One of the best things you can do for your baby and yourself is eating a healthy diet during pregnancy. After all, the food you eat is your baby’s major source of nutrition. You have to make smart choices regarding pregnancy nutrition as this will help you in promoting your baby’s development and growth.
Grains provide necessary carbohydrates and they are the main source of energy for your body. Many enriched and whole-grain products also contain B vitamins, fiber, iron, and various minerals. Cereal and fortified bread can help you get enough folic acid.
To optimize pregnancy nutrition, you need to trade white bread and sugary cereals for whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereals, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice. Try the salads, wild rice casseroles or stews.
Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are critical components of pregnancy nutrition as they provide various minerals and vitamins, as well as fiber to help digestion. Dark green vegetables have folate, Vitamin A and iron. Vitamin C, found in many vegetables and fruits, aids you absorb iron. If you’re tired of green beans, apples and oranges branch out. Try spinach, apricots, winter squash, mangoes, sweet potatoes or pineapple.
Beans, Meat, Eggs, Poultry and Fish
Foods in this group have plenty of iron, as well as protein and B vitamins. Protein is essential for your baby’s growth, specifically during the third and second trimesters.
- What to eat: Try peanut butter with whole-wheat toast for breakfast. Eat an omelet or a scrambled egg for lunch. Add black beans or chickpeas to your salad. Serve a salmon fillet for dinner.
The calcium-fortified soy milk and calcium in dairy products helps build your baby’s teeth and bones. Dairy products also have protein and Vitamin D.
What to drink or eat:
- You can add low-fat cheese to the salad.
- For your afternoon snack, eat yogurt.
- Have a glass of skim milk with dinner
- Drink the milk in your cereal bowl.
In case you feel trouble in digesting dairy products, then you can also try calcium-fortified sardines or orange juice. Experiment with lactose-free or lactose-reduced products.
Water is crucial as it carries nutrients from the food you eat to your baby. Moreover, it can also help in preventing urinary bladder or tract infections, constipation, excessive swelling and hemorrhoids. As your pregnancy progresses, you need to drink plenty of water as drinking too little water can contribute to early or premature labor.