One of the most important things that you can do for your baby is to make sure you are eating right foods in right quantities in your pregnancy nutrition.
Pregnancy nutrition should include large variety of foods that support the work your baby is doing.
During pregnancy, your body needs 200-500 extra calories per day.
Safe and healthy pregnancy nutrition is most important, no matter which stage of pregnancy you are at.
Your daily pregnancy nutritional intake should include:
Vegetables: Vegetables supply vitamin A and C to your body and they are great part of pregnancy nutrition.
Vegetables also provide minerals and fiber, which greatly help in relieving constipation. Vitamin A supports the health and growth of the cells in you and your baby’s body [Benefits of vitamins].
You should take good sources of vitamin A at least alternate days. The foods rich in vitamin A include: deep yellow vegetables and dark green vegetables like: sweet potatoes, pumpkins, broccoli, green peppers, carrots, winter squash and greens.
The foods rich in vitamin C include: greens, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, and green beans. Consuming vitamin C rich foods help your body to easily absorb the iron in foods. So, your body needs vitamin C rich foods daily.
Fruits: Fruits are also one of the most essential foods that you should include in your pregnancy nutrition. Oranges, melons, berries, tangerines and grapefruit are foods rich in vitamin C and the foods rich in vitamin A include apricots and cantaloupe.
You can easily eat 3 or more servings of fruit a day like: for breakfast take fresh fruits or juices, for snacks take fresh or dried fruits, take fruit salad with lunch, and take cooked fruit dessert along with dinner.
Cereals, breads and grains: A pregnant woman should eat 6-11 servings of foods from this group. Get sandwich with two bread slices; actually it is two standard servings based on the food pyramid. One plate of spaghetti includes one cup pasta and is equal to two standard servings.
Poultry, meat, fish, eggs, nuts and dry beans: The major part of proteins you need will get from this group. Proteins are essential for the development of new cells and for replacing the old ones.
Cheese, yoghurt and milk: You will get enough nutrients, proteins and calcium from dairy products. For the formation of teeth and bones, calcium is vital.
Sprinkle cheese on soups, vegetables, salads and casseroles. One cup of yoghurt gives you the same quantity of calcium that you get from one cup of milk. So, add yoghurt to your snacks and also meals.
Foods you need to avoid from your pregnancy nutrition:
- Foods and beverages containing caffeine
- Undercooked or raw meat
- Uncooked eggs
- Fast foods, because they have high sugar and fat content
- Soft cheeses like camembert, blue veined, and brie cheese
- Artificial creams and also ice creams
- Foods and beverages high in sugar content
- Pre-prepared salads like potato salad and coleslaw salad
- alcohol consumption
- Pates and some other processed meats
- Unpasteurized milk and cheese
- Smoked foods which include nitrates as they affect the ability of the blood to supply oxygen. Foods like smoked meats, sausages, smoked fish, pickled foods and smoked cheese.
So, if you are planning for pregnancy, then you need to include the essential foods in your pregnancy nutrition and at the same time you have to avoid unnecessary ones.