Following a healthy lifestyle
July 8, 2011
Variety is the spice of life! Eating a variety of foods helps keep the right balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need for your baby’s development.
Follow “ChooseMyPlate” the eating for Americans icon which replaced the food guide pyramid.
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, ¼ protein, ¼ grains and a glass of low fat milk.
Bone up on Calcium
Calcium has never been more important in the diet. In fact, consuming 1200 to 1500 mg of calcium a day may help reduce the risk of pregnancy induced high blood pressure. After pregnancy you should consume three servings a day, especially if you are breast feeding.
Pump up the iron
Anemia during pregnancy has consequences– a three times higher risk of delivering a low birth weight baby and double the chance of having a premature infant. An iron supplement or multivitamin with iron is recommended during pregnancy. Iron rich foods include meats,
Go for whole grains
Whole grains pack a nutritional punch and should be present at every meal. Whole grains contain important trace minerals, antioxidants, carbohydrates for energy and whole grains high in fiber can help prevent constipation. Examples include whole wheat bread, brown rice, popcorn, quinoa, amaranth, oats and whole grain pastas.
The many benefits of exercise include stress reduction, improved endurance, improved self-esteem and better sleep habits. During pregnancy, regular exercise can help prevent excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, keep those aches and pains away and help get you ready for labor.
Get your fill of fluids
Eight to ten glasses a day are recommended during pregnancy. You can have fluids in the form of 100% juice, decaffeinated beverages; but try to have most of it as water! Avoid sugary drinks which don’t provide much nutrition.
Focus on Fiber
Most of us don’t get enough fiber; 25 grams are recommended by the National Academy of Sciences for women under 50 years of age. During pregnancy, increasing your fiber intake may help prevent or combat constipation. High fiber foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes.
Hold the Extras
“Extras”, like junk foods and other foods with poor nutrient density. Save sweets and other non-nutritive foods until you have eaten all of your “must eat” foods first. With all the extra nutrients you need during pregnancy, you can’t afford to eat too many “empty calorie” foods.
Download the “Healthy Pregnancy Shopping List” to help you organize your grocery store shopping trip!Top