What is proper nutrition for an expecting mother to give her baby a head start in a healthy life?  The health of the baby depends on everything you do.  To grow, the baby depends on nutrients from the food you eat.  With this new responsibility, you now want to know what is, and how to, get the proper nutrition during pregnancy.  I've put together a general nutritional guide here below to help moms-to-be.  As always, consult with your doctors to discuss your individual needs.Proper Nutrition During Pregnancy

How to get Proper Nutrition During Pregnancy
Proper Nutrition During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Nutritional Do's and Don'ts

DO:

1.) Include a balanced diet of quality fats, quality protein, and quality carbs.  Quality means of non-processed, chemical-free and artificial additives-free sources.

Fats to include: nuts, avocado, flax, grass fed beef and free range animals, egg yolks, wild fatty fish, and full fat organic dairy.

Proteins: Be sure to consume several servings of protein per day, preferably at each meal and snack.  Organic meats, eggs, beans, lentils, vegetables, quinoa.

Carbs: Stick with unprocessed and unrefined carbs.  My opinion is to keep grains at or below a moderate intake.  Include fruits and veggies and smaller portions of potatoes, quinoa, rice, potatoes, and other grains.  I'd avoid bread.

2.) Include 4-8 servings of organic veggies everyday.

3.) Include 2-3 servings of fruit per day.  Make sure to include citrus fruits, they have a high vitamin C content.

4.) Include foods rich in omega-3 fats.

5.) Drink 100 oz of water everyday.

6.) Eat a wide variety of foods.

7.) Limit exposure to chemical additives in food and pesticides.  These are dangerous and exposure to the fetus can put the baby at risk for immune dysfunction and birth defects.

 

DON'TS:

1.) Don't "eat for 2."  Being pregnant is not an excuse to eat in excess!  A pregnant women generally only needs 300 additional calories per day, and less than that in the 1st trimester...eating in excess increases the risk of obesity in the child for his/her life.  In addition, excess weight gain for the mother can be difficult to lose.

2.) Don't eat junk food.  An occasional treat is ok.  A junk food diet results in a fatter baby and mother.  Avoid cereals, crackers, boxed snacks, chips, cookies, etc.

3.) Don't eat fast food.  That's a never.

4.) Don't eat high-mercury containing fish.

5.) Don't eat processed meats such as packaged lunch "meat".

6.) Don't drink soda.  NO, diet soda is NOT ok.  Small amounts of 100% fruit juice is ok.

7.) Don't overlook food safety.  Make sure all food is cooked through.

8.) Don't skip meals.  This leads to low blood sugar and fatigue.  Eat frequently.

Quality means of non-processed, chemical-free and artificial additives-free sources.

Water: getting enough water is one of the easiest things to forget. A good practice to ensure you're getting enough is to drink a 32oz Nalgene full of water 1st thing every morning.

Fats to include: nuts, seeds, avocado, flax, grass fed beef and free range animals, egg yolks, wild fatty fish, and full fat organic dairy.

Proteins: Be sure to consume several servings of protein per day, preferably at each meal and snack.  Organic meats, eggs, beans, lentils, vegetables, quinoa.

Carbs: Stick with unprocessed and unrefined carbs.  My opinion is to keep grains at or below a moderate intake.  (So at or under 3 servings per day).  Focus more on fruits and veggies and smaller portions of potatoes, quinoa, rice, potatoes, and other grains.  I'd avoid bread, crackers, etc.

KEY NUTRIENTS TO FOCUS ON

Putting it all Together

The nutrient breakdown, do's and don'ts, and the recipes guide is a good start to a fit and healthy pregnancy.  These are great basic guidelines, but each person has unique needs for nutrition and exercise, especially during pregnancy.  Incorporating an exercise plan into your routine is highly recommended.