Here are some tips to ensuring your diet is what it needs to be during pregnancy.
•Remember the food pyramid? It’s a great place to start, eat more foods from the bottom (grains), then add vegetables and protein, fruits, dairy and finally sparingly use fatty foods. Many places have free handouts. It’s a great tool to have for reference on the refrigerator.
•Variety in your diet is very important. It helps ensure that you’re gathering the daily doses of recommended vitamins and minerals every day from the foods you eat. It also helps prevent boredom with your diet which can lead to straying.
•Bring on the water! Staying hydrated has many benefits for the healthy pregnancy, including avoidance of early labor, healthier skin (meaning more elastic), and general decrease in pregnancy symptoms that are annoying (constipation, swelling, etc.). Juice has a time and a place but the majority of your fluids should be water. Other “drinks” like soda, coffee, etc. should not be included in your daily count of 6-8 eight ounce glasses a day.
•Eat foods that remember where they came from! The closer to the source of the original food the better. For examples: green beans that are fresh contain more of the good stuff than those in a can; bananas are better than fried banana chips or a banana split!
•Protein is the building block of every cell in your baby’s body. Some studies have indicated that adequate protein intake (defined as 75 grams a day or more) can protect you against problems with ecclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension and other disorders. It also ensures a great start for your baby.
By Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE, Pregnancy Guide.