Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your baby.
Above all, the food you eat is the main source of nutrition for your fetus.
Consider the below nutritional advice during pregnancy to boost fetal growth and development.
What To Include In Your Diet:
Grains provide the body with essential carbohydrates, which are the main source of energy.
The whole grains and grain foods and products contain fiber, iron, B vitamins, and various dietary minerals.
Also, grains and bread are rich in nutrients that can provide the body with adequate folic acid.
What to eat:
Make sure that at least half of the grains you eat every day are whole grains.
You can get most of the grains you need during the day by eating as much as a plate of nutritious grains in your breakfast.
At lunchtime you can have a sandwich of two slices of bread made from whole-wheat, and for dinner, you can eat pasta made from whole wheat.
To improve nutrition during pregnancy, instead of eating sugary breakfast cereals and white bread, eat whole-grain foods, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-grain bread as well.
Try wild rice or barley in soups, stews, casseroles, and salads.
Look for products that are labeled whole grain, such as whole grain flour, as the main ingredient in the ingredients list.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are essential elements in nutrition during pregnancy, as they provide the body with many nutritional vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber that aids digestion.
Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables which helps you absorb iron.
Dark green vegetables contain vitamin A, iron, and folate – these are other important nutrients during pregnancy.
What to eat or drink:
You can cut slices of fresh fruit on cereal foods, make a vegetable pizza, or add more vegetables to the casserole.
If you are tired of apples, oranges, and green beans, you can try something else.
Try apricot, mango, pineapple, sweet potato, winter squash, or spinach.
Make a nuts mixture using a variety of dried fruits.
Fruit juices are also important but remember that drinking too much juice can lead to unnecessary weight gain.
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and beans
Food in this group contains a lot of protein, as well as B vitamins and iron. Protein is essential for your baby’s growth.
What to eat:
Try whole-wheat bread with peanut butter for breakfast.
Eat a scrambled egg or an omelet for lunch. Have salmon fillets for dinner.
Add chickpeas or black beans to a salad. A snack of soy nuts. Yummyy!
If your traditional protein sources no longer appeal to you, try other options.
Fish is an excellent source of protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids that can boost your baby’s brain development.
Avoid fish potentially rich in mercury, including swordfish, king mackerel, tuna, and shark.
Calcium in dairy products and calcium-fortified soy milk will help build your baby’s bones and teeth.
Dairy products also contain vitamin D and protein. Aim for 3 cups a day.
What to eat or drink:
Eat yogurt as an afternoon snack or have it with your cereal.
You can also have a cup of skimmed milk with your dinner or add low-fat cheese to your salad.
If you have trouble digesting dairy products, get creative.
Try calcium-fortified orange juice or sardines. Try low or no lactose products.
Water carries nutrients from the food you eat to your baby as well.
It can help prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, excessive swelling, and a urinary or bladder infection.
Keep in mind, though,
The Institute of Medicine recommends drinking about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids a day during pregnancy.
Water, juices, coffee, and soft drinks all contribute to your daily fluid needs.
But remember that some drinks are high in sugar and that too much can cause weight gain.
Due to its potential effects on your unborn baby, your health care provider may also recommend limiting the amount of caffeine in your diet to less than 200 milligrams per day during pregnancy.
If you want to enjoy drinking water during pregnancy you can add a few drops of lemon, a few slices of cucumber, or a few pieces of any kind of fruit you like to make it flavored.
This works like magic every time!
- Fats, oils, and sweets
Choose foods with healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, or avocados.
For example, use oil and vinegar to decorate the salad.
It’s okay to let loose once in a while – as long as you get the nutrients you need and are in control of your weight gain.
To avoid overeating, control the amount of food that is high in fat and sugar.
Ask about nutritional supplements
Even women who go through a healthy diet can miss key nutrients.
A daily prenatal vitamin – which starts ideally at least three months before conception – can help fill any gaps.
Your health care provider may recommend special nutritional supplements if you follow a strict vegan diet, have had bariatric surgery, or have any chronic health conditions, such as diabetes.
Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any new vitamins or supplements during pregnancy.
Twin or multiple pregnancies
If a woman is pregnant with twins or multiple twins, she is likely to need more nutrients and calories than a pregnant woman in a single fetus.
You should consult your healthcare provider about how much to take
If you are preparing for the arrival of your little one, then we encourage you to go through the Newborn Ultimate Checklist. It has everything you will need during the first year
Dema JS is the founder of Newbabysmell.com and a mother of two little kids.
Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.