From the time the pregnancy test came back positive, although excited, already i felt the huge sense of responsibility ahead of me.
When it came to food, although quite careful with my food choices already, the thought that everything i consumed would be consumed by my baby to help he or she grow and develop was alone huge and still quite surreal to me. But for it to potentially shape the health of my child for the rest of their life? WT?
Recent research has found that women that eat junk food when pregnant are more likely to have babies that are obese in adulthood and are born to crave sugary and fatty foods. The study published in the FASEB journal, discovered that the opioid pathways (a psychoactive chemical that resembles morphine ‘a feel good sensation’) in these babies brains were being changed by such foods. The opioid receptors (found in the central and peripheral nervous system and GI tract) are less sensitive and therefore these children need to consume large amounts of these foods to obtain the same ‘feel good’ sensation that we might get from a small quantity.
Wow!!! This surely puts a new spin on the old saying “You are what you eat!”, perhaps it should be “You are what your mother eats!
This study reflects the importance we MUST put on our roles as parents and role models and this starts from when we make the decision to bring a new life into this world. But it also demonstrates that society needs to be constantly educated. Awareness that we don’t need to ‘eat for two’, foods that must be avoided, those considered ideal for growth and development and general health and well-being. Education is key!!!
If i have learnt anything over these past 13 months, it is that children are like sponges, you are the centre of their world, they look up to you, they want to be like you! I watch my daughter pick up my iphone and put it up to her ear and start nattering away, just like Muma! So when it was time for my daughter to eat real food i wanted to ensure that when she would eventually communicate to me she was hungry, it was for food i had taught her was full of the good stuff! And you will rarely see me eat something i wouldn’t let her eat, that’s just what i believe a good role model should do.
A recent Scotland study explored the eating habits of 2,220 five year olds and found that children eating the same foods as their parents (whether this be the same time or not) was key to these children’s health. Those children eating family meals were found to be having more fruit and vegetables and less salt/fat and calorie dense foods.
So from this what can we do?? Easy! When we make the decision to have children reflect on our current lifestyle choices , see if a change needs to be made and start emulating the life you want your children to follow – hopefully a healthy and nutritious one!