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Excerpted from What to Expect ®: Eating Well When You’re Expecting.
Copyright © 2005 by What to Expect LLC. Used by permission of Workman Publishing, Inc., New York.
All rights reserved. For more information about pregnancy, go to www.whattoexpect.com
So, you think you will be undergoing a lot of changes during your 40-week pregnancy? Consider what’s happening to your baby: Cells are dividing; organs are forming; and the digestive, sensory, circulatory, urinary and other systems are developing. Your diet will provide the nutrients necessary for all that growth, and study after study shows that more nutritious prenatal diets result in far healthier babies. By following the 12 simple suggestions, you’ll get all the vitamins, minerals and other substances you and baby need the whole nine months. These guidelines (and scrumptious recipes) will give your baby a great start and make your pregnancy healthier. For the benefits of eating well, for you and your baby, click here.
1. Calories >> 300 extra a day
After the first trimester, you’ll need just 300 extra calories a day to make a baby (equivalent to 1/4 cup peanuts or almonds, an apple and a glass of 1% fat milk). To find out how much weight you should gain, go to www.fitpregnancy.com/weightgain.
2. Protein>> 3 servings
No single nutrient is more essential to the making of a baby than protein’s amino acids, the building blocks of human tissue. Protein also helps maximize fetal brain development. Here’s a sample list of protein-packed foods; eat a combination equal to 3 servings daily.
1 serving>> 1 cup cottage cheese; 6 tablespoons peanut butter; 6 ounces (before cooking) whole-wheat pasta; 3 1/2 ounces canned tuna; 4 ounces (before cooking) fresh fish, skinless poultry, lean beef, lamb or pork
3. Calcium>> 4 servings
If you don’t get enough calcium, your body will drain it from your bones to help build and strengthen your baby’s—possibly setting you up for osteoporosis later on. (If you’re going with dairy sources for protein, don’t forget to tally them into your calcium servings as well.)
1 serving >> 1 1/2 ounces cheese; 1 cup calcium-fortified soy milk; 1 cup milk; 1 cup yogurt; 1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice; 3 tablespoons sesame seeds; 1 cup cooked greens (collard, mustard or turnip)
4. Vitamin C>> 3 servings
Because your body doesn’t store vitamin C, you need to consume a fresh supply every day. Vitamin C also is fragile: Heat, light and air can destroy it over time, so try to eat your vitamin-C foods in the freshest form possible.
1 serving>> 1/3 cup fresh strawberries; 1/2 cup grapefruit or orange juice; 1/2 cup raw or cooked broccoli; 1/2 cup raw or cooked cauliflower; 1/2 cup cooked spinach; 1 medium tomato; 1/4 medium red, yellow or orange bell pepper