Planning healthy meals during pregnancy is important and easy to do! First you must know that there are 5 food groups:
- Grains - including but not limited to breads, pastas, oatmeals, cereals, and tortillas
- Fruits - including but not limited to fruits that are fresh, canned, frozen, dried, and 100% fruit juice
- Vegetables- including but not limited to vegetables that are raw, cooked, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% vegetable juice
- Protein - including but not limited to meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds
- Dairy - including but not limited to milk and products made from milk such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream
Although they are not listed in the 5 main food groups, vitamins and minerals, and oils and fats are important nutrients and play a major role in all of your bodily functions. Pregnant women need more folic acid and iron than women who are not pregnant. Also, during pregnancy, fats and oils provide energy and help build up fetal organs and the placenta. The daily recommended servings of vitamins a woman should take during pregnancy are:
- 1 Milligram of folic acid
- 65 milligrams of iron
- 1000 milligrams of calcium
- 1000 units of vitamin D3
By taking a prenatal vitamin supplement, you can ensure that you are getting the extra amount of nutrients that you need for a healthy pregnancy. As always, do not self medicate! Speak with your health care provider about any medications you are taking and about if taking supplements is right for you.
Suggestion for Diet of Pregnancy
We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” Not only what but also how much and how often you eat affect your health just as much. Smart choices like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy--all in sensible portions—will help your body be all it can be.
During your pregnancy you are not suppose to assume you need to eat twice of your regular meals because you are eating for two, or you’re craving is because your baby is desiring it. You just need to increase your intake by about 20-25% and that will be adjusted by your healthcare provider according to your current weight & health condition.
The following is a sample suggestion of how you are suppose to eat. The amount & content of meals needs to be adjusted by your healthcare provider during your prenatal care visit.
You are suppose to have 3 meals + 3-4 snacks.
Foods to Avoid:
Sweets like Chocolate, Cakes, Ice Cream, Soda, Fruit Juice
All fried food. No French Fries, Pizza, Hamburger, Fried Eggs, Fast Food
Foods made with Mayonaisse
Avoid having a large amount of Bread, Rice, Potato
No Bagel or Flat Bagel
No American Cheese, Cream Cheese
No Pancakes, French Toast
Try To Have:
3-4 meals of Chicken per week
2 meals of Fish or 1 meal of Tuna per week
1-2 meals of Turkey per week
2 meals of Meat (No ground meat unless you ground it at home yourself with no fat)
Choice of One slice of bread or pita with one boiled egg, or a cup cottage cheese. Or you can have one banana or one protein bar instead.
One glass of 1% Milk
A cup of tea/coffee
If you are in a rush, One Protein Bar with a glass of 1% Milk
Large bowl of salad with all different kinds of vegetables PLUS
A choice of Beans, boiled egg, cottage cheese, choice of chicken, turkey, or meat
Large bowl of salad + steam vegetables
Choice of Chicken or Meat or Fish, or Turkey (No Gravy & No Butter)
One small potato or ½ large potato, or a ¾ cup of cooked rice, or ½ cup cooked plain spaghetti (no cheese)
Salad Dressing: Olive oil + vinegar + italian dressing seasoning
Snack Choices: (Try to have 1-2 Fruit per day as part of your snack).
Cup of Plain Yogurt (Recommend add fresh fruit)
Glass of 1% milk + 2 tea biscuits
Cup of Cottage Cheese + Fresh fruit
Fruit (Avoid ones with high sugar like watermelons, cantaloupes)
Carry a full hand of FRESH nuts (pistachios, almonds) NOT salted or roasted.
Low Fat or Fat Free String Cheese (1-2 pieces)
If you are diabetic and you are one of those people who get hungry in middle of the night, to prevent it you may have one slice of bread + peanut butter NO jelly one hour before bed.
Only Tea, Coffee (not at night), Sorbet, Italian Ices. AVOID FRUITS WITH HIGH SUGAR & CAKES!
Water or Fresh Vegetable Juice
For the one who has urge of eating or eating large portions, one way to control it is by using a small spoon/fork. Plus keep the food in mouth & chew on it until it becomes completely liquid. Also swallow smaller portions.