What Every Expecting Mom Should Know About DHA

Good Pregnancy Eats 

Have you ever heard of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA for short? Many moms have not heard of DHA or are unsure about what this nutrient really is. Keep reading to learn what DHA is exactly and how it can help both you and baby.

 

What is DHA and why is it important?DHA helps baby's brain and eyes to develop

DHA is part of a healthy group of fats called omega-3 fatty acids. Individuals of all ages need DHA because it is an important nutrient for the brain and eyes. DHA also has many benefits during pregnancy.

Lower risk of preterm birth, increased gestational length, and increased birth weight are only a few of these benefits. DHA also supports healthy development of baby’s nervous system and eyes. In the third trimester the fetus has the greatest needs for DHA to help with healthy brain develop.

For these reasons, a mother’s needs for DHA increase during pregnancy. Many pregnant women consume only 50mg of DHA per day, compared to the recommended 300mg per day. The body is able to synthesize small amounts of DHA from other omega 3 fatty acids. However, this amount is not large enough to meet the needs of the growing fetus. That is why you should get enough DHA from foods on a regular basis throughout your pregnancy.

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How to Get Your Holiday Cooking Done Faster

Good Pregnancy Eats

 

Oh my goodness – The office holiday party is in two days and I totally forgot to make that scrumptuous dish I promised my colleagues!

Sound familiar? Between the hustle and bustle of the holidays, gift shopping, and work it’s a challenge to cook anything at all. That’s why I want to help you get your holiday cooking done faster. Whether you’re planning a big feast or contributing a delicious dish to a holiday party, no worries! A little preparation can go a long way to save you time in the kitchen. Keep reading to avoid frustration, messes, and accidents with these 3 quick tips.

 

Christmas photo

pixabay

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How to Make Your Own Get-Well-Soon Kit

Good Pregnancy Eats

As temperatures are getting colder outside prepare yourself for the flu season by making your very own Get-Well-Soon Kit. This kit includes essentials to help you recover quickly if you happen to catch a cold or even the flu.

Prepare this kit for you and your family now because unlike your scheduled meetings at work the flu shows up unannounced. Put everything in an easy-to-reach drawer or box. If you happen to get sick you’ll be prepared no matter the timing.

 

Here’s what to include in your Get-Well-Soon Kit

  • Doctor’s phone number
  • Soft cozy blanket
  • Plush socks
  • Warm scarf & hat
  • Facial Tissues with lotion (your nose will thank you)
  • Thermometer & slip covers
  • Soft, warm sweater & comfortable long pajama pants
  • Electric heating pad (get one of these whether or not you’re sick. It’s very soothing for all types of aches & discomforts, especially for muscle cramps, back pain, and sore feet)
  • Honey (to dissolve in a glass of warm milk or hot apple cider)
  • Caffeine-free pregnancy tea or apple cider

Check with your doctor about the following items during pregnancy:

  • Cough drops
  • Mucinex or decongestant
  • Ibuprofen, Tylenol & Aspirin
  • Nasal spray & throat spray
  • Beverages with electrolytes
  • Vitamin C tablets
  • Vick’s Vaposteam & Vaporub

 

Want to avoid getting sick in the first place?

Wear a scarf when it’s cold & windy outside, and a hat that covers your ears and forehead.

You might be thinking, “Do I really have to wear a hat and scarf? I’m only walking 3 blocks and it’s not that cold outside.”

Your immune system is compromised during pregnancy, which makes your body more sensitive to germs. Taking care of yourself even in small ways, like keeping warm when it’s cold outside, can make a big difference.

 

Which of these items do you still have to get? Do you have get-well-soon remedies of your own you want to include in your kit? Tell me in the comments below!

 

 

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Photo credits:
Balloon via Microsoft
Woman with hat & scarf: warm/pixabay
8 Reasons for Me Time

8 Reasons for Me Time

Good Pregnancy Eats

nail paintingLife gets busy. Sometimes a jam-packed schedule makes it difficult to take a break. You’ve probably heard these popular excuses before: “I don’t have time to take a break” or “I have to finish [insert seemingly important project here]”. If this sounds like you, you’re in luck.

Here’s a list of reasons why Me Time is so important. If you need a break but don’t know how to justify it to yourself or others, pick a reason and go with it. Me Time is supposed to let you catch a break and re-energize, whether it’s 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours. Find what works best for you and know you have good reason to take a break!

Don’t know how to schedule Me Time? Click right here.

Make sure to read this list all the way to the end. All of these reasons are important, but the last one will surprise you.

Here’s why Me Time is so important

  • It’s relaxing
  • Life has so many wonderful moments. Give yourself a break and enjoy them.
  • Me Time lowers your stress level
  • You’ve heard the phrase “recharge your batteries”. It’s true and everyone needs to do it. So go ahead and get some rest.

 

 

  • Pregnant Woman + childMe Time helps balance your schedule
  • You’ll be happier. Do you know that satisfying feeling when you get to do whatever you want to do for a few hours, or even a whole day?
  • Me Time improves your health
  • If mama’s happy, everyone is happy. That’s because when you are relaxed your positive attitude rubs off on the people around you, especially your kids. Try this out yourself and see if they or your loved ones notice the difference.

 

Now it’s your turn. Make plans for me time this weekend and enjoy it! What are your reasons for Me Time? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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3 tips to taking better pictures of your children at home

3 tips to taking better pictures of your children at home

by Jennifer Ann Saunders

This is a special guest feature by Jennifer Ann Saunders. As a professional photographer specializing in family photography, Jennifer Ann is excited to share her tips for taking better pictures of your children. 

Jennifer Ann is a professional photographer. See her work at 222.jenniferannphotographs.comIntroducing Jennifer Ann Saunders

Hello! My name is Jennifer Ann and I am a wife, mother to two beautiful little girls and a photographer! My main loves in life are my love for my Savior, Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father, my love for my amazing family, my love for photography and pizza! I’ve always been obsessed with pizza.

I specialize in family and real estate photography but my favorite thing to photograph is small children. I absolutely love their innocence and joy they always seem to have!My mission as a photographer is to make my clients’ lives more joyful through photos and eventually use my skills to teach more people how to capture better photos for themselves.

 

When’s the last time you took a picture of your child at home? How did it turn out? Was the picture too dark? Was it lacking some “pop” to the picture? I have plenty of pictures that have not turned out like I’ve wanted. Some of them are too blurry, some of them are dark and some of them aren’t that interesting. I’ve learned a few things since those terrible photo days and I want to share them with you! Here are 3 tips to help you get better pictures of your children at home.

 

Use of the home’s front entrance creates soft, even light with a contrast background. 1. Use your Entryway

One of the best places in your home to take photos of your children is in your front entryway. Place your child(ren) in the entryway with the door open. Most homes have a cover over the front door. This creates shade that you can use to control some of the light from the sun.

Even though the child will be in the shade, the sky acts as a large reflector and will reflect light nice and evenly onto the subject and will create those beautiful catch lights that make the eyes pop! With the door open, the room behind the subject is most likely a dark room which will make a nice dark background to really make the subject stand out.

 

2. Use Window LightWindow light creates natural and even light across the subject’s face.

When you’re taking photos, remember to ALWAYS choose good light over your background. If your subject is in a beautiful location but the light isn’t great, you won’t have a good photo. Having good light is key when you’re taking photos. While taking photos of people in a home, remember to choose window light over house lights.

House lights can cause unattractive shadows and yellow hues on the subject. Using light that pours in from the windows allows for more even light on the subject, it doesn’t create those harsh shadows and the color of the image will look natural. Also keep in mind that the closer your child is to the window the softer the light will be. Keep your child close and a little behind the frame of the window to reflect the best light. Facing your subject towards the window will also help light the entire face. Just remember that the further away the subject is from the window, the harsher the shadows will be.

 

Taking photos from your subject’s level will create a more flattering and interesting look.3. Shoot Photos at Their Level

Children move a lot. I have two little girls, one is 4 and one is 2, and they hardly sit for anything. They are constantly running around the house, climbing on furniture and playing with their toys.

 

Taking photos of them can be a challenge, especially when they don’t want to sit still, but when you get the chance to take their photo, remember to try and get on their level. If your child is playing with some books on the floor, lay on your stomach and take a picture.

Getting down on your child’s level to take a photo will create a much more interesting photo, than if you had taken the photo from your level, looking down. Get in the moment with them. One thing that you could do is to play with them. Help them build a tower or race cars around the track and when the opportunity comes, take a picture. You’ll already be down at their level, which will allow you to snap a few photos in their element and that will help capture the best story of your child.

 

Like what you see?

You can learn more about Jennifer Ann and see samples of her work on her website www.jenniferannphotographs.com

To receive 20% off a family photo session email jenniferannphotographs@gmail.com and include the code mamametime in the subject line. Please know the client is required to pay any travel expenses that may be necessary outside of a 25-mile radius from zip code 84058.

 

 

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Pregnancy Quiz: Do You Know How to Eat Well for Baby at a Summer Picnic?

Good Pregnancy Eats

Do you know how to eat well for baby at a picnic?Summer is a wonderful time for a picnic, whether you’re celebrating a birthday, attending a wedding, or enjoying a Saturday afternoon outdoors.

Did you know bacteria can grow in the summer heat? Test your summer food safety knowledge with these 3 questions.

At a picnic, do you keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot?

Bacteria love to grow between 40-140°F (4-60°C). This is called the temperature danger zone. When temperature-sensitive foods are within this range, like on a hot summer day, bacteria start to grow and multiply within the food. Foods that are particularly affected are meats, dairy products, eggs, fish, and poultry.

When it comes to a picnic, it’s important to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Get yourself a plate when the food is first served. Avoid foods that have been sitting out in the sun for more than 2 hours. 

At a picnic, keep cold foods, like potato salad, cold. Do you like to eat potato salad, chicken salad or egg salad?

Be careful with these. They are supposed to be served cold (less than 40°F/4°C) but are often left sitting out in the summer heat for hours. This means they warm up to the temperature danger zone where bacteria start to grow. The best thing is to get a serving right at the beginning when the salad is still cold. Definitely avoid it if it has remained un-chilled for 2 hours or more.  

Cook hot dogs and hamburgers to steaming hot. Do you love to eat hot dogs or enjoy a hamburger off the grill?

If your answer is yes, remember:

Hot dogs are known for possible contamination of a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes.  During pregnancy, do not eat hot dogs cold out of the package. Always cook them until they are steaming hot.

Similarly, hamburgers are at risk for contamination of E. coli. They must be fully cooked and steaming hot.

Be sure to eat meats when they are coming right off the grill. Avoid hot dogs or hamburgers that have been sitting out in the summer heat.

 

While it may sound overwhelming, these food safety tips keep mom and baby healthy. It’s definitely worth waiting those extra 3 minutes for the hot dog to cook or taking an extra picnic cooler filled with ice to keep the potato salad cold.

Which tip was the most helpful to you? Do you have tricks of your own to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot at your picnic outings? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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Sources:
Duyff, Roberta Larson. American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012. Print.

 

 

How Nasty is Your Kitchen Sponge?

Good Pregnancy Eats

 

Bacteria love to grow in moist and warm places, like your kitchen sponge. This is the sponge with which you clean your dishes or even your sink and countertops.

Kitchen sponges can accumulate bacteria

When you’re pregnant you hear a lot about making safe food choices to avoid foodborne illnesses. What about the bacteria growing in your kitchen sponge? Often kitchen sponges are used far beyond their intended lifetime. They can accumulate bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, and even spread these to new surfaces as you clean your kitchen.

How nasty is your kitchen sponge? Take this short quiz to find out.

How nasty is your kitchen sponge? Take the quiz to find out. Quiz – “How Nasty is Your Kitchen Sponge?”  

  1. Does your kitchen sponge have a questionable odor?
  2. Do you let your kitchen sponge sit out to air dry without disinfecting it first?
  3. Does your kitchen sponge contain food scraps and unidentifiable stains?
  4. Has your kitchen sponge changed its color since you first started using it?
  5. Does your kitchen sponge sit in a pool of warm, stale dish water to dry after use?
  6. Do you store your kitchen sponge in the cabinet under your sink while it’s still wet, after use?

How you scored

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions then it’s probably time to throw away your kitchen sponge, and start over with a new one.

How to Clean Your Kitchen Sponge

Start with a clean sponge and use these tips to minimize bacterial growth.

– Disinfect your sponge after cleaning

  • Microwave the moist sponge for 1 minute OR
  • Place it in the dishwasher with a drying cycle OR
  • Soak the sponge in a bleach solution for 1 minute by mixing ¼ to ½ teaspoon concentrated bleach in a quart (950ml) of warm water. When you’re done disinfecting your sponge wring it out and let it air-dry in a dry spot on your counter. Avoid putting it under the sink where there is no air flow

– Always replace your sponge if it develops a bad odor

– Use paper towels instead of your kitchen sponge to clean up raw meat and eggs

 

I’d like to know: What tips do you have to keep your kitchen sponge clean? Leave me a comment below!

 

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Sources:
Marcason, Wendy, RDN. “Dos and Don’ts of Kitchen Sponge Safety.”Www.eatright.org. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 23 June 2015. Web.

 

3 Spring Cleaning Items You can Clean with Just a Sanitizing Wipe

Good Pregnancy Eats

Now that spring is really here, it’s time for spring cleaning. There are 3 things that are often overlooked. Given that you use these items on a regular basis, it’s important to wipe them down as you would with your electronic devices and doorknobs.

Be sure to give these 3 spots a quick wipe. All you need is a sanitizing towel!

 

1. Your Make-Up 

Mascara, eyelash curler, eye shadow cases, makeup brushes, eyebrow and eyeliner pencils, lipstick and lip gloss. These items are in frequent use and over time they can accumulate bacteria. Give them a wipe down with a sanitizing towel once a week.

If you’re feeling really ambitious you can also clean your nail polish set, hair brush, and hair styling tools (think blow dryer, curling iron, and flat iron).

 

2. Your Steering Wheel

The steering wheel of your car is one of those often-forgot-to-clean places.

Next time you’re stopped in a traffic jam wipe down the steering wheel with a sanitizing towel. While you’re at it you can wipe down the controls of the dashboard  and interior fixtures, like the buttons for the radio and air conditioner.

 

3. Your Credit Cards

Think about how often you use credit cards. They travel through other peoples’ hands, too, like when you pay at a restaurant, a spa, a hair salon, or hotel. It’s a good idea to clean these and other cards you frequently use,  like debit cards, library cards, membership cards, and insurance cards.

Do you have forgotten items of your own that you could add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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How to Accomplish “Some Day” Projects

Good Pregnancy Eats

 

“Some Day” projects. This is a phrase I use to describe a special task or project that people commit to and would like to accomplish some day in the future. Whether big or small, we all come across these projects. Here are a couple of examples.

Remodeling your kitchen is a big projectBig projects like…

  • Organizing your closet, desk, or bathroom
  • Repainting the kitchen
  • Remodeling your bathroom
  • Painting baby’s nursery
  • Taking a special fitness class
  • Learning a new hobby

Small projects like…

  • Organizing your receipts
  • Cleaning out your purse
  • Planning some me time this week
  • Cleaning out your car
  • Organizing a messy cabinet in your kitchen
  • Cleaning the refrigerator

They can be professional or career-building, too…

  • Sending in an application
  • Taking a professional class or seminar
  • Following up with that person you met at the last conference
  • Contacting an industry expert or mentor

By now, you may be thinking of “some day” projects of your own. Don’t feel guilty that you haven’t accomplished what you’ve been meaning to do. Right now is your chance to follow through.

How to achieve your “some day” projects

If you have several things you’ve been meaning to accomplish, pick one that feels manageable. Go ahead, and choose one project right now.

If your task is small, skip to the next step, “Pick a Day”.

If you selected a large project that entails more than one task, make a specific list of everything that needs to happen in order to achieve your goal.

For example, if you’re remodeling your kitchen you might want to:

  • Clear out cabinets
  • Decide on a paint color and hire painters
  • Select and order new cabinets
  • Call a plumber

Use your calendar to schedule your "some day" project, and turn it into "I'm done with this" project. Pick a Day 

Open up your calendar and look for an open time slot where you can schedule your project or specific steps. Be realistic here!  For big projects it’s ok to give yourself some additional time.

 

It’s always better to have extra time, than to run out of time near the finish line.

Be exact

Estimate how long it will take you to complete this task (or tasks). Put down the exact time you would like to do this task (or tasks) and the location, if applicable.

Here are a few examples:

1:15-1:30pm at office computer: send thank you email to guest speaker from previous conference

Or

Saturday 3:30pm go to paint store to pick a paint color for kitchen cabinets

Or

6-6:30pm iron and fold laundry

Be prepared by notifying project collaborators in advance. Be Prepared

Gather all supplies and support necessary for your project. If you need specific help, reach out to the appropriate people and recruit their help. If necessary, reach out to them early enough so they can plan accordingly.

For example: Tuesday 12:30pm call painters to paint the kitchen next Saturday 

 

Now it’s your turn. Choose a project, get your calendar, and turn your “some day” project into “I’m done with this” project!

Pro Tip: If you pick a big project, be sure to keep an eye on your timeline. Schedule each step realistically and check in on your progress often. Unanticipated scenarios may occur. That’s ok! Re-schedule tasks as needed. 

I’d like to know, what “some day” project are you going to accomplish? Leave me a comment below!

 

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