Eating Out and About
Out of the comforts of your own kitchen, you may have to face dietary concerns that you probably have not even considered before. One of the most common worry every mum-to-be has is what food goes into her body. However, when you have to eat out, this is the time for you to let go a little.
EATING IN RESTAURANTS
What to consider?
- Before deciding on a restaurant, check their menu online to see if you have a wide variety to choose from.
- Let your waiter know you are pregnant – they might be able to suggest something suitable for you.
- If you find it difficult to eat large meals, order yourself a couple of starters.
- Ensure that the food served is fresh as stale food can lead to food poisoning.
- If you are prone to heartburn, avoid fatty and spicy food.
- Check the ingredients
- Most restaurants have plenty of options for pregnant women to choose from, but if you are uncertain about the dish – don’t hesitate to check with the waiter. If he is uncertain about the ingredients, request for him to double-check with the chef.
What to eat?
- Entree – Avoid eating raw stuff, such as sushi and oysters. Opt for cooked dishes instead, like prawns and sardines. Some foods may contain listeria, while pastries possibly have raw egg whites – so be sure to check first as these foods are best avoided.
- Buffets – Stay away from pre-prepared salad at the salad bar as they may contain listeria. Instead, have meat or fish that have been cooked thoroughly. If you feel like having steak – as much as you like it to be medium rare, request for a well done one. Again, check about the sauces as some sauces, such as hollandaise contain raw eggs.
- Desserts – Mousses and chilled chocolate desserts may contain raw eggs. Tiramisu often use raw egg white, while home-made ice creams may contain raw egg as well. Have yourself a caramel custard instead where the eggs are cooked.
- Drinks – Experts suggest there is no safe level of alcohol while you are expecting, so it is best to play it safe and avoid alcohol completely. Order yourself a fruit juice or a mocktail, and if you fancy a hot drink after dinner – get yourself a mint tea as it is a great digestive beverage.
- If you find it hard to finish a normal sized portion, order yourself two entrees or have them make your main course the size of an entree dish. If you can’t resist the temptation of desserts – have yourself an entree and a dessert. Yes, it would probably not be a balanced meal, but once in a blue moon will not cause any harm.
ON THE MOVE
What to consider?
Whether you are out for the day or off on a holiday – journeys can sometimes be the easiest way to slip into unhealthy eating habits. However, by planning ahead of time, you can assure yourself a healthy eating pattern.
- Don’t miss out on meals. Even short trips can take a toll on your energy levels, especially if you have to deal with the stress of rush-hour traffic or crowded public transport. So make time for a morning meal before you leave and carry a snack with you on your journey.
What to eat?
- Foods such as apples, dried fruits and nuts are easy to have on-the-go and will still be appetising when you decide to eat them. If you are going on a longer journey – stop by a store and buy yourself some sandwiches, fruit or a pack of organic munchies. If you want to take it up a notch, prepare you own meals for your journey.
- If you are stuck in a hot train, bus or plane – dehydration can be a problem. Always have water or a fruit juice with you and try to stay away from tea and coffee, which are diuretics and will make you feel worse. Alcohol is best completely avoided at all times.
GOING ON HOLIDAY
A little sunshine and relaxation on a holiday is a great idea, especially when you are expecting. Be sure to check with your doctor ahead of time if your trip requires flying.
Below are some tips for you to enjoy food while you are away from your homeland:
- Know what you are eating. If you’re in a country where most people don’t speak English and it is hard for you to check what ingredients are in a certain food – it is best to play it safe and not be too adventurous.
- Be careful of what you buy from stalls and markets. Avoid unwashed fruits, vegetables and meat snacks, which might only be semi-cooked.
- Even if you are having heavy dinners, make it a point to not miss breakfast and lunch. Your baby needs the energy supply and so do you. Sightseeing on an empty stomach will only wear you out.
- If you have a particular craving, take it with you. It would be a hassle to your partner if he has to wander around local shops looking for that food.
- Don’t get dehydrated. Be sure to drink at least six to eight cups of water a day. If you unsure about the water supply in that area, stick to drinking bottled mineral water.
- Don’t stop at the ice cream truck. Soft-serve ice cream is a high-risk food for listeria. Instead have pre-packaged ice cream.
EATING WITH FRIENDS
When going over to a friend’s place for dinner, as much as you don’t want to sound like a brat – do let them know that you are concerned about your pregnancy health and if your friend is considerate enough, she will surely understand.
- Raw egg dishes – Desserts, sauces or mayonnaise that contain raw eggs are not safe for you and your baby.
- Rare or uncooked meat – Raw meat is not safe. If you are offered steak, be sure to check that it is well done.
- Fish choices – most fish is good to eat during pregnancy, but avoid sushi or other raw fish dishes.
- Cheese – Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, ricotta, camembert, or brie.