Food do’s and don’ts when you’re pregnant

when you're pregnant

When you’re pregnant, it’s important to pay extra close attention to what you’re eating. The reason is that the baby will deplete your bones and even your teeth to get the nutrients it needs.

Do: Take Your Vitamins When You’re Pregnant

You need to ensure that you get plenty of folate, calcium, iron, zinc and fiber. The best way to do that is to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods and to take your prenatal vitamins. If you aren’t pregnant yet but want to get pregnant, let your doctor know so that they can recommend vitamins that support a pregnancy. Because what you eat before you get pregnant is important too.

Do: Eat the Rainbow

When you’re choosing what to eat, go for plant-based food that is well washed or lightly steamed. Try to eat every color in the rainbow to ensure that you’re getting a variety of vitamins and minerals in addition to your daily prenatal vitamins.

Do: Eat Organic – at Least the “Dirty Dozen”

You can find a list by searching for “Organic Dirty Dozen” but this link currently links to a list of the dirtiest plants that you should buy only organic to avoid pesticides and other contaminants in your diet.

Do: Remember to Eat Your Omega-3 Fatty Acids

This important ingredient will help improve neurological development in your baby. The problem is that a lot of fish, which is a good source of these fatty acids, isn’t a good choice for pregnant women due to the mercury contamination of the fish. There are alternatives, including supplementation and adding flax to your diet.

Do: Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods When You’re Pregnant

The great thing about plant foods is that they are typically very nutrient dense but are low in calories. That means you can eat more. Since you’re often hungrier during pregnancy than when you’re not pregnant, this means that if you pick foods that have a lot of nutrients but are low in calories, you’re going to be more satisfied.

Don’t: Eat When You’re Not HungryFood do's and don'ts

It can be tempting to grab food all the time when you’re pregnant. But, you really don’t need to eat much more than you normally eat. In fact, the most you should eat is 500 calories more than normal for your normal desired weight. If you’re already overweight when you get pregnant, you should just keep eating normally but replace junk food with nutrient-dense food.

Don’t: Overdo Processed Foods

When you are choosing what to eat it’s far better to choose an apple than some crackers or chips. Of course, you know that. It’s hard to avoid all processed food, especially if you were used to eating it before you got pregnant. But, if you want to ensure the healthiest baby and pregnancy, don’t overdo processed food.

Don’t: Forget Food Safety Rules

If you’re unaware of food safety rules, you’ll want to read about them at the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service website. This is the best way to learn. It’s even more important to follow these rules during pregnancy so you don’t harm yourself or the baby.

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Don’t: Skip Meals

While you don’t want to force yourself to eat when you’re not hungry, it’s important that you eat your meals. If you have issues with vomiting and nausea, you can switch to six to eight small “meals” each day. For example, a small cup of plain Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries is a good meal if a couple hours later you eat a bowl of steamed veggies and rice. Eating more often can help with those problems and ensure you are getting the nutrients you need.

Don’t: Forget to Stay Hydrated

When you’re pregnant you need to drink a little more water than normal. If you normally drink 8 glasses a day, move to 12 glasses a day. Remember that fresh fruit and veggies will also keep you hydrated. Hydration will also help you cut down on incidents of nausea.

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