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"Pregnancy Nutrition Makeover" Program

According to the latest research from Monell Chemical Senses Center mothers can influence a baby's palate and food memories before it is born.

It is known that within the womb the baby is surrounded and nourished on the amniotic fluid, which is filled with the flavors of what the mother has eaten.

The study finds that what a woman eats during her pregnancy shapes the baby's food preferences later in life.


Maternal & Child Health, Family and Community Support

Pregnancy Nutrition Makeover is a prenatal health program designed for pregnant women and women in their childbearing years. This program utilizes a customized educational approach that focuses on helping women change their personal dietary habits to ensure a healthy pregnancy, their own health and the health of born children. Because a strong body of research indicates that the best diet for preventing illnesses is a whole food diet and a predominantly plant-based diet this evidence-based nutritional education program introduces women to the nutritious world of vegetables. Vegetable intake of pregnant women can determine their children’s health risk.

The goal of Pregnancy Nutrition Makeover is to promote and educate communities about the health benefits of vegetables and train pregnant women and women in their childbearing years to consume vegetable on a daily basis. We offer a variety of tools to help them deal with their possible aversions to the taste of veggies and teach them how to incorporate vegetable education into their daily diets. Our program is based on psychological methods utilizing “preference by association” and “operant conditioning.” By introducing simple methods of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and emotional freedom technique (EFT) to women in their childbearing years, we are able to influence emotional and cognitive components of attitudes. In other words, we can “train” them to taste, accept and enjoy vegetables and other healthy food on everyday basis. This program is based on the latest research of medical science and the key principles in psychoneuroimmunology (mind-body medicine.)



Participants will:

  • Understand that food preferences in children begin very early in life, even before birth.

  • Identify healthy food and poor-nutrient food.

  • Understand that eating healthy food is important even for a fetus.

  • Distinguish the difference between “wants” and “needs.”

  • Be alerted that nutritional deficiencies cause a risk of obstetric complications and delivering low birth weight babies.

  • Understand why birth spacing of three years or longer is very important for women in their childbearing years.

  • Describe a diet suitable for preventing cancer, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses.

  • Understand that exposure to junk food in the womb and through breast milk develops child’s brain reward pathways similar to addiction.

  • Be aware of scientific facts in connection to maternal diet and diabetes risk.

  • Be aware that maternal overweight and obesity will increase the risk of perinatal mortality, premature delivery, major birth defects, and maternal obstetric complications, including hypertension and gestational diabetes.

  • Understand that a diet rich in vegetables decreases their and their child’s risk of diabetes, cancer and other illnesses.

  • Be able to follow dietary advice that will help them overcome morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, and a diminished appetite.

  • Learn the key vitamins and other healthy nutrients supplied by food that are important for health of pregnant women and their babies.

  • Develop a willingness to change unhealthy dietary habits and practice healthy ones.

  • Identify and adopt a “Golden Rule of a Habit Change.”

  • Choose healthy food preferences.

  • Accept vegetables in their daily diet.

  • Motivate their families to take small steps to improve maternal health through nutritious food choices.

  • Be willing adjust diet and physical activity levels to achieve and maintain a desirable weight for their own health as well as for better birth outcomes.



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