Cabot, VT – (April 30, 2010): As any new mom quickly learns, your day of delivery doesn’t exactly feel like the end of pregnancy. Delivery day marks the end of the third trimester of pregnancy, but the idea of the ‘fourth trimester’ is increasingly being discussed as it relates to nutrition, baby’s sleep habits, and other issues important to new moms and moms-to-be.
“Moms-to-be need to know that the first trimester of pregnancy is critical from a nutrition standpoint,” says Regan Miller Jones, a Registered Dietitian with Cabot Creamery Cooperative, who recently gave birth to her second child. “And for new moms, the ‘fourth trimester is also a critical time, when nutrition needs should be at the top of their lists. Many moms are sleep deprived in the first few weeks following delivery and they can feel overwhelmed by the constant care newborns require. Healthy foods can help them recover from the delivery experience, maintain a healthy immune system and, if breastfeeding, help provide more nourishment for a new baby. It’s important for expectant moms to get proper nutrition, too. From ‘day one’ of conception a woman’s body begins to change in countless ways, and chief among those changes are nutritional needs. Very quickly, a woman’s nutritional needs go from one person to two (or more in the case of a multiple pregnancy), so an expectant mom needs to compensate by eating wisely, getting plenty of exercise and plenty of rest.”
“’Eating for two’ doesn't mean doubling your calories or your food bill,” Jones says. “Pregnant women only need about 300 extra calories per day. A healthy weight gain throughout pregnancy (on average 25 to 35 pounds for those already at their ideal weight) is associated with better outcomes for both mom and baby. Faced with a tighter food budget? Choose nutrient-rich foods with more nutritional value for your food dollar. Cheese, yogurt, milk, nuts, beans, whole-grains and some unprocessed meats offer vital vitamins and minerals needed during gestation for only pennies per ounce. And there are numerous ‘nutrients to know’ during pregnancy, which is why most experts recommend a prenatal vitamin, before, during and after pregnancy. Protein, folic acid, iron, calcium and Omega-3/DHA rank high on the list of ‘important foods to eat daily.’”
Jones also points out that time spent cultivating better nutrition know-how now helps ensure a healthy start to breastfeeding—a part of new motherhood that Jones champions as a benefit to both mom and baby—and provides the framework for shaping better family mealtime in years to come.
“The March of Dimes estimates seven out of ten women will start breastfeeding when their baby arrives,” Jones says, “and good nutrition is important throughout the breastfeeding stage. Caloric needs increase by about 200 calories ABOVE what moms need during pregnancy (or 500 total extra calories). The key is to keep these calories nutrient-rich.” For example, moms and expectant moms should consume nutrient-rich snacks like nuts, dried fruits and Cabot’s snack-size ¾-ounce cheese bars – all healthy, nutrient-dense options that are good for moms.
What about weight gain? Jones says that all moms should expect to add pounds during pregnancy – that’s just a fact of life. Most moms are interested in returning to their pre-pregnancy weight, post-delivery, but Jones advises caution. “New moms should realize that quick weight loss really isn’t the healthiest option,” she says. “Slow, steady shedding of pounds is the safest way to lose weight after the baby arrives. The main goal for moms should be to build a diet around wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, milk, low-fat cheese, yogurt, whole grains and lean meats. And to get plenty of exercise as well as take time to rest.”
Speaking of time, one of the biggest challenges facing a new mom is finding the time to do all her new tasks PLUS keep up with life as it was before. “As a Registered Dietitian, one of my roles is to help new moms find ways to manage their time in the kitchen most effectively,” Jones says. “Options like slow cookers, make-ahead-meals and the concept of ‘cook once – eat twice’ are times savers I employ most often. The key to success is planning. Sit down, look at the week ahead and plan your meals in advance. That way, you’ll be sure you and your family are eating healthy, saving money, and saving time.”
National Women’s Health Week
Whether a Mom or not, all women should know that May 9-15 is National Women’s Health Week, a week-long health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. To learn more about women’s health issues and access information on nutrition, dieting, preventative screenings and more, visit: http://www.womenshealth.gov/whw/
The farm families of Cabot Creamery, one of America’s oldest, most successful dairy cooperatives, have created recipes ideal for moms aiming high on nutrition and low on expenditures, such as Double-Duty Chicken Pizza Pockets with Cabot Reduced Fat Cheddar and Make-ahead Stuffed Shells with Cabot White Cheddar Cheese. For more delicious Cabot recipes, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop/recipes/
Double-Duty Chicken Pizza Pockets with Cabot Reduced Fat Cheddar
Pregnancy often leaves you feeling less than prepared for an evening in the kitchen. Let leftover chicken do double duty in ultra easy pizza pockets. Simply stir together the filling, fold over the dough, bake and dinner is done! These also re-warm well for a nourishing lunch the next day.
Makes 4 servings
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 large chicken breast, roasted and shredded
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/3 cup drained canned whole kernel corn
4 ounces Cabot 75% or 50% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar, grated & divided (about 1 cup)
Chopped tomato for garnish
1 (13.8 ounce) tube refrigerated pizza crust dough
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Coat small nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add onion and sauté over medium-high heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and combine with chicken, barbecue sauce and corn; set aside.
3. Unroll dough onto work surface and press into large rectangle. Cut dough into 4 individual rectangles; sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese onto one half of each rectangle. Top evenly with chicken mixture; sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese. Fold dough in half over filling, pressing edges with a fork to seal.
4. Place pockets on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Garnish with chopped tomato and serve.
Calories 291, Total Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 3g, Sodium 1138, Carbohydrates 54g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 22g, Calcium 210mg
Make-Ahead Stuffed Shells with Cabot White Cheddar Cheese
Any new mom knows that time in the kitchen is a luxury that may only present itself at odd hours. Use this make-ahead version of Cabot's famed Stuffed Shells to prepare a nourishing dinner whenever the time is right. These can be frozen up to 1 month in advance, thawed the night before in the refrigerator and baked according to the directions below.
Makes 4 servings
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
8 ounces Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, grated & divided (about 2 cups)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
16 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
16 large dried pasta shells
1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
Fresh basil leaves (garnish)
1. Place ricotta and cream cheese in a bowl and mash together. Stir in 1 cup shredded cheese, egg, chopped basil and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg; set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. In large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, or barely tender. Drain well, making sure to empty shells of any remaining water; set aside to cool briefly.
4. Spread about 1/2 cup marinara sauce over bottom of large baking dish. Spoon ricotta mixture evenly into shells and arrange in dish. Pour remaining sauce over top; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes (removing foil during last 5 minutes).
5. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
Calories 396, Total Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 6g, Sodium 383mg, Carbohydrates 42g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 28g, Calcium 550mg
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and we make a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, and butter. Best known as makers of “The World’s Best Cheddar,” Cabot is owned by 1200 dairy farm families located throughout New England and upstate New York. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, visit http://www.cabotcheese.coop
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