So, you’ve found out that you’re expecting. First of all, congratulations! As the saying goes, everything you do for the next nine months or so counts for two, and that’s especially true when it comes to your diet choices. Anything you eat is also given to the growing baby inside of you, so your choices matter now more than ever.
Don’t worry though; today I’m going to show you how to create a diet that is perfect for both you and your baby’s health. Follow these tips, and avoid some certain temptations during these next months, and you’ll be looking into the eyes of a happy and healthy baby before you know it!
Healthy Goals For Your Pregnancy Diet
Everyone is different, so a broad diet plan won’t work for everyone. Some people are lactose intolerant, or perhaps they’re vegetarian. To make this as easy as possible, we’ll start with a list of goals you should set for yourself during your pregnancy. This way you can tweak the diet to your needs. Let’s see what’s on the menu, shall we?
Strive for Variety
You should be eating all kinds of different things each day. For example, you should have 6-11 servings of breads and grains per day, 2-4 servings of fruit, 4 servings of vegetables, 4 servings of dairy products, and 3 servings of protein sources. This may seem like a lot, but you can actually combine several of these into one meal.
Did you know that pizza can be a healthy choice? It all depends on how it’s made (a meat lover’s isn’t a good idea) but there are plenty of healthy ways to make and eat pizza that combines servings of grain, vegetables, and protein into one meal.
Treat yourself and order Papa John’s with PayPal for example, opting for healthy toppings like chicken, spinach, and tomatoes. Remember to also shoot for foods with high levels of fiber like whole-grain bread or pizza crust in this case, and of course fruits and vegetables.
Important Vitamins and Minerals
It’s very important to consume vitamins and minerals in your pregnancy diet. Although the body does tend to absorb these vitamins better from foods, you should also look into taking a prenatal vitamin supplement that can ensure you and your child are getting what they need. Consult with your doctor to find the best brand.
In terms of what you should be focusing on, calcium is a huge one. This nutrient is used in the formation of teeth and bones. You should be getting calcium from your daily consumption of dairy products, but if need be, you can also take a supplement for this. It’s very important that the baby receives enough calcium so they are born with strong bones.
Another major mineral that you’ll need is iron. It is used by the body to maintain hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood throughout the body. Your body will absorb more iron during your pregnancy, ensuring both you and the baby are getting the oxygen you need. The best sources of iron in your diet are going to be grain products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and green vegetables.
Next up is iodine, which is used by the body to develop your baby’s brain and nervous system. You can include this in your diet by eating milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, or seafood. Vitamin C is the next important thing to consider as it will ensure a healthy immune system for both of you. A variety of fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C.
Finally we have folic acid and vitamin A. These are required in small amounts and can be found in dark, leafy greens, and carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and spinach respectively.
Foods to Leave Out of Your Pregnancy Diet
Now that we’ve covered the things you should be eating during your pregnancy to ensure a healthy delivery, it’s time to cover the things that you should avoid while your baby is growing:
- No alcohol – drinking while pregnant can lead to an early delivery, mental retardation, birth defects, and other issues.
- Lower Fat intake – Fat should only account for 30% of your daily calories. For 2,000 calories per day, this comes out to 65 grams of fat.
- Limit Cholesterol – shoot for 300 mg or less each day.
- Little or no Caffeine – be careful with how much caffeine you intake from coffee, soda, tea, and even dark chocolate. Keep it under 300 mg per day.
- Certain Seafood – Don’t eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. These all have mercury in them which is bad for the baby.
- No Soft Cheeses – choices like feta, brie, and other soft style cheeses are unpasteurized and can cause infections in your baby. Hard, processed, cream, and cottage cheeses are all fine.
- No Raw Fish – No sushi, or shellfish like oysters and clams while you’re pregnant.
Don’t try to avoid gaining weight when you’re pregnant, it’s inevitable, and strict diets can harm the baby. Instead, focus on eating a diet that ensures your child can develop into a happy and healthy baby. Be sure to post your own pregnancy diet tips in the comments below!