OH! Magazine - Australian Version January 2016 - Page 18

BANANAS: NATURE’S IDEAL ENERGY SNACK FOR MUMS & TODDLERS Accredited Practising Dietitian Glenn Cardwell explains the many benefits of bananas for toddlers and mums alike. rom the moment you realise you are going to be a mum, until the time your child is getting dressed all by him or herself, Australian bananas are an ideal addition to both your diets. F Pregnant and new mums Pregnancy is the time to pamper your body and understand the impact of your eating – especially since you are dining for two. One way to give your diet a pinch of powerful production is to add nature’s non-stop energy snack, bananas. Bananas are excellent when you are expecting because they not only contain essential nutrients for the healthy growth of your bundle of joy, but they are also good for managing morning sickness and constipation that sometimes come with having a baby on board. 1. Relieving your heaving: Thankfully, morning sickness usually only lasts the first trimester but that doesn’t make it fun. Eating dry crackers, toast or a piece of fruit like a banana in the morning before you get out of bed, and having small snacks frequently through the day can help as it keeps the stomach from being empty, which can make you feel unwell. Avoiding spicy and fatty foods can sometimes help ease nausea as well. 2. Reduce constipation: As the muscles in the intestine lose some of their tone during pregnancy, foods pass more slowly through the gut. The pressure of the baby on the mother’s intestines can also slow down the passage of food and waste, resulting in constipation. The solution is copious amounts of fibre, which bananas provide aplenty, fluids and physical activity. Although the banana is an obvious choice to boost your fibre intake, 18 JANUARY 2016 ( OH! MAGAZINE ) other fruits, wholegrain breads and cereals and legumes are good options. 3. Energy to burn: Bananas are an excellent source of carbohydrate energy in the form of natural sugars and starch. It’s no wonder they call it nature’s non-stop energy snack. 4. Protect against spinal cord defects: Folate is vital in the development of a baby’s spinal cord in the womb. It is so critical that the vitamin is recommended to women considering pregnancy. An overwhelming body of evidence has linked folate deficiency in early pregnancy to increased risk of neural tube defects, most commonly known as spina bifida, in infants. One banana will provide about 10 per cent of your folate needs each day. 5. Form strong gums: Extra Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is required for forming new blood vessels, skin, gums, and other tissues, and even bones. One or two bananas each day will provide valuable vitamin C, as will other fruit, fruit juice and salad vegetables. 6. Absorb your iron: In order for a healthy amount of oxygen to reach your baby via the placenta, your body (and your blood) needs about 50 per cent more iron than usual. Although a ban [