Frances Largeman-Roth is Senior Food and Nutrition Editor at Health Magazine and author of Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide. In it, she provides pregnant women with a great eating guide and recipe resource for a healthy nine months - a must-have for anyone who is expecting.
When she’s not promoting her book, educating readers of Health Magazine on good nutrition, or appearing on national TV to spread her expertise on healthy living, Frances enjoys spending time at home with her husband and toddler daughter, Willa.
And even though she promotes the best in nutrition for good health, it’s nice to know she enjoys regular ice cream - guilt-free!
Your book, Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom’s Healthy Eating Guide, provides expectant moms with tips and recipes for a healthful and nutritious pregnancy. Did being pregnant yourself while writing the book factor into the kinds of recipes you included, based on your own cravings and dietary desires?
Definitely! My cravings were mostly for savory items like my Broccoli Mac and Cheese. But I also craved black & white cookies—a New York institution—and those are really impossible to make healthy.
What are the most important things pregnant women should keep in mind when it comes to nutrition during their pregnancies?
I think most women know about folic acid and how essential it is for a baby’s neural tube development, but DHA is also critical. It’s found mainly in fatty cold-water fish like salmon and herring. Unfortunately, many women are still under the impression that they should avoid all seafood during pregnancy. It’s just not true! Of course, you need to avoid the four big baddies: swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel and shark, which contain high levels of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, which are highly toxic industrial compounds. But low mercury, low PCB fish like wild salmon and tilapia are incredibly healthy and again, those DHA fatty acids are vital for baby’s brain and eye development. Also, low levels of DHA have been linked to postpartum depression, which affects 10-15 percent of moms. If you’re pregnant, aim for 200mg of DHA a day. Many prenatal vitamins are now fortified with it.