1…2…3… You’re pregnant! Whether this was perfectly planned or an unexpected pregnancy this can be a happy time! There’s a little bundle of joy on the way and…. Wait. You realize you can no longer eat your food food! So much of pregnancy is focused on what you can’t do, wear and eat. Why not focus on the positives and find all the yummy concoctions you CAN eat and enjoy those crazy cravings!
Here are some pregnancy tips on food and nutrition…
What a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is her baby’s main source of nutrition. Experts recommend that mothers-to-be choose a variety of healthy foods and beverages to provide the important nutrients a baby needs for growth and development.
As soon as you learn of your pregnancy there are certain things you need. Pregnant women need more calcium, folic acid, iron and protein than a woman who is not expecting.
Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps the body make healthy new cells. Starting on prenatal vitamins in early pregnancy will ensure healthy growth of your baby.
Calcium is a mineral used to build a baby’s bones and teeth.
Pregnant women need double the daily iron than the average woman.
Protein tends to be the easiest for a pregnant woman to attain as long as you have a balanced diet. Protein can come from meat, poultry, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts, and tofu.
Now! How do we take all of these ingredients, and turn them into fun and exciting foods? Easy! Take the foods you love and add little things here and there to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients.
- Fruits and veggies are low in calories and filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Take some of your favorite fruits, throw ‘em in the blender with a spoonful of honey, blend until smooth, freeze for 30 minutes and you’ve got yourself sorbet!
- Good protein sources at every meal support the baby’s growth. Protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, eggs, beans, tofu, cheese, milk, nuts and seeds. Make yourself a cheese plate with hard boiled eggs, fry up an omelet in olive oil, with your favorite veggies and sprinkle with shredded cheese on top. Yum!
- Whole grains are an important source of energy and also provide fiber, iron and B-vitamins. At least half of your carbohydrate choices each day should come from whole grains. Try out some oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta or brown rice. And don’t forget the seasoning! Brown rice, grilled chicken and cayenne pepper make a satisfying meal with a punch!
- Foods, such as milk, yogurt and cheese are good dietary sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D. Plain yogurt can be enhanced by fruits, nuts, granola or anything else you can think of to spice up your morning!
Foods to limit
There are definitely foods to limit or avoid but we’ll just touch on them briefly.
Avoid consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine per day.
Fish is a good source of lean protein can contain omega-3 fatty acids that’s good for the heart. Pregnant women can eat 8 to 12 ounces of cooked fish and seafood a week. However, they should stay away from fish that have high levels of mercury.
Alcohol in the mother’s blood can pass directly to the baby through the umbilical cord. It’s never a good idea to use alcohol during pregnancy which can result in fetal alcohol syndrome. In addition, alcohol use during pregnancy has been linked with physical problems, as well as learning and behavioral difficulties in babies and children.
Rare, raw or undercooked meats and poultry, raw fish, sushi, sashimi, ceviche’ and carpaccio, shellfish, clams, mussels, oysters and scallops, soft-cooked, runny or poached eggs should be avoided.
Remember that each pregnancy is different.
You should always consult your doctor before trying new foods. But don’t forget to have fun with your pregnancy care and enjoy the next 9 months!