What are the healthiest foods to eat while I'm pregnant?
Real Mom Problem
“This pregnancy has been so different from my previous two; I just want to eat junk food. From now on I'm going to plan my meals so I won't just go in the kitchen and eat junk when I'm hungry. So what's your favorite healthy meal? I can use all the help I can get!”
- 1. Vegetables, fruits, proteins, and lots of water are all musts for pregnant women who want to eat healthily
- 2. Moms' favorite healthy snacks include nuts, yogurt with granola, watermelon, cheese, and vegetables with hummus
- 3. Look for foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and iron, such as walnuts, salmon, spinach, and other dark green vegetables
- 4. Make sure you consult with your doctor or midwife if you have any questions about your diet or whether you are getting enough nutrients
Real Mom Solutions
It's easy to maintain a healthy diet while you're pregnant. Check out these nutritious meal and favorite snack ideas from the moms of CafeMom.
Try These Healthy Choices
Eat nutrient-rich foods but also plenty of calories. My doctor suggests lots of fruits and veggies plus plenty of whole grains, nuts (very calorie dense), cheese, and beans. He also says it takes a lot of fats to grow a baby, which is where the nuts, dairy, and healthy oils come in, too.
Have your whole grains and protein with your vitamin-rich vegetables and fruit. The fuller your diet, the better. Studies show that women who skimp on the milk to avoid gaining weight risk losing bone density. I try to have some milk, some yogurt, and some cheese, just to change it up.
Just eat real food. Plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins and not too much dairy. My general rule is that if it has more than one ingredient on the label, it had better be bread! Or, there's the 3 ingredient rule. Don't eat anything with more than 3 ingredients! Really, when I'm making an effort to eat healthy, I just make sure that the nutrients in the food I'm eating are worth the calories. This excludes basically all junk food from my diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids affect a lot of development of the baby while pregnant. It helps with brain development and retinal development. Did you know, however, it can help Momma avoid PPD? Foods that are high in O3FA's are salmon, walnuts (one quarter cup contains about half the necessary amount per day), flax seed, winter squash, and navy beans. Olive oil is a good source, but don't fry with it, since frying damages the O3FA's. It's important to note that O3FA's from food sources are more easily absorbed, cheaper, and in all likelihood safer than supplements, particularly since the supplements may come from unsafe sources (from fish high in mercury).
Eat lots of fruits and veggies. I find eating every two hours helps keep me more full. I try to only do fruit or veggie sticks for snacks in between meals, and of course tons of water.
Drink more water. Eat mini meals if you have to. Crunch on almonds or Kashi granola. A good snack at night is cottage cheese and fruit. Oatmeal is good also.
Apples with peanut butter, celery with peanut butter and raisins, yogurt with granola, oatmeal with flax seeds and peanut butter, sliced organic turkey, veggies with hummus, salads, salted cucumber slices, cheese slices, and mixed nuts.
Fruit, hummus with whole grain crackers, veggies, and organic peanut butter right off the spoon.
My all time favorite is a red apple with chunky peanut butter. I also love cucumbers sliced up and put in red wine vinegar to soak, or cucumbers with some chili sauce on them. I love hummus with crackers/chips, also juicy cold watermelon, and pineapple. Yum!
I love couscous with veggies. It's really easy to make and it tastes great! For snacks, I stick with fruit and veggies and cheeses. Breakfast is usually yogurt and oatmeal or a muffin.
Add Healthy Items to Other Foods
Veggies made me want to hurl. Fruit however was fantastic and I took it where I got it. If you don't want to actually "eat" it then make it into a smoothie. Same goes for some veggies. You can use some in smoothies and if you have a juicer you can use them in juices as well. Just do a search online for veggie and fruit smoothies. You can't even taste the veggies!
Mince up veggies to put in burgers and sauces.
When I pregnant I would make quiche. It's the best way to get veggies, eggs and even meat in a dish. Quiches are great things to make especially when it comes to leftovers.
Feast on Iron-Rich Options
Twice during my pregnancy I passed out; once at home and once in my car in the parking lot. My docs gave me iron pills but having iron fortified foods was what helped me get over the dizzy/tiredness/fainting.
Try getting more iron in the foods you eat. Dark green veggies are usually high in iron. I started eating a bit more foods that were high in iron and it seemed to make me feel better.
I was low on iron with my last baby. I ate more iron rich foods, cooked in cast iron, and avoided drinking milk at meal time (milk prevents iron absorption).
Steak! I usually suffer from low iron during pregnancy as well and I eat lots of red meat and lots of spinach! My husband and I eat spinach and chicken wraps or salads about twice a week when I am preggo!
Spinach and other dark green veggies, and liver. I love liver but only once a month or so.