Eating healthy during pregnancy is very important – after all, you are eating for two now and it is your # one goal to keep your baby and yourself healthy.
I have compiled a short list of tips that will help ease the transition into adjusting your diet during pregnancy.
The First Trimester
If you are having a tough time eating healthy during pregnancy and maintaining a balanced diet in your first trimester, you are certainly not alone.
There are several factors at play here – morning sickness may be making it hard to keep food down, or heart burn may be limiting your food choices.
During your first trimester, preventing malnutrition and dehydration are two of the most important factors. Make sure you are drinking plenty of liquids, like water, milk, or fresh fruit juice.
Also, make sure you are eating enough calories, because while you are pregnant, you need to consume around 300 more calories each day. The easiest way to do this is through intuitive eating: listen to your body, and eat when you are hungry.
Bonus tip: To fit in the maximum amount of calories, eat more foods from the bottom of the food pyramid, which is the bread, cereal, rice and pasta group.
If you are gaining weight too slowly and finding it hard to fit in more calories at each meal, try eating smaller and more frequent meals.
Also, slightly increase the fat in your diet by eating more full-fat diary products or even nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter.
The Second Trimester
Calcium is especially important in the second trimester, when your baby's bones are developing the most. At this time, you will need around 1,500 milligrams of calcium each day to help support healthy bones for you and your baby.
1,500 miligrams sounds like a lot, because it is – that's more than a quart of milk a day. If you are finding it hard to fit in that amount, try eating more dairy products, or drink calcium fortified juices. You can even take calcium tablets.
The Third Trimester
In your third trimester, make sure you are keeping up the regime you started in the beginning of your pregnancy. Continue to eat enough calories and get adequate amounts of calcium. Also be aware of your iron intake – some good sources of iron include dark leafy green vegetables and meats.
Iron supplements should be avoided, as they can cause internal symptoms such as cramping and constipation.
Although you probably don't want to hear this, constipation is a common pregnancy problem. But it's also a condition that's easily remedied – just eat more fiber.
The USDA recommends at least 14 grams a day for adults. You can find fiber in whole grains, fruits, and even vegetables. If you need additional fiber, supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel are safe to take during pregnancy.
Finally, you may want to consider taking a pre-natal vitamin, just to ensure you are getting all the recommended vitamins and minerals you need to keep your baby healthy.
Remember, the food you eat during pregnancy is your baby's main source of nutrition, so remember to follow these healthy eating tips to help keep you and your baby healthy.