Your eating habits will change a lot while that little baby is growing inside you; the idea that you will have to “eat for two” is more of a saying than an actual rule. Instead of eating more you should focus on eating healthily and getting enough vitamins and minerals both for you and the baby.
If you are starting from an already healthy weight then you won’t have to increase you calorie intake within the first trimester. In the second trimester, though, you should aim for about 300 extra calories per day and 450 extra calories in the third trimester.
What does a healthy pregnancy diet entail?
When it comes to pregnancy eating, try to eat a variety of foods in order to get all those nutrients; medical practitioners will recommend that you get 6 to 11 servings of breads and grains, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein, daily. Let’s expand a bit on this:
* Four servings of dairy products will give you the necessary 1000 to 1300 mg of calcium that your body needs
* Three servings of food that is rich in iron will get you that those 27 mg of iron that you need; these foods include lean beef, turkey, broccoli, sweet potato, berries, spinach, pumpkin
* 70 mg of Vitamin C is required daily; this is found in oranges, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, grapefruit
* A minimum of 0.4 mg of folic acid will deter against neural tube defects; this is found in veal, legumes (lima beans, black beans, chickpeas), leafy dark vegetables
* Daily intake of Vitamin A is also important; for this you can eat carrots, pumpkins, turnip greens, apricots, cantaloupes, sweet potato
You will also have to avoid certain things, such as:
* Alcohol – it is impossible to say what a “healthy” amount is to drink, so rather avoid the risk and stay away from it altogether
* Caffeine – you should have no more than 300 mg per day (a regular cup of coffee contains about 150 mg, and black tea contains about 80 mg)
* Seafood with high levels of mercury – shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish (AKA white snapper)
* Raw fish – especially shellfish (oysters and clams)
* Soft cheeses – brie, camembert, feta and blue-veined cheese are often unpasteurised and can therefore cause Listeria infection
Of course, pregnancy is synonymous with morning sickness and nausea, so if you are finding it hard to stomach anything at all, try some cereal or crackers just before you get out of bed in the mornings. Also avoid greasy fried foods, and try to have small but frequent meals or snacks throughout the day.
What was your favourite foods to eat when pregnant?