Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
Eating healthy during pregnancy is very important. You are growing a human being inside of you that needs good nutrients. Think of all the cute little parts that are being developed. Little hands and feet, little lungs and heart and of course the little brain. That body needs healthy proteins, carbohydrates and fats to be the best it can be!
If you are someone that is lucky enough to not have to suffer through morning sickness hopefully this process shouldn’t be that difficult. Make sure you are eating enough but don’t think that you are eating for two. Medical professionals say you just need to eat and extra 300 calories each day to sustain a pregnant body. 300 calories is not that much. Think of a peanut butter sandwich or yogurt with berries and granola. It is really just one good hearty snack. Who amongst us hasn’t had that feeling that we could eat more than we really should and those calories came from refined carbs or sugary desserts. I am raising my hand too. I got in the cereal trap with my second pregnancy. I would have a couple bowls of cereal (they were small bowls so don’t judge me!) as an after lunch snack for a while. After getting on the scale however a week or two in I stopped that habit pretty quickly.
I think it is so easy to say “I’m pregnant. I want special attention. I’m tired. My life is changing so quickly. I’m excited and scared. Give me a doughnut!” We all feel it. It is okay. Just know that it may pack on the pounds and you will have to deal with it later.
What Not to Eat When Pregnant
Here is a list of foods that you should avoid during pregnancy not just for weight purposes but for the health of your baby. I will just go over them quickly. If you are pregnant hopefully your doctor has already spoken to you about this. If not, please research them more on your own:
- Raw meat, shellfish and eggs – risk of bacterial contamination
- Deli meats and soft cheeses- risk of the bacteria, listeria which may cause a miscarriage. If you would like to eat deli meats it is suggested that you reheat the meat to kill any bacteria.
- Fish with high levels of mercury – these fish include, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Canned, chunk light tuna is better than other tuna but should be still eaten in moderation.
- Caffeine – too much caffeine is not good for an unborn child. Talk to your doctor if you need a cup of coffee during the day. Caffeine is also a diuretic so it takes water out of your body. You need plenty of fluids when you are pregnant so drink other things such as water to keep you hydrated.
- Alcohol – alcohol posses a major risk to a fetus. Avoid alcohol altogether.
What to Eat When Pregnant
You know the saying “You are what you eat!” Well when you are pregnant your baby is what you eat too! Be sure to eat as clean as you can. These are my rules in my everyday life and when I was pregnant. I try to avoid processed, genetically modified, and sugary foods. I Prepare foods myself as much as I can. I also eat organic when I can. It is more expensive to eat this way and more time consuming but isn’t your baby worth it? Here is a list of great foods that you should include in your diet:
- Greens such as broccoli, spinach and other leafy greens – good source of vitamins and calcium.
- Eggs – good for protein, vitamins and minerals
- Yogurt – calcium, protein and probiotics. Choose plain without sugar. You can mix it with fruit or stevia to make it sweeter.
- Avocados and Walnuts – good source for plant based omega-3 fats.
- Salmon – good source of protein and omega 3 fats. Consume no more than once per week because of mercury levels
- Meats – good source of protein. Choose meats that are hormone, antibiotic free and organic when possible. Beef should be grass fed.
- Other fruits and veggies – eat a variety as to get a variety of vitamins.
I know some of us suffer with morning sickness and we want to feel like we can take it easy and be more relaxed about our diets when we are pregnant. Eating perfectly is not possible nor should it be expected. Do your best. Eat what you can when you feel nauseous. Have dessert every now and then. Just remember that growing child. Make a conscious decision to feed that precious child and feed it well.