If you’re an expectant mom, then the importance of committing to a healthy diet cannot be overemphasized. While sticking to a healthy diet is ideal for all, it is even more significant for pregnant moms. You are, after all, helping your baby develop and grow with every spoonful of yummy, healthy food that you take in.
You need not go on a special diet – unless, of course, your doctor advises. The trick lies in eating a variety of different foods to get the right balance of nutrients each and every day, according to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom.
Here are some important guidelines which you might want to keep in mind
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast every day. You won’t feel the need to snack on high-fat, high-sugar when you’re powered up for the day.
- Starchy foods like rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, and cereal gives you energy. Make sure that they make up over a third of the food you eat. Whenever possible, choose the higher-fiber and wholegrain varieties. Leave on the skins of potatoes.
- Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals, so you’ve got to get yourself at least five portions of these every day. You can have frozen, dried, juiced, or fresh fruits and veggies, but of course, fresh is best. Don’t forget to wash them thoroughly. Fruits and veggies are also full of fiber, which can help prevent constipation – a common irritant among pregnant moms.
- Apart from being good sources of protein, milk, cheese, and yogurt have lots of calcium, too. Calcium is important in keeping our bones strong. Go for two to three portions of dairy each day. Whenever possible, opt for the low-fat, low-sugar varieties.
- You’ll need protein, of course. Fish, eggs, poultry, and meat are some of the yummy protein that you may have. Whenever possible, go for lean cuts of meat and have less and less of processed meat. Make sure too that your meat is cooked all the way through. If you want to lay off meat, then beans, peas, and lentiles are good alternatives. They’re lower in fat but higher in fiber and protein. Grab at least two portions of fish every week.
- While you’re expecting, it’s best to stay off food high in fat and sugar like chocolate, cakes, biscuits, sugary soft drinks, butter, and ice cream. Eat less and less of these types of food as they may contribute to weight gain and tooth decay.
- Hydrate! Drink plenty of fluids, about six to eight glasses every day. Fluids include water, fruit juice, milk, coffee, and tea. Again, opt for low-fat, low-sugar varieties.
- If you want to snack in between meals, there are a number of healthy dishes to choose from. Think of salad vegetables like carrot, celery, and cucumber; sandwiches with tuna, salmon, sardines, or lean ham filling; vegetable soups; baked beans or baked potato; or fresh fruit.
- While a healthy diet can provide you with essential vitamins and minerals, it would be best to take supplements as well. Consult your doctor.