When talking about pregnancy diet, it does not mean losing weight during the pregnancy period because this is not advisable and can be hazardous to you and your baby. Dieting for weight loss may limit important nutrients like iron, folic acid including other important vitamins and minerals.
The food you eat is your baby’s main source of nutrients important for healthy growth, therefore it’s important to align and tone your diet to balance and a healthy one. Here are some nutrition practices you can consider to support the development of your baby.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients like Vitamin C and Folic Acid which are very important for pregnancy. They also provide fibers that help in the breakdown of food. It is recommended that pregnant women need at least 70gm of vitamin c daily which can be found in fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and honeydew.
To prevent neural defects and problems, consumption of 0.4gm of folic acid per day is suggested. Dark green leafy vegetables are rich in folic acids and you can also get a good serving of the folic acids in legumes like black or lima beans, black-eyed peas, and veal.
In perspective, you should have 2-4 servings of fruits per day and 4 + serving of vegetables per day.
Calcium aids the development of your baby’s teeth and bones. This can be found in dairy products like milk, cheese which also contain vitamin D and protein. 3 cups a day is recommended.
Always drink the milk in cereal bowl while for your afternoon snack you can have yogurt. For dinner, you can add a slice of low-fat cheese to your salad.
Dairy products sometimes come with their dose of problems; some people are not able to fully digest products with lactose elements. If you are lactose intolerant you can try calcium-fortified orange juice or sardines. Alternatively, you can try over the counter lactase enzyme product when you eat or drink dairy products.
Water is the vehicle that transports that you eat to your baby. Water also helps in preventing constipation hemorrhoids, excessive swelling, and urinary tract or bladder infections.
According to The American Institute of Medicine, you should drink at least 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids a day during pregnancy.
The developing baby will need a lot of protein to help in growth and development. Poultry, fish, eggs, meat, and beans are rich in Vitamin B and iron which are key for your pregnancy especially in the second and 3rd trimester. Iron intake will help in transporting oxygen to your growing baby, and also carries oxygen to your muscles to help avoid cases of fatigue, weakness, irritability, and depression.
You can include lean beef, chicken, lamb, liver, turkey, and veal in your meal plans. You should try and avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury. Try and have 3 servings of proteins per day.
Sample Daily Menu
Here is a sample many that you can adopt in your daily meal plan. For a good supply of nutrients for you and your baby you can have 3 but small balanced meals and 3 light snacks throughout the day.
You should well seek professional advice, talk to your doctor to help you come up with the best meal plan for you.
Breakfast: Oatmeal cereals, 1 cup of low-fat milk, 1 banana, and 1 slice of whole-wheat toast
Snack: 1 cup of yogurt and grapes
Lunch: Turkey (if deli meat, do not eat cold – heat to steaming to avoid Listeria) and cheese sandwich on whole-wheat bread, small bag potato chips, pear, and 1 cup skim milk
Snack: Raw veggies and low-calorie dip
Dinner: 4 oz chicken, 1 cup wild rice, 1 cup veggies, 1 cup skim milk
Snack: fresh fruit or low-fat frozen yogurt
Compiled using information from the following sources:
Mayo Clinic Pregnancy and nutrition: Healthy-eating basics. – https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-nutrition/art-20046955
WebMD.com, “Eating Right When Pregnant”-