When I was pregnant I was incredible careful about what kind of food I put into my mouth. For whatever reason (as if taking care of myself wasn't enough), knowing that what I ate would nourish my baby (or not nourish, depending on my choices) had a huge impact on me.
A self-avowed carnivore, I began eating a lot more vegetables, taking ideas from my former vegan roommate and eating lots of legumes and greens. Lunchmeat had always been an easy midday meal for me, but the nitrates...not something I wanted to contribute to the growing babe. Finding new meals was difficult for me for two primary reasons: time and money. (And, also, I'm picky. Fine, I admit it.)
"Food" that isn't really food is cheap and tasty and already prepared. Think Pringles and fast food.
A couple of years ago, I discovered Michael Pollen's In Defense of Food and it immediately rang true. I love his tag line: "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much." That sums it up perfectly!
Now I'm working my way through his previous book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is equally convincing. Both books, however, are a bit academic. He doesn't shy away from the science which means they're not always a quick and easy read. They're provocative, though, and as parents I think we owe it to ourselves and our kids to at least consider what he has to say.
For a quick peek into his ideas, read Food Rules, a cheat-sheet of sorts to the other two books.
Happy reading and bon appétit!