When pregnant, it can sometimes be difficult to create a balanced diet amid nausea, changing body rhythms, strange cravings and never-ending advice from mothers around you. It’s extremely important to eat the right amount of nutrient-rich food so that the little one inside your belly can grow.
The basics of healthy eating are the same while pregnant. Your diet should be filled with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein. Whole grains will ensure the right amount of fiber in your diet; fruit and vegetables provide many vitamins paramount to a developing fetus. Dairy is also a key dietary need, since it ensures mother and baby receive calcium, and lean meats like chicken and fish provide much-needed protein.
It is imperative to receive enough vitamins and nutrients, especially those like folic acid, calcium and Vitamin D. A prenatal vitamin is almost always recommended for pregnant women for this reason, and your gynecologist can advise you on which one will be right for you.
It is also important not to overeat. While you are eating for two, it doesn’t mean you need to double your food intake. Gaining weight is a natural process while your body nurtures and grows the little one inside of you, but overeating—and eating the wrong things—is unnecessary and will have negative health effects.
Most women require about 300 more calories a day than they would normally consume, and women at a healthy weight should gain 25-30 pounds. These foods should also, as mentioned above, have nutritional value for you and your baby. An example of a 300 calorie snack is cottage cheese and fruit or hummus and vegetables. The most important thing is focusing on foods that will give you what you need, both in calories and in nutrition. So while you might feel inclined to eat fried and fatty food and a whole lot of sweets, keep in mind that you and your baby are better off without those types of things.