranes, body tissue, and brain cells.

Calcium: "Dis not cookie! What is dis?" Cookie monster might not be pleased, but cheese and other dairy foods deliverer calcium your baby needs for fetal bones and developing teeth.

B vitamins: "One 'B', two 'B', three...eleven 'B' cookies! Me eat them all!" The B vitamins are used to make DNA and RNA, the blueprint for the genetic code of the entire body. "Only 11? What happened to Vitamin B12?" you ask. Grain, seeds, nuts and Cookie Monster's cookies have most of the B vitamins but only fish, meat and some fermented foods contain B12.

Vitamin C: "Cookies a sometimes snack. Me also eat..." He holds up an orange slice. Your baby's teeth and bones depend on Vitamin C. You'll also find plenty in citrus and other brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

Iron: "Very hard cookie! It iron," Cookie Monster demonstrates by pounding it on the counter. Your baby stores iron during the last month or two of pregnancy. Good sources are meat (especially liver and other organs), egg yolks, and legumes.

Protein: "And this cookie my favorite," chirps the monster. "It protein!" Protein provides the basic building blocks that help the fetal tissues grow. Your baby needs plenty all three trimesters. Besides these special cookies, where might you find protein? In meats, dry beans, dairy and soy products.

Cookies can be healthy. The "Sneaky Chef" shares ways to add protein, vegetables, fruits to your baked goods. And they're so yummy that the baby bean won't suspect a trick!

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