In the past, pregnant women have been advised to avoid many types of foods which are now being considered nutritious part of a good prenatal diet . Many of these healthy foods even help a woman bump up her daily calorie intake and give her more energy. Here are some Nutrition tips for expecting moms.
Pregnancy is a crucial phase in a woman’s life as it effects both the mother and child. During this period more care should be taken about what a woman eats. Prenatal nutrition focuses on the type and amount of foods, fluids, and supplements that are needed during pregnancy.
The diet for pregnant women must have the proper balance of nutrients including proteins , carbohydrates , fat, minerals, vitamins , and water . The diet should provide enough calories for a woman to have the energy she needs, while still being nutritious.
In order to get all of the nutrients needed during pregnancy, a pregnant woman will need an additional 300-500 calories per day over what is recommended for women who are not pregnant. A healthy pre natal diet should include fruits, veggies , whole grains, dairy products , lean meat and poultry in moderation , fish , legumes, nuts, and healthy fats . Although most pre natal recommendations are the same for all women regardless of their size or weight it is important to consult with a doctor before drastically changing one’s diet.
In the first trimester, a woman should increase her caloric intake from what it normally is to 300-400 extra calories per day. The following foods will help a pregnant woman reach this goal:
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
¼ of an avocado
Adding these two foods alone will give a pregnant woman about 100 extra calories and also has many other health benefits. The peanut butter gives the pregnant woman healthy fats and energy to help her get through the day. Avocados are a great source of folate , which is known for helping prevent birth defects such as spina bifida .
During this trimester, it is important to not only keep track of the amount and type of food eaten, but to begin taking prenatal vitamins as well.
During the second trimester a woman should increase her caloric intake by 300-350 per day. The following foods will help a pregnant woman reach this goal:
1 cup of cereal with 1 cup of skim milk
1 cup of yogurt
1 slice of cheese
Adding these three foods will give a pregnant woman about 300-400 extra calories. Cereal, milk, and cheese all provide the pregnant woman with carbohydrates which give her the energy she needs to get through the day. The cereal and yogurt both contain calcium , magnesium , and Vitamin D which are all essential during the second trimester. The yogurt will also give a pregnant woman extra protein to help boost her energy levels.
During the third trimester, a woman should increase her caloric intake by 300-350 per day. This trimester is designed for baby weight gain so it is important to eat until satisfied, and not worry about gaining weight. The following foods will help a pregnant woman reach this goal:
1 slice of whole wheat bread
½ cup of low-fat granola
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
By eating these four foods together, a pregnant woman will get around 400 extra calories per day. Both the bread and granola contain carbohydrates which will give a pregnant woman extra energy to get through the day. The peanut butter provides healthy fats and protein for baby development.
During the third trimester, it is important to continue taking prenatal vitamins, eating until satisfied, and tracking what was eaten throughout the day in order to meet the nutritional needs of the pregnant woman and her baby.