Healthy eating during pregnancy is so important to your baby’s growth and development. In order to get the nutrients you need, you must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, bread and grains, protein sources and dairy products. We know that the requirements for almost all nutrients are higher during pregnancy, so this means that more attention to what your eating is needed. This doesn’t always mean eating more, but it does mean being conscious of the quality of your diet.
Typically, you will need to consume an extra 300 – 400 calories a day. This shocks most pregnant women when I talk about diet and exercise in pregnancy. We really aren’t eating for two! So how do we maximize our food and snacks to satisfy our cravings and hunger?
First, try and eat small meals throughout the day, for example, 4-6. Smaller meals often work better when battling nausea and vomiting and heartburn and indigestion. When building your meal/snack try and incorporate 2 food groups into each one to fill you up! Small nutrient-packed meals will balance your blood sugars and keep you happy all day long.
Fruits and vegetables contain many important nutrients for pregnancy especially, Vitamin C and Folic Acid. Pregnant women need at least 70 mg of Vitamin C daily, which are contained in peanut butter, avocados, salmon, and spinach for example.
At least 1000 mg of calcium is needed daily to support a pregnancy. Calcium is essential for building strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and muscle and nerve function.
You need to increase your daily iron intake to 27mg daily during the final six+ months of pregnancy to support an increase in red blood cells and fetal tissues. Iron isn’t needed as much during the first three months and is safe to stop supplementing during this time if you’re experiencing nausea and vomiting.
You’ll need 2-3g more of fibre in your diet daily for a total of 28g. This added fibre helps reduce constipation. Blackberries, lentils, and avocados are great sources and of fibre.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Consume omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed for fetal development, particularly eye and brain development. Food sources of each of the omega-3s are recommended compared to supplements. DHA, one of the three omegas that is found in fish, is the best source.
Taking a vitamin D supplement of 2000IU in the last six months of pregnancy will enhance the vitamin D content of your breast milk towards meeting the daily needs of your breastfeeding infant.
A great tip when building your snacks and meal is to ask yourself 3 questions. These 3 questions were recommended by Prenatal Nutritionist Ryann who is a Registered Dietician Nutritionist and has an amazing blog and cookbook exclusively dedicated to prenatal nutrition. She helps women who are planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant or newly postpartum reach their optimal health during these times. The 3 questions she suggests we ask ourselves are:
- Will this meal give you sustained energy?
- Will this supply the baby with the essential nutrients?
- Will this make you feel good both physically and emotionally?
I love these questions and recently had the opportunity to read her cookbook and highly recommended it! In fact, I love it so much I’m gifting one lucky follower will win her Feel Good Pregnancy Cookbook.
- Follow @sandrathemamacoach & @prenatalnutritionist
- Tag a friend who is trying to conceive, pregnant or postpartum
- Tell us what your favourite pregnancy snack is or was?
Bonus entry if you share this on your IG Story!
Good Luck! Contest ends Jan 22, 2020, at 8 AM EST Open to Canadian & US Residents only. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram.
If you’re currently fighting a cold, good immune-boosting foods are citrus fruit, yogurt, spinach garlic, bone broth, and almonds. All these contain Vit C, E probiotics, zinc and protein to keep our immune system in fine form.
If you would like more information on snacking during pregnancy or pregnancy, in general, please reach out to a mama coach near you. We are always happy to listen and provide support to parents.