From turkey and trimmings to pumpkin pie, what are the best holidays foods to prepare at Thanksgiving if you are expecting?
Turkey is One of the Best Thanksgiving Foods for Pregnancy
The majority of Americans serve turkey in their Thanksgiving meal. So the great news is that turkey is also among the best Thanksgiving foods if you are pregnant. A 4 ounce serving of turkey has 65% of the daily requirements of protein with just 200 calories and only half of the saturated fat of red meat.
Turkey is also a good source of tryptophan, selenium, vitamin B3, vitamin B6 and phosphorus. Vitamin B6 is recommended to increase fertility and can reduce morning sickness. Research also shows that pregnant women who do not get enough selenium may increase their chances of pre-ecclampsia.
Green Beans a Healthy Thanksgiving Vegetable for Pregnancy
If you are looking for a traditional food for Thanksgiving that is great for pregnant moms, why not add green beans to the menu? Green beans (or string beans) are a good source of vitamins K, C and A as well as manganese. This vegetable is only about 43 calories in a 1 cup serving. With about 10% of the daily supply of folic acid, green beans are helpful for a healthy pregnancy. Green beans are also a good source of iron and fiber.
Even though one of the most common ways to serve green beans during Thanksgiving is the “green bean casserole” with cream of mushroom soup and dried onions, casseroles like this add extra fat and calories without much nutritional benefit.
Squash a Great Thanksgiving Food for Expectant Moms
It is typical find winter squash at the Thanksgiving table, but is it a good choice during pregnancy? Winter squashes include acorn and butternut and are in the same family as the cucumber and melon. They are hands-down one of the best sources of vitamin A with over 145% of the daily requirements for this vitamin in one serving. Winter squash also contains vitamin C, dietary fiber and potassium.
If you have never baked a squash, they are easy to include in your Thanksgiving dinner. Slice the squash in half, take out all of the pulp and seeds, wrap each half in foil and place them in a shallow pan. Bake the squash alongside the turkey for the last 60 minutes.
Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving
Mashed potatoes have gotten a bad rap over the years and many folks might not think they should not be on the list of best Thanksgiving foods list. However the real truth is that adding all of the whole milk, butter and gravy to the potatoes is what makes them not-so-healthy.
A plain baked potato is full of niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid as well as some potassium and manganese. If you want to enjoy potatoes with your Thanksgiving dinner, look for ways to reduce some of the fat from butter and gravy. Use skim milk for mashed potatoes and for extra flavor, boil the potatoes with 5-6 peeled garlic cloves.
Pumpkin Pie – Is it Healthy?
One of the all-time favorite Thanksgiving foods is pumpkin pie. However, is this traditional holiday dessert healthy during pregnancy or just empty calories that increase unnecessary pregnancy weight gain? Let’s break it down.
Pumpkin itself is considered to be a winter squash. So pumpkin pie would have some healthy nutrition including vitamin A, C, fiber and potassium. However, a slice of pumpkin pie is also loaded with sugar, about 12 grams of fat and between 200-450 calories! Perhaps a good rule of thumb would be to reduce some of the calories with just a small slice of pumpkin pie and skip the whipped cream.
If you are planning a Thanksgiving dinner menu during your pregnancy, here are some other recipes to help you: