Healthy Holiday Food Swaps

While Thanksgiving may be over and you may still be recovering, the holiday season is still upon us. So as you get ready for the festivities, remember that the age-old myth of eating for two could be detrimental as your pregnancy progresses. At the same time, satisfying your cravings is an innate need -- during the holidays and pregnancy. Because it’s all about balance, here are 6 holiday food swaps that will help you pack in all the nutrients you need as you and the bump are ringing in the new year.

  • Appetizer: While bacon wrapped dates are a fun party staple, why not try a crudité platter with a greek yogurt based dip as a starter? You can use 2% greek yogurt for the healthy fat and add some of your favorite spices and herbs. Check out FlavorGod’s collection of seasonings including a ranch based blend, a lemon and garlic and a BBQ flavor blend - made without preservatives and paleo friendly. With this dip platter, you’ll snag some fiber, antioxidants and protein.
  • Side: We get it, mashed potatoes are so, so good, but they are also rich and can leave you with some serious heartburn. So try to swap the potatoes with cauliflowers. Mashed cauliflowers aren't as caloric and have less carbohydrates. It's also packed with vitamin C, which can help boost immunity -- something you definitely need while you are busy growing baby.
  • Main Dish: Most traditional entrées include a meat variety (turkey, duck, Cornish hen, pork), which is always an excellent source of protein. But opting for a vegetarian and lower-carb entrée is a good way to get fiber, vitamins, minerals without spiking your blood sugar. Our suggestion? Zucchini lasagna! It's festive and delicious. For the sauce, you could either make it with ground meat or keep it simple with a marinara.
  • Dessert: While noshing on cookies, cupcakes, or cake seems satisfying in the moment, the post-prandial sugar rush could leave you feeling extremely tired and even lethargic. Instead of a full-fat, high-sugar dessert, opt for black bean brownies, a flourless and protein-rich treat that will no doubt satisfy your sweet tooth without slowing you down.
  • Condiments: Most traditional chutney or relish recipes -- either store bought or homemade -- can very rich and sugary. Though you may not usually care, you are pregnant, so now is the time for healthy substitution. A fresh fig chutney is a tasty and nutritious option because of the fiber and potassium. If you’re feeling constipated during pregnancy, help yourself to a spoonful (or two!) of this chutney.
  • Drink: Instead of apple cider (or any cider for that matter), stick to a simple homemade infused flavored water recipe. Choose either sparkling or still water and zest it up with cucumber, mint, or fresh fruit such as berries or orange slices.

Photography by Lauren Crew for Well Rounded.

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


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My belly has been through some things.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yep, severe debilitating pregnancy-related vomiting), the pregnancies of each of my four kids, the 65 pounds of weight gain I have endured with each pregnancy, stretch marks, Occupational Therapy for pregnancy pelvic pain, unmedicated childbirth, and of course, postpartum recovery.

It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

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