You’ve picked out a crib, started shopping for some roomy “hot mama” clothing and shared your big announcement with the world. There’s a bun in the oven, and now that you’re eating for two, it’s actually a good thing to gain weight. But before you bust out the “eating for two” jokes, remind yourself that what you eat during these 40 weeks of pregnancy deserves some special attention. And since baby eats what you eat now, it’s the time to amp up your healthy eating game. These 10 tips make it a cinch to get the nutrients you and your growing baby need.
1. Sip Steady to Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is huge for everyone, but especially for expectant moms. Drinking for two doesn’t mean that you have to drink more — just be doubly sure that you’re downing at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day. Water helps transport precious vitamins and nutrients to your blood cells, keeps the digestive system in good working order and, contrary to what you might believe, actually prevents water retention and swelling. Watered out? Try flavoring your water, mix things up with a glass of milk, or eat some juicy fruits (watermelon, anyone?) to help you reach that daily quota. (via Babyzone)
2. Keep it Colorful: Stay away from empty calories and opt for antioxidant-rich fresh fruits and veggies. Load up your breakfast cereal with fruit, toss some colorful veggies into your lunch salad, grab an apple or orange for a snack and steam a package of frozen veggies for dinner. You can also get a little more creative — throw a handful of dried/fresh fruit into your oatmeal, yogurt or ice cream! Fruits and veggies are delicious and they make a quick, healthy meal for those all-too-common days when you’re too tired to cook (sounds all too familiar, right!?). (via Babyzone)
3. Crave Calcium: You know that calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth, right? Since your baby has to grow an entire skeletal system, it only makes sense that your body is going through a lot of calcium right now. Consume at least four servings daily to keep your body from draining calcium from your bones — and setting you at risk for osteoporosis later. Milk’s an obvious source, but you can also get a full serving from one and a half ounces of cheese or a cup of yogurt, cooked greens or calcium-fortified juice. Yup, we’re pretty sure that these five-minute Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bites are the perfect way to get one (or two) daily servings of calcium. (via What to Expect)
4. Implement Iron: What do lean beef, green leafy veggies, beans and dried fruit have in common? They’re all loaded with iron. Iron prevents anemia and helps stave off tiredness. If you’ve been feeling extra zonked lately, a deficiency could be the culprit, so increase your iron intake! Since vitamin C boosts iron absorption, pair that steak dinner with a tomato or a handful of strawberries. Endive taco, we’re lookin’ at ya. You go, iron woman! (via Babycenter)
5. Pick Pregnancy Power Food Snacks: Light, frequent snacks aren’t a bad thing when you’ve got a baby on board. It’s important to stock your pantry with nutrient-rich foods that are easy to grab and go – this will help you avoid foraging for less healthy options. Craving cake? Instead, grab a slice of banana bread. Diggin’ donuts? Opt for a bagel or toast with jelly. Yearning for yams? Hankering for Havarti? Your body might be sending you a message — “Hello, I’m missing something!” If you’re lucky enough to be craving healthy foods, go for it! Otherwise, try to find a substitute that will satisfy. Bananas, berries, yogurt, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, nut butters, pumpkin seeds and fortified cereals are some great choices. (via What to Expect)
7. Get Friendly With Fiber: Constipation is a common (though unwelcome) companion to pregnancy. Keep things flowing by consuming at least 28 to 30 grams of fiber daily. Common sources include beans, nuts, broccoli, bananas, brown rice, cucumbers and tomatoes. (Although these No-Bake Fiber One cookies are pretty good, too.) (via FitPregnancy)
8. Feast on Folic Acid: Folic acid is a powerful nutrient proven to reduce the risk of birth defects. Most doctors recommend a folic acid supplement for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but there are plenty of delicious ways to get it into your diet, too. Folate-rich foods include: Brussels sprouts, asparagus, black-eyed beans, baked potatoes, boiled eggs, fortified orange juice and salmon. (via American Pregnancy Association)
9. Dish up Some Fish: Healthy fats are a thing. A good thing. There’s no better place to get those Omega-3s than a piece of fish. Opt for varieties that are low in mercury and high in Omega 3s such as salmon, herring, trout or sardines. Not a fan of the fishy flavor? Try grilling it. The smoke tones down the fishiness and adds texture. Cedar plank salmon is a perfect addition to a bed of dark leafy greens. (via Mayo Clinic)
10. Eat Yo’ Vitamins: Supplements ensure that you are getting all of those so-important daily nutrients. Just remember; they’re no substitute for a balanced diet. (via American Pregnancy Association, image via Daily Hiit)
What are your go-to foods for healthy eating while you’re pregnant? Share your crave-worthy smart food secrets below!
(Featured Image via Our Averyday Life)