Eating for Two: how to eat a healthy diet when you’re expecting a baby
October 24, 2018
Pregnancy is one of the most special moments in life: a time of happiness, excitement, and anticipation. You’re preparing to welcome a whole new person into the world – and raise them to be a happy, healthy adult one day. A healthy pregnancy diet is absolutely essential to your preparations.
“Eating for two” isn’t just about increasing your calories. In fact, pregnant women only need an extra 300 calories per day!
You need to meet your own nutritional needs, and those of your baby. It can be difficult to eat a balanced diet for two people with such different needs.
So we’ve collected some top nutrition tips for you and your baby to stay healthy. Remember to combine these tips with plenty of hydration, gentle exercise, and your physician’s advice.
Nutrition tips for pregnant moms
Reduce your sugar intake
We’re always hearing that we should eat less sugar. It’s bad for your blood sugar levels and your teeth. But… did you know that your sugar intake affects baby too?
Your baby starts developing teeth in the second trimester, between 3-6 months. Support healthy development by eating a diet that’s low in sugar, and drinking fluorated water.
Get more folic acid
Folic acid is vital for healthy brain development, but we don’t always eat enough. Try eating dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, beans, avocados, and nuts. You may want to support your diet with folic acid supplements, too. But remember – real food is the best source for vitamins and minerals.
Eat the rainbow
There are so many vitamins and minerals that you and your baby need to stay healthy. As we’ve said before, nutrition supplements can help your diet, but that’s all they are – supplements. You need the foundation of a healthy, balanced, and varied diet.
Keep your iron levels up
Did you know that you need more iron in your diet when you’re pregnant? It might seem strange because you’re not menstruating. But you and your baby need a lot of iron to share oxygen and nutrients, with healthy blood circulating through the placenta. Eat lots of dark, leafy greens, and a healthy quantity of red meat. You can snack on dried apricots for an extra iron boost, too.
Protect your bones with calcium
Women are more likely than men to experience osteoporosis. And your risk is heightened during pregnancy or as you get older. Meanwhile, your baby needs calcium to grow strong bones and get a good start in life. Top up your calcium levels with plenty of healthy dairy choices. Eat more greek and natural yogurt with no sugar added or additives and fruits for hydration.
Eat protein for healthy growth
Our bodies use protein to grow and repair. Your baby has a lot of growing to do – and your body needs support to maintain the baby and recover from pregnancy. Good protein sources include lean meat, beans and pulses, and dairy products.
Do you have any pregnancy diet tips to share? Tell us your best snacks, secret cravings, and favorite dishes in the comments! And remember – when your baby is ready for weaning, First Spoons will be here to help you.