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Thursday, 21 January 2010 19:52

Advice for pregnancy: What to eat and drink and what not to!

According to Foods Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), there are several very important things to remember about eating and drinking before and during pregnancy to make sure your baby is born healthy.

Foods Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is a bi-national Government agency.

Its main concern, according to its website, is “…to develop and administer the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code), which lists requirements for foods such as additives, food safety, labelling and GM foods.”

The FSANZ media release “Thinking about getting pregnant in 2010?–vital information launched today about what you eat and drink,” states that there are seven tips for safe eating and drinking before and during pregnancy.

The website states, “It’s an exciting time if you are thinking about having a baby. There are seven key things to remember when eating and drinking to make sure that you and your baby are healthy. Some of these things take a bit of planning and so it is best to start before you become pregnant. If you think you might be pregnant - don’t worry - start following this advice as soon as you can.”

Dr. Paul Brent, FSANZ’s chief scientist, states, “Women can often rely on female friends and relatives for advice when they become pregnant but much of this current advice from FSANZ is based on the latest science that may not have been around even a few decades ago.”

Dr. Brent continues, “If you think you might be pregnant - don’t worry - start following this advice as soon as you can. If you are thinking about having a baby it’s a good idea to visit your doctor and discuss what you may need to do to prepare.”

The seven tips, brought to you by FSANZ, for safe eating and drinking before and during pregnancy are found on page two.

The seven tips from FSANZ are:

1. HEALTHY DIET: “Eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, cereals including bread, rice, pasta and noodles (preferably wholegrain); lean meat, poultry and fish; low or reduced fat milk, yoghurts and cheeses; and plenty of water.”

2. FOLIC ACID: “Ensure you get enough folic acid – in addition to eating foods with added folic acid (such as bread) and naturally rich in folate, health professionals recommend taking a supplement of at least 400 micrograms every day one month before and three months after conception to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida”

3. IODINE: “Ensure you get enough iodine – in addition to eating foods with added iodine (such as bread) and naturally rich in iodine, health professionals recommend taking iodine supplements every day during pregnancy and breastfeeding because mild to moderate iodine deficiency can result in learning difficulties and affect your baby’s development of motor skills and hearing.”

4. FISH: “Eat two to three serves of fish a week but avoid those fish with high levels of naturally occurring mercury: shark, broadbill, marlin, swordfish and orange roughy.

AVOID LISTERIA: “Avoid foods that could contain listeria such as soft and semi soft cheeses like brie, camembert, ricotta, blue, feta; soft serve ice cream; unpasteurised dairy products; paté; chilled seafood; salads and fruit/vegetable that are prepared, pre-packaged or served from smorgasbords or salad bars and cold cooked meats from sandwich bars, and packaged ready-to-eat meats.”

6. AVOID ALCOHOL: “Don’t drink alcohol during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.”

7. LIMIT CAFFEINE: “Limit your caffeine intake to four cups of tea, or three cups of instant coffee, or four cola drinks or one espresso coffee a day.”

An informational website by the FSANZ is called “Advice for women with babies on their minds or in their arms.” Please go there for more detailed advice on pregnancy and a healthy baby.
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