The food you eat during pregnancy is the main source of nutrients for you and baby. Your food choices may also impact your health and symptoms during pregnancy. Give your baby the best start in life by eating healthy! Keep reading for tips to help you improve your nutrition while pregnant. Thinking about getting pregnant? Implementing these tips prior to pregnancy can increase your changes of following through!
Balance your intake of whole grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats to ensure that you’re getting adequate amounts of essential vitamins and nutrients. Follow this general healthy eating rule: make ½ your plate fruits/vegetables, ¼ proteins and ¼ carbohydrates at each meal.
Eat an assortment of healthy foods to ensure that you and your baby get a variety of nutrients. This is especially important with fruits and vegetables and proteins.
Avoid eating for two. While you should increase your calorie intake during pregnancy, avoid overeating. Increase your calories by 200-300 calories each day while pregnant, unless otherwise specified by your doctor.
Eat small, frequent meals to provide your baby with a continuous supply of calories and nutrients. Frequent, moderate and healthy meals and nutritious snacks may be helpful to your physical comfort as well as your baby’s growth and development.
Make smart beverage choices. Water is the best option. Aim for 8 -10 glasses throughout the day. Staying hydrated may help alleviate pregnancy symptoms such as swelling and constipation, and may help promote circulation and healthy levels of amniotic fluid to protect your baby.
Choose fish that are low in mercury. Examples include shrimp, salmon, pollock, catfish, and canned light tuna. Avoid sushi and other types of raw seafood!
Stay away from unpasteurized foods and beverages such as certain juices, raw milk, or dairy products that have not been pasteurized. Listeria is a bacteria that may be present in certain foods and can cause serious infection.
Be wary of lunch meat, cured meats and nitrate-rich foods to help prevent introducing possible bacteria and harmful additives.
Watch your intake of foods and beverages with caffeine, such as chocolate or soda. Discuss with your doctor to determine how much caffeine is safe for you during pregnancy.
Eat processed snacks and desserts in moderation. While it is okay to indulge from time to time, too much salt or sugar isn’t good for a healthy pregnancy or baby.
Have other dietary needs? If you’re expecting multiples, are a vegetarian, a vegan or have other dietary restrictions you may benefit from a dietitian consultation to ensure you’re eating well for you and baby.
For Health Advocate members
If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the wellness coaching component of our Wellness Program, contact your coach for more information on nutrition or tips to have a healthy pregnancy.