“LJ, wake up; the baby is coming now.” Annie leaped out of bed and raced to get dressed. Thirty minutes later, they were driving to the hospital. Their neighbors, Sam, and Rachel were having their first child.
LJ and Annie were the first to extend a welcome to them when they moved eight years ago to the Bay Area from New York having been recruited by tech companies. It was an exciting yet bittersweet time since the move took them away from family. Over the years, the couples became close, as the newbies adjusted to west coast living with its forward-thinking lifestyle compared to the east coast’s more traditional philosophy. After nearly a decade of building careers and traveling worldwide, they were ready to start a family. Rachel got pregnant almost immediately. She would half-jokingly say it happened because of the many nutrition lessons she learned from Annie and LJ.
Rachel’s labor and delivery went smoothly. She and Sam arrived at the hospital at 5:00 am, and baby Sammy arrived at 3:00 pm. Joyous does not begin to describe the feeling both couples shared. While the new mom planned to come home right after giving birth, her doctor encouraged her to stay over for pain management and meet with the lactation nurse.
Annie was sitting on the foot of Rachel’s bed holding Sammy, “He is so beautiful. Sweetheart, LJ, and I are here to help you through the next weeks as you recover. We also prepared several meals that are ready to go in your freezer.”
Rachel smiled, “You two are wonderful. I am tired but feel good. Can you help me adjust my diet to support breastfeeding? I read that it takes a lot of energy to produce breast milk, and I want to make sure I’m doing everything correctly.”
“You’re right Rachel, a nutrient-dense diet is vital for your health and baby Sammy’s development. Lucky for us March is national nutrition month, and there are tons of information on reputable websites, like healthyhealingeats.com; their premise – medicine is delivered out of the home beginning in the kitchen is in keeping with the food-as-medicine philosophy. Messaging is through a weekly blog and easy nutritious recipes.
Another resource is eatright.org, which has an innovative MyPlate app. It is designed to help achieve daily food goals, so steady and permanent changes are made for a healthy lifestyle. Their Your Plate quiz is a straightforward way to learn about developing good nutrition habits.
Eat Right Pro from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics an excellent online magazine chock full of recipes, food trends, and a list of recommended apps that help make informed nutrition decisions.
Recently I read a great article on Healthline, Top 10 Food and Nutrition Trends for 2021, that describes functional nutrition – foods that nourish physically and mentally. Healthline is a fantastic resource that provides nutrition articles based on scientific evidence and written by licensed dietitians. It also has a section of recommendations to help new parents. One is an article about Black-owned kids stores.
I also like the Society for Public Health Education, (sophe.org); they have great information about lowering health risks through food choices, managing weight, improving sleep, basically the why and how to eat to stay healthy.
Loaves and Fishes is an organization that provides healthy food tips and nutritious groceries to families in need every week. Their clients shop from a nutritionally balanced shopping list developed by a registered dietician, and they share that information on their website.
These organizations are known to have current information about the best foods to eat for optimal health and longevity. And, while we are focusing on you now, Sam’s nutrition is important too. The late-night early-morning feedings are going to throw off both your sleep schedules for a while, so eating the right foods is beneficial to your energy levels.”
The next day Sam and Rachel came home with Sammy. LJ went over with an edible bouquet. The tasty, lush arrangement included asparagus, red lettuce, broccoli, brussels sprouts on their long stems, cabbage, rosemary, kale, and rainbow carrots with their feathery fern-like tops. Sam accepted the gift, explaining Rachel and the baby were napping. “Wow, this is so cool, and from your garden too? Thanks, shallot!”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.