When it comes to your pregnancy, what you put into your body is one of the most important factors for having a healthy baby. The Environmental Working Group has spent more than 20 years researching healthy food options for you and your family. We’ve collected these important tips to share with you during Pregnancy Awareness Month.
EAT FRESH: First off, when it comes to produce, you really can’t have too much! Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and buy organic when you can to reduce your pesticide consumption. You can download the Dirty Dozen list of high-pesticide fruits and vegetables at EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
LESS MEAT: Look for meatless protein-rich foods to reduce exposures to pollutants that build up in animal fat. When you do eat meat and dairy, choose brands without added antibiotics and growth hormones. EWG’s Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change & Health is a great resource for learning about how consumption affects the environment, too.
BAN CANS: Choose fresh food over canned, packaged and processed food to avoid bisphenol A, a synthetic estrogen, and other artificial additives and package coatings that can leach into food. When you do choose preserved food, look for BPA-free cans or food packaged in glass jars. EWG’s Guide to BPA can help you avoid this toxic chemicals when you’re planning for how to feed your baby later in life.
FISH SMART: Mercury is a neurotoxin that can damage your baby’s developing brain and nervous system. To avoid it, choose low-mercury fish such as wild-caught salmon, tilapia and pollock, rather than higher-mercury tuna and swordfish. Our rule of thumb? The bigger the fish, higher it is on the food chain and the more likely it is to be higher in mercury.
SALT SAVVY: Cook with iodized salt, which counteracts perchlorate and other toxic chemicals that can disrupt the thyroid growth hormones that are critical to your baby’s development.
PRESERVATION: Finally, when it comes to leftovers, try to store food in glass or dishware, rather than plastic, and avoid microwaving food in plastic altogether. Especially when heated, toxic chemicals in plastic can migrate into food. Find out how to tell what type of plastic you’re using—and which are more toxic than others—at EWG’s Guide to Plastics.
*Thank you again to Ingrid Franz Moriarty for the AMAZING photo!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Rachel Sarnoff, EWG, mommy greenest, and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Pregnancy Awareness Month (PAM) or any employee thereof. PAM is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Rachel Sarnoff, mommy greenest, or EWG. Consult with your own medical provider regarding your individual health questions or concerns.