Why healthy eating for pregnancy is simply child’s play
26th January 2019
Adam Shaw wants new parents-to-be to get inspired about nutritional meals to help both mother and baby during - and after - pregnancy. Here he reveals the motivation behind starting his blog At Dad’s Table and why it’s important to pass on a passion for healthy eating to our children
I trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in 2016 and have always loved cooking exciting and original food for friends and family. I have over 10 years’ experience in the conference and events industry and currently manage a team spread across the US and Europe. When my wife became pregnant in 2017 I couldn’t wait to start researching all of the different dishes I could make that were good for both her and our unborn child. I also thought that this could be a good way to stay involved with my wife’s pregnancy.
So I started looking into professional advice on eating well during pregnancy but unfortunately, I found that the vast majority of information focused on what you can’t have. All the advice mentioned how you mustn’t touch blue cheese or runny eggs (the eggs part was hysterically overruled in the last week of my wife’s pregnancy) but failed to give any guidance on how best to combine important food groups so that both mother and child felt healthy and good about themselves. Sitting in Tunbridge Wells in the middle of winter I was unsure why my wife was warned about the dangers of eating swordfish and marlin but given no positive help on how to best consume food that not only was perfectly safe to eat but nutritionally contained all the right things. I therefore started to create my own recipes to eat during pregnancy and this is how my blog At Dad’s Table was first created.
‘Different foods for different trimesters’
My wife’s pregnancy followed the seasons, with her first trimester over winter, second over spring and third over a long hot summer. I hadn’t realised just how much her tastes would change throughout the three different trimesters as her body changed growing a life.
For those first few weeks my smoothie-downing and veggie embracing wife craved only beige food, full of as many carbs as possible. My challenge therefore was to try and hide vegetables in and amongst carbs so I made a lot of soups, omelettes, pesto dishes and stir frys. All of this changed in her second trimester, also known as the honeymoon trimester as her appetite returned and we enjoyed lots of fresh fish, pulses and colourful salads. Finally, as her due date approached she (and I) needed more high-energy food so I focused more on wholegrain carbs and protein rich foods.
‘Getting the word out about eating well in pregnancy’
I started posting pictures of our pregnancy-friendly meals on Instagram and on my website and I’m over the moon about how it seems to be helping people to enjoy eating well throughout pregnancy and beyond. I have always been clear from the start that I have no specific nutritional training and people have responded really positively. I receive a lot of messages from those in the same situation as we were in and now have a following on social media of over 19,000. I really do think the way that we think and talk about food during pregnancy needs to change.
To find out more about Adam Shaw and At Dad’s Table visit his website www.atdadstable.com or follow him on Instagram @at_dads_table